Leighton Batter Banbury
By Nick Marshall
Leighton come out four goal victors in a late game away to Banbury
From the opening whistle Leighton showed their class, whipping the ball around the pitch with speed and precision. It wasn't long before they opened their account. Leighton Skippers Jack Gorton
and Mark Stephenson
linked up beautifully around the base line, exposing the Banbury keeper and giving Gorton a free strike at goal and the lead within three minutes of the game. Looking to re-set, Banbury tried to mount an attack but a quick turnover form the slide backline of Matt Franklin and Dan Edwards
opened up the field of play for Gorton on the left side of the pitch. With a pin point cross to right hand side of the field Gorton found Will Jenkins at the top of the D. Taking a touch and then releasing a powerful shot, the ball came off the Banbury keeper's stick and went high into the goal. Within the next 5 minutes Leighton would score two more goals. The first coming from Dave Fry, taking the ball diagonally across the Banbury half and into their D; striking the ball on his reverse and beating the homeside's keeper. The Buzzards fourth and final of the half came from Mark Stephenson
creating space in the D and being found by Player of the Match Benji Robinson, giving Stephenson the time to slot the ball home and make it four goals to none. With only twenty minutes of the half gone Leighton looked very comfortable and at times over confident which allowed Banbury their only real chances. After a number of unsuccessful short corners one finally paid off and put Banbury onto the scoresheet.
Leighton started the second half strongly and were nearly back on the score sheet when Tom Billington
's first-time reverse strike went just wide of the post. Robinson showed his dominance in the middle of the park, mopping up the Banbury attacking threat and distributing the ball to the Leighton attacking line. A trademark weaving dribble by Tommi Lakins broke through the Banbury defence and once again drew the Banbury keeper giving Josh Gale an open goal to slap the ball home after receiving it from Lakins. Strong defensive play from Laurence Leech
and Josh Farnfield kept Banbury at bay and on the rare occasions that Banbury were able to shoot on goal Dan Metcalfe was there to foil their efforts. A penalty stroke that was awarded to the hosts was sent high over the middle of the cross bar and as the game went on Leighton pushed for more goals but weren't able to replicate the sharpness they had shown in the first half.