After promising spells against Hadley last week, Leighton continued where they left off with a bright start against Leverstock Green who won away at Edgware last time out.
Straight from the kick off Leighton were on the attack with Jordan Davis who crossed it for Marcus Campbell who had a free header glance just past the post. In these early exchanges Leighton were creating chances; Matt Bateman played in Jordan Davis who mishit a longshot and then James Towell also shot from range his effort ended up with the same result.
However this early Leighton pressure paid dividends in the 6th minute as Ben Gallant put the boys in blue 1-0 up. It was a well worked team goal starting with a peach of a diagonal ball from Towell to Bateman on the left-wing who calmly pulled it back for Gallant who slotted home for a tap-in.
Bateman and Gallant then linked up again after Bateman won the ball and headed it to Gallant but his shot was saved.
The goal and early Leighton pressure woke up the hosts and after some pressure in the Leighton half themselves got the game back to level terms on the 12th minute. Leverstock broke and Curtis Donaldson ran through the Leighton backline to cooly finish past Sillitoe.
The Leverstock equaliser changed the complexity of the game dramatically and the hosts were pressing to get in the lead. Donaldson from a free kick crossed it for Karl Thomas who just head over.
Leverstock Green’s renewed pressure paid off as they took the lead in the 22nd minute. Jonathon Lacey took a corner it was cleared by Leighton but only to Donaldson who was lurking with intent on the edge of the area he lashed it into the top corner and it was a very good finish.
Just as Leverstock scored the rain began to pour down in Pancake Lane summing up the current Leighton mood. Leighton had to dust themselves off and go again which they did Davis made a good run played a one two with Gallant but his shot wide was clawed out for a corner by Leverstock’s ‘keeper Liam Jahn.
Leighton were playing good football at times but the final touch was lacking as Bateman made the run passed it to Towell he held it up for Mark Smith but his shot was well wide of the mark. Smith was getting into good shooting positions but when Davis crossed it in from a corner the resulting header was well off target.
It was Leverstock who looked like they would score again Donaldson crossed it for Ross Adams he got clean contact and glanced a header inches away from the bar.
By halftime Leverstock were again very close to extending their lead. Donaldson found himself in space on the edge of the area pulled the trigger and skimmed a shot just past the post, it was unlucky as Sillitoe was beaten.
The second half began and it was that man Donaldson again leading the line for Leverstock he was on a hat trick and was hungry for that elusive third goal and again very nearly got it. He was 1-on-1 with Sillitoe and went past him to slot into an empty net but the finish was mere inches past the right post.
At 2-1 Leighton were still in the game but they were holding onto that as Leverstock hit the bar after an incisive ball into the box from Brima Johnson.
When you’re down at the bottom end of the table you need the luck to go your way and Reece Williams must have been cursing his as an audacious long range effort wasn’t too far away from the top left corner.
It was clear that something needed to be changed to rejuvenate Leighton and Paul Burgess made a double substitution with Bateman and Williams coming off for Matt Hewitt and Mitch Hamilton.
The poor weather and Leverstock’s defensive resilience was not helping Leighton’s cause but Hewitt made a nice long ball for Davis to latch on to however his effort was routine enough for Jahn.
A final throw of the dice saw Lolu Onabolu come on for Marcus Campbell but Leverstock Green again looked more likely to get the next goal as a Lacey snapshot was inches wide of the post.
Onabolu was to have an impact on the game though. Smith won the ball and played a diagonal pass to him but his shot was blocked. Onabolu then won a corner it was cleared as far as Hewitt who turned and shot around 15 yards out but it was deflected just wide.
Despite Leverstock having more chances to seal the game off Leighton were unlucky not to equalise through Onabolu as the ball was threaded into him, he was inches away from it otherwise it would’ve been an easy toe-poke.
Leighton huffed and puffed to the end and even had Jack Sillitoe come up for a corner when Smith had a shot palmed out. However it simply wasn’t to be for Leighton and Leverstock were the deserved winners on the day and rightly took the three points.
Leighton are in cup action next week firstly at home to Tring in a Premier Division Cup game on Tuesday before travelling to Brackley Town Saints in the FA Vase next Saturday. The boys return to league action on the 13th away to Sun Sports.