A confident Leighton team traveled to Harpenden hopeful of repeating their dominant away form from last week.
However there were some issues to contend with, even before kick off, suspension, availability and injury had left the centre of the visitors defence exposed through the lack of any experienced central defenders.
Thankfully Leighton had excellent midfield athletes who showed great team spirit by their declaring their determination to fill the void left by their absent teammates.
Rather frustratingly however both Brett Freeman and the defiant Charlie Green had their efforts undermined by a sluggish team start that left them exposed to a determined home team who attacked with immediate menace.
Two quick goals were the reward for Harpenden as they took advantage of a misfiring Leighton team who were also hampered by two injuries that ended the game for Brett Freeman and included a disc located shoulder for captain, Charlie Davis.
Despite this, there were signs of a slight shift in the games momentum, Leighton started to find their feet and more importantly some belief in themselves, passages of good play increased in frequency and half time arrived without further damage to the score line.
A collective anger was shared by both staff and players not only at the poor start but the team performance it led to, thankfully the interval was used to galvanise the team into a determination to put things right.
Straight from the restart Leighton looked positive and dangerous but they suffered another injury blow as Christian Mander became the third defender to have his game end early.
Thankfully Seth Taylor was ready to make his usual positive contribution and Andy McGlinchey was not in the mood to concede defeat, a fierce shot rocked the upright before his bustling all action efforts were rewarded with a goal from a penalty area scramble.
Now the confidence spread through the visitors play as quickly as apprehension seeped into the home teams defence, George Oliver drove Leighton forward whilst Dominic Owen threatened time and again from the left flank.
Frustratingly chances were being created and missed in quick succession, Kerran Birch was a constant menace down the right wing whilst Alfie Rushton and George Tippite were starting to control midfield.
At this stage of the game a remarkable victory looked the likely result and Leighton pushed forward not just in search of an equaliser but in the belief they would get a winner, sadly this was not to be, as Harpenden rallied, launched a counter attack and clinched the deciding third goal.
Despite finding the courage to launch a couple more retaliatory attacks Leighton were forced to accept defeat and were put out of their misery by the final whistle.
Considering the windy wet conditions this was a frantic entertaining game of football played in a good spirit by both teams, time will tell whether the Leighton players will learn more from the first half than from the second, either way they can be proud of their efforts in turning disappointment into inspiration.
In truth Leighton have a great deal they could learn from their opponents who started the match in a positive fashion, took their chances when on top, defended with sustained defiance then struck the match clinching goal when the chance presented itself.
Match report by
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Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.