Leighton pay the penalty against Rugby

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Leighton Town let slip their lead as they went down 2-1 to Rugby Town on Saturday.

Christian Lester gave Town a 22nd minute lead when he struck from 20 yards.

But Rugby equalised just before the break, then took the lead with 25 minutes to go, holding on to take the win.

Craig Bicknell was without two regulars for the trip to Butlin Road, but it didn’t stop the visitors from looking the better side in the opening exchanges.

Aaron Morgan missed an early chance for Leighton, but Justin Marsden should have done better for Rugby when he found himself unmarked, but completely miscued his strike, injuring himself in the process.

Rugby were made to pay for their mistake though, when Michael Lyon’s shot ricocheted off the Rugby defence before dropping to Christian Lester, whose snap-shot volley sailed into the net to put Leighton in front.

But the lead wouldn’t last until half time. Having avoided a scare when Mark Bunker almost put into his own net, Richard Blythe’s surging run and shot managed to pull Rugby level five minutes before half time.

The home side could have taken the lead within seconds of the restart when Sam Youngs hit the upright. The loose ball fell to Marsden, but Dan Green spread his body to keep the ball out.

Leighton had a great double chance to regain the lead when Watson drew a great save from Richard Morris and then Alex Gudger cleared Morgan’s follow-up off the line.

Rugby would take the lead with 25 minutes to go though courtesy of a spot kick. Lester’s late challenge sent Youngs tumbling in the box, and the striker dusted himself off to send Green the wrong way, putting Rugby 2-1 ahead.

Not willing to go down without a fight, Leighton fought desperately to try and snatch an equaliser, with Lester and Tyrone Taylor both coming close for the visitors to no avail.