Leighton Hammer Henley by Five
By Nick Marshall
Leighton Buzzard entertained former rivals Henley this weekend and came out on top by five goals.
Looking to continue their winning ways, the Buzzards pushed the visitors Henley back into their own half and created a number of opportunities that they couldn't turn into goals straight from the opening whistle. However, it wasn't long before Leighton were on the scoresheet. A pitch length aerial pass from Matt Franklin landed at the stick of Tommi Lakins, who had only the keeper to beat. A well topped strike by Lakins bobbled past the keeper and into the goal giving Leighton the lead. Soon Lakins was back on the scoresheet after some dynamic linking play between Tom Billington
and Jack Gorton
freed up Lakins to round the keeper and knock the ball in from close range to give Leighton their second. Lakins nearly capped off his hat-trick, when his strike from the top of the D at a short corner, hit the defenders stick and then his leg preventing it from going in. The ensuing penalty flick was converted by Franklin, playing the ball high and to the keepers right. Once again Leighton were back on their attacking drive moving the ball around in midfield and forward line. A pass across the face of the goal by Buzzard's skipper Mark Stephenson
was cleared by the Henley keeper, but only as far as Lakins. Lakins made the keeper pay for this mistake by smashing the ball into the backboard to give Leighton their fourth and his third of the day. A wayward pass by the Leighton backline gave Henley their first and only real chance of the half. The visiting forward intercepted the ball and dribbled at pace into the D, knocking the ball into the corner of the goal to give Henley their first and only goal of the game. As the half was coming to a close Leighton were able to grab another goal from a well worked short corner routine. Player of the Match Josh Farnfield continued to toe the Leighton scoring line, deflecting the ball past the Henley keeper from Gorton's slap pass to the back post.
As the second half started Henley came out strong and a number of short corners were kept at bay by the Leighton defence. A rash tackle by Gorton saw him being shown a yellow card and five minutes on the sideline. Even with ten men, Henley were no match for the home team. Farnfield showed his composure on the ball, creating numerous chances for the Leighton frontline. Unfortunately these did not come to fruition as they had done in the first half. Leighton finally got their sixth when Farnfield was able to pick up a rebounded shot from a Leighton short corner and bag his second of the game. Henley tried hard to get back into the game as the clock ticked down, but were denied any real chances by the Leighton defence.
Leighton now move to third in the table, one point behind Aylesbury and with a game in hand. Former second placers Newbury and Thatcham travel to Vandyke next week and after two loses in a row, will be looking to push back up towards the top of the table and prevent the Buzzards from sitting in second place as all teams go into the Christmas break.