Points shared with top team Newbury & Thatcham
Blood, guts and tenacity see Leighton to hard earned draw
Leighton Buzzard 3s 3-3 Newbury & Thatcham 4s
A performance full of blood, guts and tenacity saw the Men’s 3s comeback from 3-1 down to earn a draw against a very good Newbury side.
The visitors took the lead early in the game with a well-executed short corner. But soon after a diving effort from Peter Gale was blocked by a defender’s foot and Leighton equalised from the resulting corner. David Hooker’s strike was deftly diverted into goal by injector Stuart Hart. The visitors were the stronger side but Leighton stuck to their task and it remained level until Newbury worked another short corner routine to take the lead in first half overtime.
Leighton’s tactic of trying to keep possession kept them in the game. Stuart Retford’s distribution of the ball was key at this stage. However, the visitors scored the next goal with a good finish from a fast break. With fifteen minutes to go the home side sensed a change in momentum. Inspired by the incredible covering work of central defender Tristan Hardy and the determined shot stopping of keeper Stephen Farrell, Leighton started to create chances by breaking from deep. Forward Robin Lowth raced on to a pass from Gale and agonisingly saw his goal bound shot deflected an inch wide by an outstanding save from the Newbury keeper.
Newbury’s reprieve was short-lived. Man of the match, Daniel Wright broke clear down the right and played the ball across for Lowth. This time his diving shot was directed with pinpoint accuracy and beat the keeper low to his right. The same combination converted again for Leighton’s equaliser. Wright broke free again, drew the keeper and unselfishly passed for Lowth to again finish with composure.
Five minutes to go and both sides wanted the win. However, Newbury could not get past Hardy and from his passed clearance out of defence Wright again burst through. Wright’s fired shot was on target but the Newbury keeper made another quality save with his pads. It was the last act in an outstanding game, both sides gave it everything, nothing was left on the pitch apart from maybe the blood spilled from the physical efforts and commitment from the players.
Final score: 3 - 3 Drawn match
Player of the Match: Daniel Wright