Ashton Campbell thought he had done enough to secure a point for Leighton Town on Saturday when he netted an 88th minute equaliser against Harpenden Town. But he was wrong.
A devastating stoppage time winner for the home side saw Harpenden snatch a 2-1 victory at the death to leave Joe Sweeney’s side still seeking their first win of the campaign.
There was precious little to separate the sides for the most part at Rothamsted Park.
Leighton had a flurry of decent chances in the opening half, with Campbell, Archie McClelland, Dave Murphy and Danny Webb all coming close.
There was little to write home about for the home side too, with keeper Renell McKenzie-Lyle keeping his powder dry as Harpenden’s attacks came up short.
The second half provided little in the way of a spectacle either, though Town were reduced to 10 men when Campbell pushed it too far with the referee, earning himself a 10-minute sin bin.
And it was with that numerical advantage that Harpenden took the lead. Jake Anthony took advantage of some poor Town defending to slot his low strike past McKenzie-Lyle for the lead with 19 minutes remaining.
Things got even harder for Town though. With Campbell returning from his sin-bin, Town were again reduced to 10 men, this time permanently when Alfie Osborne was shown his second yellow card of the game.
Osborne will now miss the FA Cup clash against Thame Town this Saturday.
But with time running out, Town grabbed what they thought to be a vital equaliser with just two minutes to go, heading home Aaron Murrell’s cross from the right.
While a point may have been the fair result, Harpenden were not going to let the points go, and snatched a winner at the death. Capitalising on more lacklustre defending from Town,
Harvey Scott was allowed to break into the penalty area and slot past McKenzie-Lyle to win it for the home side.
Incredibly though, Leighton still had another chance to snatch a point but Webb could not direct his header and saw it fly over the top.
With just a point from their opening three matches, Leighton sit third from bottom of the SSML Premier division table.
Town are in action on Tuesday in the League Challenge Trophy where they will travel to take on Broadfields United. Kick off is at 7.45pm/
They are then in FA Cup action on Saturday when they make the short journey to Thame United, kicking off at 3pm.