​Late drama puts Reds out of the FA Trophy

​Leighton Town’s FA Trophy hopes were ended after Surrey-based hosts South Park scored two late goals to progress to the second round on Saturday.
Gary Flinn's side fell to a late defeat in Saturday's Trophy tie.Gary Flinn's side fell to a late defeat in Saturday's Trophy tie.
Gary Flinn's side fell to a late defeat in Saturday's Trophy tie.

​The Reds led the tie going into the closing stages but the home side battled back in the closing stages to end Leighton’s hopes.

Leighton began the game well as Louie Barrett saw an early chance go over the bar just two minutes in.

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Then, after the home side failed to clear a corner, Jake Watkinson headed wide from close range.

There were few chances for either side in the first-half, the break arriving with not much between the teams.

It was then Leighton who took the lead on 69 minutes, as Louie Barrett was played in he turned inside before placing his shot into the corner of the net.

But things turned around in the closing stages as firstly, South Park’s Aiden Brown was sent through on goal and finished well.

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Then, in stoppage time, Brown was brought down by Leighton keeper Karl Daley and Ryan Healy stroked the penalty home.

A late fracas then saw the referee dish out several cards, including a red to one of the Leighton contingent, as the visitors were ultimately left frustrated by the outcome.

Leighton, who sit tenth in the SPL Division One Central table going into this weekend’s games, now have a free weekend with their next game being at home to Welwyn Garden City on November 11.

*Leighton have confirmed that Paul Reed has been appointed the new manager of our Southern Counties Floodlit League U18 team.

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Reed has a wealth of experience as a youth coach, working at Luton Town for over ten years, progressing to full time phase lead of their Category 3 Academy, as well as assisting with the ‘Hatters’ U18s and U23s.

He holds a UEFA ‘A’ coaching licence and will bring further experience and talent to the strong youth development programme at the club.

Reed has been working closely with James Heeps and the team over the last month or so, with Heeps set to continue his role as head of youth development and work across all the teams at senior and youth level.