Murphy sees red in Town's FA Cup exit

FA Cup
FA Cup

Leighton Town’s FA Cup adventure came to an end on Saturday as they went down 2-0 to Lowestoft Town, playing most of the game with 10 men.

Dave Murphy was booked twice in four first half minutes, earning himself an early bath with five minutes to go before the break.

And Lowestoft took full advantage in the second period, scoring twice to dump Town out of the competition at the First Qualifying Round.

The home side ply their trade two divisions higher than Leighton do, but it was the visitors who made the brighter start. Leigh Stevens had an early sighter from the edge of the box, but he pulled it wide.

Then came a big chance for Town to open the scoring. Brad Kirkwood’s long drop-kick, was carried by swirling winds at Crown Meadow and went all the way through to Archie McClelland, who got up and headed it over the keeper only to see it agonisingly land on the roof of the net.

Two minutes later, Brian Foulger headed Tom Silford’s free-kick back across goal, into the path of Webb, who headed straight at the goalkeeper.

The game then began to even out, with both sides pressing on to try and open the scoring, with Malachi Lynton twice coming close for the hosts.

His first strike grazed the side netting before he broke through the Town defences, fired under Kirkwood but saw his strike hit the post before being hooked away.

But with nine minutes to go before Murphy picked up his first booking after a late challenge.

The worst was yet to come though when, five minutes later, the skipper made another dangerous challenge, earning him a red card.

Town managed to reach half time and reshuffled at the interval, but just five minutes after the restart, Lowestoft took the lead.

A free-flowing passing move cut Town open and Lynton tucked the ball into the net from just a few yards out. Lowestoft had another opportunity, this time from an in-swinging free-kick, but it was headed over by Lopez.

Town then had a massive chance to pull themselves level. McClelland was his usual work-horse self and he was rewarded with his running when he dispossessed the Lowestoft centre back. He charged in on goal with one defender in front of him and shot but it was saved by the keeper.

The home side continued to force the issue though, and with Kirkwood making two top saves to keep the deficit at one.

But with 14 minutes to go, Lowestoft booked their spot in the next round with a second strike. Travis Cole met a long free-kick at the far post and he powered it home with his head to give the Trawlerboys an unassailable lead.

With their FA Cup adventure over, Town now concentrate on the FA Vase next Sunday against Long Crendon.