After drawing 3-3 at home in the FA Trophy on Saturday, Leighton made the awkward trip to King George’s Field to face their Corinthian Casuals again, writes Hannah Selman.
With only 15 minutes before kick off Leighton only had a 10 man squad, as many of them had got caught in the horrendous M25 traffic, but thankfully when the time came to kick off they’d arrived.
The Casuals kicked off and immediately Mahrez Bettache took a punt at goal but was well off target. An early free kick for Leighton saw Danny Watson test the Casuals defence but they cleared their lines well.
Phil Draycott took a shot from 40 yards out to see how Danny Brackens’ reacted but he remained composed and gathered the ball.
12 minutes gone and Dave Hodges made an almighty run from one end of the pitch to the other, eventually crossing the ball into the box, the ball bobbled straight across the goal to Bettache who missed.
Leighton were certainly not afraid to shoot, this time it was Michael Lyon who tested the water with a shot from the halfway line that sent Bracken high into the air as he pushed the ball out for a corner.
With Leighton looking like they had the upper hand, it was a surprise when a good kick by Bracken, in the 15th minute found Reece Placid, who launched the ball towards the goal and it deflected in off Gary Ridgway, sending the Casuals into a 1-0 lead.
A chance from Christian Lester to draw level came in the 30th minute when a good ball by Tyrone Taylor found his feet and he just scraped over the bar.
A dodgy kick by Bracken saw Draycott take his chances and have a go at goal, but Bracken was quick to recover and managed to block the shot with his foot.
With 40 minutes gone Leighton were still looking for that all important equaliser and it wasn’t long before Lyon played a fabulous ball in for Draycott, he skirted round the Casuals’ defence and curved the ball just under the bar, taking the half-time score to 1-1.
No changes at half-time were made for either side and the Casuals came out looking for an early second half goal. Some good play by Steve Goddard and Hodges saw Dan Green have to make his first real save of the game.
53 minutes played and Bracken made yet another mistake with his kick. Draycott was there to reach the ball and passed it to Watson who, went one-on-one with Bracken and beat him, slotting the ball into the net, sending Leighton into a 2-1 lead.
Leighton made their first substitution in the 62nd minute bringing off Robbie Goodman for Dave Murphy.
With a free kick for Leighton, Murphys’ first touch of the ball nearly put Leighton 3-1 up, but Bracken was there to catch it. A slightly injured Ridgway made way for Ash Farmer in the 71st minute.
Farmers’ first touch was a brilliant one, he composed himself and pounded the ball at Bracken, the ball bounced back to the feet of Watson and he certainly delivered, earning himself a brace and a scoreline of 3-1 to Leighton.
An excellent save by Green in the 80th minute denied Jamie Byatt of a goal for the Casuals.
A silly foul committed by Lester earned the Casuals a free kick but thankfully Byatt could only send the ball flying over the bar, summing up the night for the opposition.
To make matters worse Byatt then received a yellow card when he collided with Green and Chris Crook in the box.
The final whistle blew and Leighton won 3-1, sending them into the next round of the FA Trophy, which is away to Leiston FC on Saturday, November 1, kick off 3pm.
Leightons’ next game is away to Potters Bar Town FC on Saturday, October 25, kick-off 3pm.
Corinthian Casuals FC: Bracken, Bowra, Welch-Turner, Hall, Hicks, Turley, Placid, Bettache, Byatt, Goddard, Hodges. Subs- Wilson-Denis, Bamoussa, Defoe, Vidal
Leighton Town FC: Green, Rajaram, Ridgway, Bunker, Crook, Goodman, Lyon, Lester, Taylor, Watson, Draycott. Subs- Farmer, Murphy, Halai.