Bunker’s late strike saves the day

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Mark Bunker’s late strike earned Leighton Town a valuable point against neighbours Aylesbury United as the sides drew 2-2 on Saturday.

Popping up at the right time, Bunker bagged his second of the afternoon deep into stoppage time after Town trailed the Ducks at Bell Close.

On reflection, a point apiece it was probably fair, though Aylesbury felt they should have been ahead, only beaten by the upright in the early exchanges.

Town were dealt another early blow when influential midfielder Phil Draycott hobbled off injured and had to be replaced by Christian Lester.

The substitute though almost made an immediate impact going very close following great work by debutant Billy Lobjoit, who joined his brother, former MK Dons trainee Leon among Craig Bicknell’s squad.

The break through came just before half-time when a superb cross-field pass from Warren Garcia picked out Billy Lobjoit whose immaculate chip found Bunker who cracked home from close range.

They held the lead until half time, but two quick-fire goals from Aylesbury swung the balance of the game completely.

Dan Green’s fumble in the penalty area cost his side the lead, and the unmarked Steve Hatch stroked the ball into the net .

Almost immediately very poor defending let Jason Blackett through and he was brought down in the box. Paul Edgeworth coolly despatched the resultant penalty to give the visitors the lead.

Town responded well and both Lester and Billy Lobjoit went close but to no avail for the home side.

Aylesbury though should have put the game to bed, but for finishing which left a lot to be desired.

Following a great run down the left , Jesse Waites should have done better for the visitors but his weak effort went into the side net.

Green then made a great stop from Blackett as Aylesbury continued to surge forwards.

But Leighton kept up their resolve in the search for an equaliser.

Leon Lobjoit forced United keeper Bell into a fine stop, as did Ashley Farmer but with time running out, it appeared as though Town would be facing another defeat.

But deep into stoppage time, Town’s corner was only half cleared as far as Bunker hovering on the edge of the area. He had time to pick his spot to pull the scores back to 2-2.

With the wind in their sails in the time remaining, Town continued to push for what then would have been a winner, but were delighted to have secured a point.

The result leaves Town 19th in the league - fourth from bottom - and are still without a win since their 3-0 win at Potters Bar back in October.

Bicknell’s men are back in action on New Year’s Day when they take on Chalfont St Peter.

They’ll then have back-to-back home games against Marlow on Saturday, and then Uxbridge on Tuesday January 6.