Leighton Move to Fourth, After a 6-3 Victory Over Banbury
By Nick Marshall
A fiery encounter sees Leighton come out on top in a game full of goals and cards galore.
Leighton started the match strong and were soon ahead of the visiting Banbury side, scoring with their first attack of the game. A free hit just inside the 25 yard line was quickly played out to the left by Nick Marshall
finding Matt Franklin free. A rocket of a ball from Franklin, into the away-side's D, was deftly deflected by Leighton Skipper, Mark Stephenson
, past the Banbury keeper. From here history seemed to repeat itself as Leighton struggled to find their composure and some silly mistakes and loose marking, allowed Banbury back into the game to bring the scores level. The game became very scrappy from here and more errors from the home-side enabled the visitors to convert a sloppy short corner routine into a lead taking goal. Tempers began to flare and an altercation between Jack Gorton
and his apposing number saw both players being shown green cards and spending two minutes on the sideline. When both sides were restored to their full numbers Leighton took back control of the game. Marshall was able to find space in the middle of the pitch with a quick turn, playing the ball to Will Jenkinson
who took the ball into the D and released his shot. The initial save was made by the Banbury keeper but was pounced on by Player of the Match Tom Billington
to bring the game level. Some more composed defending by Leighton saw Tony Puttock turn over possession and play the ball to Marshall, who threaded a pass through to Stephenson. Stephenson then played the ball to Jenkinson and with a deflected pass, put the ball into the path of Tommi Lakins. With only the keeper to beat, Lakins went round the outstretched keeper and dribbled the ball all the way to the goal line to give the Buzzards back the lead heading to the half time break.
With their attacking charm back Leighton continued to put pressure on Banbury and were soon two goals up. A trademark Lakins dribble gave him the space to unleash a shot which was heading just wide until Jenkinson's stick redirected the ball past the Banbury keeper. This blow seemed to crack the away-side's tempers and more confrontations with the umpires and rash tackles resulted in two Banbury players spending time on the sidelines. Leighton used this to their advantage and Billington was back on the scoresheet for his second and Leighton's fifth, lifting the ball over the Banbury keeper after receiving a pin-point cross from Benj Robinson. A final consolation was given to Banbury when they converted a short corner into a goal, but were unable to fully reply to Leighton's challenge. As the clock ticked down Leighton were put back to ten men, when Marshall was shown a yellow card for a few choices words said to the umpire and a Banbury player. This didn't deter Leighton and just before the final whistle Stephenson scored Leighton's sixth of the day, after receiving a pass into the D from Jenkinson and slamming the backboard with his strike.
Next week Leighton continue their chase towards the top of the table when they travel to South Berkshire.