Leighton’s FA Cup dream comes to an end

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Leighton Town’s FA Cup campaign came to a disappointing end on Saturday as 10-man Cogenhoe United came from behind to win 3-2 to progress to the next round.

The Northamptonshire played for most of the match a man light after defender Herbert was sent off for kicking Town’s Samson Alalade, but overturned a 2-1 half time deficit to book their place in the next round.

Mark Eaton’s men made an ideal start to the game at Brafield Road as they took the lead early on.

In only the third minute Matt Hall found Aston Goss out on the right and when he knocked the ball across Ben Gallant battled for possession and eventually James Hatch drove the ball across goal to Alalade who put Town in front.

The home side, caught on the hop, began to get into their stride though, forcing Town keeper Aaron Bufton into a string of saves to keep his side ahead..

The hectic start continued and Alalade was unlucky not to double the lead on 10 minutes as the game flowed from end-to-end.

But with the home side growing into the game, they found an equaliser.

Orooz strode forward unchallenged in midfield and from about 30-yards fired in a fierce low shot that bounced just in front of Town keeper Bufton before finding the back of the net on 20 minutes.

But Leighton were back in front eight minutes later. Following a long throw by James Hatch, Shayne Almond’s volleyed effort which looked to be on target was deflected over the bar by a defender and out for a corner.

And from the resulting corner kick Alalade got a foot to the ball and Gallant knocked it over the line to restore Leighton’s lead.

But then a flashpoint - Cogenhoe defender Herbert kicked out at Alalade as the game approached half time.

The referee wasted no time in sending the Cooks man for an early bath as they went in 2-1 down at the break.

With the wind behind them in the second half, Leighton fancied their chances against ten men.

Eleven minutes into the second period, a good bit of skill by Aston Goss saw him beat his marker easily and get to the byline.

But his simple ball across the face of the goal was mis-kicked by Shayne Almond with the goal at his mercy and Leighton’s best chance of adding a third and opening a gap passed them by.

And they were made to pay as four minutes later the hosts drew level.

A free kick was poorly defended by the Town defence and Bowen fired home to equalise at 2-2.

A minute later Town won a corner and this only needed a touch but nobody reacted and another chance went begging for the visitors.

James Hatch was forced to leave the field with an injury and Craig Maisiri replaced him in midfield after an hour.

In the 68th minute Cogenhoe took the lead for the first time.

After a shot at goal went well wide and out to right flank, Cogenhoe were quicker to the ball and when it was crossed into the box the unmarked Cassidy drove it firmly into the Town net to wild celebration from the home players. It was a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

Town’s last good chance arrived in the 77th minute when following a good move down their left wing, Paul Brown’s cross reached Shayne Almond but his well struck shot was well saved before being kicked away by a home defender.

After that, the home side looked comfortable to see out the match, and with it booked their spot in the next round of the world’s most famous Cup competition.

Leighton return to Evo-Stik Division One Central action next Saturday at Fleet and need a victory to get their season back on course.