Leighton's Season Fizzles Out on Final day of the Season
By Nick Marshall
Although other results went their way, Leighton couldn't gain the much needed three points to secure promotion.
The final game of the season saw Leighton entertain local side Tring in a must win game. If other results were to go their way Leighton would be looking to returning to division 2 Hockey once again.
A sluggish start became the theme for the day for the Buzzards, always being just behind the needed pace. Quickly overrunning the Leighton Middlefield, Tring set up camp in Leighton's half creating numerous chances for the Leighton backline of Dan Edwards
, Matt Franklin, Tony Puttock and Will Jenkinson
to deal with. A lapse in discipline in marking allowed a Tring midfielder to make his way unopposed into the Leighton D and one on one with Buzzard keeper Dan Metcalfe, squeeze the ball past him. Looking to make the most of their chances, Leighton forwards: Tommi Lakins (player of the match), Jack Gorton
and Josh Gale made the most of the counter attacking play that they could but were unable to bring the score level.
Early in the second half Tring doubled their score and put the homeside on the back foot. Continuous work from LB's midfield of Benji Robinson, Mark Stephenson
, Laurence Leech
and Tom Billington
wasn't enough to bring them back into the game. A foot on the Tring goal line looked to be the lifeline Leighton had been looking for and the ensuing penalty flick by Franklin nearly broke the net as it hit it. However it would be Tring who would be next on the scoreline, adding a third to their tally. As the game wore on Leighton began to loose their composure. First with Lakins receiving a green card for a late tackle and then Nick Marshall
receiving the same for reckless one. As the final whistle went so did Leighton's promotion dreams and to rub salt into their wounds; Milton Keynes victory over Newbury and Thatcham meant that had Leighton won, they would have secured second place.
A long, and at times hard season, comes to a close for Leighton, but with plenty of positives for the yellows to build on in preparation for next seasons push to the top.