Managerless Leighton Town were involved in an eight-goal thriller, but came out on the wrong end of a 5-3 scoreline against Oxhey Jets.
Following Paul Burgess’ departure in the week, Sean Downey took over as caretaker boss for the trip to Watford against Jets, but was left to wonder what might have been as four defensive errors cost Town dear.
Their late fight back narrowed the deficit, but it did little to hide the differences between the two sides.
With several players still unavailable Mario Santos Costa returned as the right sided wing back.
Before the game, as part of Remembrance weekend, both teams and the match officials laid wreaths in memory of former Oxhey player Thomas Lake who was tragically killed in action in Afghanistan.
From the kick off, Town gave away possession and allowed Oxhey to break and win a corner. When the ball was crossed in, Town’s defence remained static to allow Jets skipper Sim Armstrong a free header, which was deflected past Jack Sillitoe and in to open the scoring.
Town were level though before the 10 minute mark when Martin Griggs was sent through on goal, neatly slotting home the equaliser.
Five minutes later though, they were trailing again when Sillitoe downed Adam Lowton to give the home side a penalty which Armstrong duly put home for 2-1.
The goals kept on coming for the home side, and they were 3-1 up by 20 minutes when Jake Kissiedu’s strike was turned into his own net by Alex Condon.
The writing was on the wall for Town when Armstrong completed his hat-trick a minute before the interval, smashing in a 25-yard free kick to make it 4-1 and put the game to bed as a contest.
Town regrouped at the break and almost had one back when Griggs’ fierce effort forced a fine save from home keeper Liam Nugent.
But the home side weren’t done and put home their fifth of the afternoon on the hour mark as Lowton poked home.
Leighton though would mount something of a comeback with two goals in quick succession to spark a frantic finale. In the 68th minute Town pulled one back when Craig Maisiri fired a free kick at goal which the keeper could only parry and Mario Santos Costa drove home the loose ball to reduce the deficit.
A minute after Town’s second goal they scored another after an excellent right wing run and cross by Lewis McBride was met in the six yard box by Aaron McKee who turned the ball into the net.
The two goals produced a sense of urgency in the Town team that had been sadly lacking in several players before the goals, but despite playing with a renewed energy Town could not pull back the two goal difference andf aon the balance of play the hoists were deserved winners.
Town host Hoddeston Town on Tuesday night (7.45)