Leighton Town dropped back in the SSML Premier Division drop zone on Saturday after suffering a 3-0 thumping from fellow relegation candidates Holmer Green.
It meant back-to-back defeats for Scott Reynolds’ side, having lost 3-1 at home to Wembley in midweek, leaving Town in the bottom two with 14 games remaining this season.
To really rub salt into Leighton’s wounds, Holmer Green played the majority of the game with 10 men, but still found a way to punish the visitors and run out comfortable winners, lifting themselves out of the bottom two in the process.
The first half was an even affair with chances at both ends. Lewis McBridge and Ben Gallant both had efforts blocked, while Lorrel Smith shot wide of the mark as Leighton pressured.
The home side too had chances, which had Jack Sillitoe working in the Leighton net, but the game chanced on the half hour when Smith barrelled towards the area, only to be barged down by a defender and keeper combination.
Much to everyone’s surprise though, the referee sent off the Holmer Green keeper Sam Butcher, forcing skipper Gary Lines to take over between the sticks.
Leighton must have fancied their chances in the second half against 10 men but the hosts started well and took the lead in the 60th minute when they won a free kick on the right, and Ryan Tackley climbed highest to head home the opener.
Despite having an out-field player in goal, Leighton failed to really test the stand-in keeper, and were made to pay late in the day as Holmer Green made sure of the result.
First, Ben Hodges centred low from the goal-line for Matt Wooster to stretch and score his fifth goal of the campaign off the underside of the bar to make it 2-0 with five minutes remaining.
Then Eliot Derby scored from a direct free-kick 20 yards out to really rub salt into Leighton’s wounds in the final minute as the ten men secured all three points.
Town have a chance to pick themselves up tonight (Tuesday) when they entertain StMargaretsbury in another six-pointer at Bell Close before they travel to Hadley on Saturday for yet another important game.