Disappointing homecoming for Leighton Town

Leighton Town vs Tring. Pic: Andrew Parker

Leighton Town vs Tring. Pic: Andrew Parker

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Leighton Town’s eagerly awaited return to Bell Close fell flat as it saw them pick up just a point from two games.

Health and safety concerns kept them away after a fire, and then poor weather conditions delayed the return home even longer, but they finally got to kick a ball in Leighton Buzzard last Tuesday.

That day saw them draw 2-2 with Holmer Green despite going down to 10 men, but they were disappointed to lost 3-1 to Tring Town on Saturday.

Tring, who sit just outside the play-off spots were unlucky not to take the lead very early on when Chris Stapleton’s shot went just wide, but Leighton too had their share of chances.

Lorrel Smith saw an effort cleared off the line and Martin Griggs miss a tap-in from close range.

Tring though his two goals in quick succession - a real sucker punch for the home side.

The first came through Chris Vardy, who broke through the Leighton defence to beat Jack Sillitoe before Stapleton doubled the advantage .

Leighton had to start strongly in the second half to have any chance and they did so well. First Griggs had an audacious overhead kick that was cleared and then McBride was unlucky as a low shot came off the post.

Leighton were on top in the early stages of the second half and when Vinny Greco shot speculatively from range Jack Hopwood in the Tring goal had to be alert to tip it over the bar. Griggs tried another overhead kick and this one was better than the last as Hopwood was rooted to the spot as his effort wasn’t far wide.

Despite this pressure it was Tring who scored next through Sam Jolliffe. A Tring corner came in and Jolliffe had a free header to glance past Sillitoe.

At the very least Leighton deserved a goal and they got it also immediately after through Smith. It was good one touch interplay from the Reds and Smith coolly slotted past Hopwood.

A goal apiece in either half ensured a solid point for Leighton against Holmer, despite having Martin Griggs sent off in the first half.

Dom Marsala headed home Leighton’s opener before Lorrel Smith scored on the counter in the second half as the visitors piled on the pressure against the 10 men.

Manager Scott Reynolds said: “The players showed a lot of character. Holmer Green were a really organised side and made it really hard for us.

“We had to dig in and had to change formation playing with only 10 men, but we out-worked the opposition I felt.

“They were two good goals. Lorrell has great pace and got in behind - that’s what we really like about him. He stretches teams and took hisgoal really well, and scored from a difficult place.

“And Dom’s goal, I think it was a header in the end, came from a set-piece we’ve been working on recently.

“The players are really beginning to form good relationships out there, and sticking together. A few weeks ago, we’d have lost that game.”

The players have little time to dwell on either result though, with a trip to Sun Sports tonight (Tuesday) before hosting Oxhey Jets on Saturday.