Mens 2nd Team unlucky to drop points away at Wallingford
Kane and Mens 2s slip to defeat
Despite the score line Leighton can feel slightly hard done by in a tight game. They began brightly with Steve Fuller’s pace getting the best of the home side’s back line to get Leighton into some dangerous positions early on. Leighton’s press forced Wallingford to resort to aerial balls at several 16s. The home team grew into the game forcing saves from Stuart McDonald on his return between the sticks. Questionable decisions from the umpires denied Leighton numerous long corners and Dave Hooker was left bemused as he took a ferocious ball above the knee that was deemed not dangerous despite the war wound he now has. The highlight in an otherwise uneventful first half was Kane Sanders’ comical slip on the half way line as he tried to make his way onto the pitch, looking like Bambi on ice.
The second half started much the same with Leighton’s defence looking hard to break down, but their thin attack saw limited chances. The deadlock was broken by the home side from a well-placed penalty flick that flew into the top bins. The short corner that lead to the penalty flick was another dubious umpiring decision. The game opened up more with Leighton pushing forward but 5 minutes later Wallingford doubled their lead with a reverse shot from a tight angle.
Liam Wavish’s big tackles kept Leighton in the game despite being mauled on one occasion by his own father. Tom Billington’s not-so-gracious flying dive had no effect as Coach Gale did his best effort to convince the home side that he’d slipped. Captain Tim Bellamy’s amateur dramatics after taking one to the groin area would have made Terry Cavender’s theatre group very proud but he and the rest of the midfield kept going.
Leighton pulled one back late on with when injury stricken Matthew Nash laid the ball wide for Fuller’s shot to trickle over the line. Leighton threw men forward and were ultimately punished as Wallingford scored a third with minutes left. It was scoreline that flattered the home team but not one that leaves Leighton overly concerned as they played some good hockey; another day would’ve seen that performance pick up points.
MOM: Stuart McDonald