​Late strikes secure Leighton Town victory

​Leighton Town gave their play-off hopes a helping hand on Saturday as they ran out 3-1 winners at home to struggling Thame United.
Leighton's Albie Hall (right) gives chase during the win over Thame. Photo: Andrew Parker.Leighton's Albie Hall (right) gives chase during the win over Thame. Photo: Andrew Parker.
Leighton's Albie Hall (right) gives chase during the win over Thame. Photo: Andrew Parker.

The result leaves Leighton four points off the top five, and with two games in hand on current fifth-placed side Cirencester, although the congested nature of the top half of the SPL Division One Central means it’s very much a free-for-all in the battle for the key places.

It needed an early pitch inspection to ensure Saturday’s game would go ahead following the widespread rain of previous days, but with the surface at Bell Close playable it was an even opening 15 minutes or so with neither side able to make any clear chances.

When the first serious opening did come, it brought the home side their first goal as Charlie Pattison found space on the edge of the penalty area, turned inside a defender who was left on the ground and finished well into the corner of the net.

Xavi Comas then had to pull off a fine save when Thame found themselves through one-on-one, Pattison’s goal ultimately enough for a half-time lead.

Chances were again few in the early stages of the second-half, Albie Hall shooting wide on 68 minutes, then almost immediately Thame equalised through Harry Alexander.

Leighton boss Gary Flinn was then sent to the stands by the referee, before Alfie Powell was denied by a fine save from United’s keeper.

But Leighton would then score twice in the last ten minutes to seal the win. First, Luke Pyman rose highest from a corner and his header was helped into the net by a defender.

Then, on 87 minutes, as Thame pushed for an equaliser, Leighton broke clear and the ball found Pattison who unselfishly squared for Hall to control and finish from a few yards out.

Leighton now prepare to hit the road again this weekend when they go to another side struggling at the bottom, Kempston Rovers.

Their opponents are nine points adrift of safety. However, last weekend they produced arguably the shock result of the season as they overcame league leaders Bedford Town 2-1 at home, the two sides set to meet again in Bedford next Tuesday night.

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