Nervous 2s finally take the spoils
By Tim Bellamy
Three more points on promotion quest
In their penultimate game of the season, Leighton were looking to continue in their quest for promotion, playing host to Amersham & Chalfont. Leighton made hard work of what should have been a relatively easy victory for them, given their season long run of strong & convincing wins!
The home team started well, knowing that the opposition would come at them strong from the off and controlled the game nicely for the first 15 minutes with great inter-play between the defensive trio of Liam Wavish, Will Riley & captain Tim Bellamy, pivoting play nicely around the back and utilising the width afforded them.
This led quickly to attacks down both flanks with the wing backs of Tom O'Reilly (Irish) and Tom Handley (not so irish), getting in behind the defence and causing problems, a short corner was awarded. The captain stepped up to try and set the score tumbling in Leighton's favour, but the opposition defence was good and a rebound occurred. This was pounced on by Tom (Not so irish) Handley, who slotted the ball away nicely for his first of the season, giving Leighton an early advantage.
This encouraging play continued and was again rewarded after applying pressure with a long corner. Bellamy once again stepped up to take the hit, slipping the ball nicely to Damien Glendenning, who in turn slipped it to up and coming stat Finley Bell Taylor, who turned on the ball and smashed it into the net. 2-0 then with only about 15 minutes gone.
There was a quick round of substitutions and for some reason a little confusion crept in with Leighton losing their form and positional discipline and temporarily hitting the 'self destruct' button. A short passage of excellent play from the opposition saw them level the score before half time, with an excellently worked short corner, which Leighton keeper Jim Galloway had no chance of stopping, as well as a quick break away goal from Amersham & Chalfont. Leighton didn't help the situation by attempting to play impossible passes through players and running the ball into contact, placing them under unnecessary pressure.
The half time whistle blew giving the home side a chance to regroup and after a 'stern & honest' half time team talk, Leighton commenced the second half looking like the dominant force they should, controlling the play once again, with good work being done by all in both attack and defence when necessary, particularly from man of the match Riley, who worked tirelessly to keep the opposition away from the D.
Leighton started to create some cracks in the opposition's resilience and created a number of lightning quick counter attacks, one of which led to Stephen Fuller (pistons) using his eye boggling pace to score a sweet break away goal. With the score now 3-2, Leighton dug in, but seemed a little stressed due to the closeness of the game and the loss of vice captain Clive Warncken due to a calf injury. The Leighton midfield engine continued to rumble on creating openings for the forward line to capitalise on, eventually leading to a short corner being awarded to the home side. Bellamy once again stepped up to take the hit, this time smashing the ball into the bottom corner to secure a 4-2 lead. This, the final goal of the game seemed to settle the home side somewhat and with very little time left on the clock, Leighton played good sensible possession hockey for the remainder of the game, thus ensuring their victory and the march towards promotion!