Leighton Battle Hard for a Draw
Leighton came from behind twice to secure a 2-2 draw against a strong Bedford side
Leighton Buzzard's second of three fixtures on the road saw them travel to Chester Road to take on Bedford Hockey club's Men's 3XI.
From the first whistle the home side pushed Leighton hard and were able to find and utilise space in the middle of the field, leaving the Leighton backline exposed to a number of attacks. These were kept out by some strong tackles from Matt Franklin and good saves from Leighton Keepers Metcalfe and McDonald (both sharing the keeping duties in the Leighton goal). For the majority of the first two quarters the visitors were on the back foot and struggled to find any real flow to their hockey. A defensive error from the Leighton midfield enabled Bedford to find players free and score their first goal of the match. Leighton came close to equalising as the second quarter came to close when a drag flick from Nick Marshall
was expertly tipped round the left post by the home teams keeper.
At halftime Leighton changed formation and took the game to the Bedford backline. Jack Gorton
, Josh Gale and Findley Bell-Taylor, on his first team debut, all came close to levelling the game early during the third quarter. A dynamic run from Leighton Left Back, Dave Fry, created an opening for him to square the ball to Mark Stephenson
who was unmarked at the top of the D and with a booming shot, played the ball through the Bedford keepers legs to put the score level. Bedford regained their composure after this and created a number of short corner opportunities which lead to their second goal. Leighton were unable to clear the ball out of the D during a short corner and the Bedford attacker was able to play the ball into the top right corner of the goal. Leighton were soon on the attack and able to win a short corner. The initial attempt from Fry was closed down by the Bedford runner with the ball falling to Gorton. Gorton was able to crash the ball back into the D forcing the Bedford keeper to make a save. This fell to Marshall who flicked the ball into the top left corner of the goal and bring the game level for the second time as the third quarter ended. Both sides continued to push for the winning goal during the final quarter, but to no avail. The Bedford defence kept the Leighton attackers at bay and Dan Edwards
showed great composure and strength, picking the ball several times from the Bedford attacking line.
After a hard-fought game Leighton will be looking to end their pre-season run with a win against Luton who they will be travelling to next weekend.