Hat-trick by substitute Ashton Campbell earns place in last 16
PICTURES BY ANDREW PARKER
Incredible Leighton Town are celebrating reaching the last 16 of the Buildbase FA Vase.
They came back from 3-1 down to win 4-3 with a fantastic Ashton Campbell hat-trick at Eynesbury Rovers on Saturday, booking themselves a place in the fifth round.
Leighton Town will now visit Western League side Bradford Town on February 8.
Looking to extend their unbeaten run to 15 games, Town went ahead through an early own goal before their hosts levelled with a penalty.
Eynesbury - who are sixth in the Spartan South Midlands Premier Division - scored twice more before substitute Ashton Campbell turned the game around with his amazing hat-trick.
With a crowd of almost 500 including about 350 from Leighton it was an unforgettable day for the town.
“To come back from 3-1 and turn it around to 4-3 was unbelievable,” said manager Joe Sweeney.
“Incredible - the courage, resilience and character of the players to keep fighting at 3-1 down away from home against a very good side.
“I’m very proud of them and the town has a team to be proud of.
“At 3-1 it was looking difficult for us, so I through caution to the wind with a double substitution and brought on Ashton Campbell and Ben Pattie.
“Ashton was the hero and scored his hat-trick in about 24 minutes but we would not have won that game without the support we had.
“The fans were singing from the time they arrived at the ground until the time they left. Eynesbury is an hour away and I’d like to thank the fans who made the trip to wholeheartedly support us at such a big game.
“I’ve had so many messages since from families who enjoyed the game, saying what a brilliant day it was.
“It was a wonderful occasion for so many, spoilt at the end by such a few. So many people had such a good day, it was fantastic.
“It’s so exciting for us at our level to be in the last 16 and just three games from Wembley now. There were 782 teams at the start and now we are down to 16.”
But after all the thrills of the weekend, Town must concentrate on an important league fixture tonight (Tuesday) hosting second-placed Tring Athletic at Bell Close.
Town are 11th in the table.