Leighton Lose Out to League Leaders
By Nick Marshall
Leighton run out of gas against top of the league Amersham and Chalfont
This weekend saw Leighton travel to league leaders Amersham and Chalfont, who are currently unbeaten this season. From the opening whistle the home-side looked to control the passages of play and were soon applying pressure on the Leighton D. Good composure from Leighton centre backs Matt Franklin and Dan Edwards
were able to keep the AC forwards at bay, but it wasn't long before they were rewarded with a short corner. A hard and low flick was turned around the post by Leighton goal keeper and Man of the Match Dan Metcalfe, making the first of many saves this game. It wasn't long before Leighton found their attacking footing. Josh Farnfield held onto the ball in a crowd of Amersham defenders and was able to pop it out to Midfielder Nick Marshall
. From here Marshall went round his Amersham equivalent and laid the ball off to skipper Mark Stephenson
. A quick one-two by Stephenson and Josh Gale freed Stephenson up to knock the ball past the home teams keeper and give Leighton the lead. It wouldn't be long before AC were back turning the screws and a high and bouncing ball was picked off mid-air by an Amersham forward and volleyed into the Leighton goal to level the game. More back and forth play between the two team resulted in Leighton taking the lead for a second time. A reverse hit pass down the left-hand-side found Tommi Lakins making a wide run. Lakins then took the ball along the base line and passed it across the face of the goal. Having to react, the Amersham keeper kicked the ball into the path of Stephenson, who sent it back past him into the backboard for his and Leighton's second goal of the game. As half time was coming to a close the hosts were not done yet. An overlapping play down the right hand-side freed an attacker from his defender. This unmarked player was then open to receive the ball in the D and beat the outstretched Metcalfe to level the game once more.
For the majority of the second half, Leighton were able to see off the AC attack ad keep them at bay, but struggled to make any real chances up front. With high levels of pressure put on the Leighton backline, eventually a crack appeared. One of many AC short corners was converted after some switch play allowed the Amersham injector to shoot from the near post, with the ball, luckily, coming off of the inside of Metcalfe's pads and then crossing the line. Still in the game Leighton looked to convert their possession from around the back into a scoring opportunity but to no avail. Leighton's best chance fell to Benji Robinson after he was freed up one-on-one with the keeper after receiving a Lakins pass, but wasn't able to bring the game back level. As the final minutes ticked away, Amersham and Chalfont sealed the 3 points when a high ball went past Metcalfe at close range and into the net. As the seconds died so did Leighton's chances of taking points from the league leaders.
Leighton will look to put this disappointing result behind them when they face off against local rivals Milton Keynes next week back at Vandyke.