Great fight but Leighton Town go out of FA Cup

Strong second half almost snatches equaliser to earn replay

Tuesday, 24th August 2021, 9:19 pm
Updated Tuesday, 24th August 2021, 9:22 pm
Archie McClelland played his first minutes after returning from injury - Picture by Andrew Parker

Leighton Town gave everything against their higher level opponents in Essex on Saturday, but a 35th-minute goal knocked them out of the Emirates FA Cup.

Step 4 club Brentwood Town won 1-0 in the preliminary round, ending Leighton’s hopes for another year, after their opening victory at FC Clacton.

But a very good game was evenly matched for large parts. Brentwood had the better of the first half, but impressive Leighton came back strongly to have the run of things in the second.

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It saw them throw everything they had at their hosts, almost earning a replay.

Oran Swales saw a great headed chance skim the post and Danny Webb had a glorious opportunity to equalise with five minutes to go, only to see his shot go just wide of the post, when all inside the ground were just waiting for the net to bulge.

Although disappointed at going out the cup, manager Joe Sweeney said: “I’m very happy with the players, their discipline in the game plan and their efforts to try to force the game in the second half.

“There were three formation changes during the game, as we tried all we could to get through what was a very strong Brentwood defensive unit.”

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“Even though we didn’t get the result we wanted, there were still some positives for us,” he added.

“It was good to see Sonny Newbury Barr and Archie Mac (McClelland) both back playing for the first time this season, after being out injured.”

Now attentions turn back to the league for the bank holiday weekend, with Baldock Town the visitors to Bell Close on Saturday for a 3pm kick-off.

Baldock are still seeking their first points of the campaign after defeats by Leverstock Green and Oxhey Jets, but they beat Grays Athletic 2-1 in the FA Cup at the weekend.

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On Tuesday (31st), Ardley United are Leighton Town’s Spartan South Midlands Premier Division hosts in Oxfordshire for a 7.30pm kick-off.

Ardley beat Flackwell Heath on the opening day, but then lost to Arlesey Town.

Leighton are unbeaten so far after their 1-1 opening day draw with Risborough Rangers and 3-2 victory over New Salamis last week.