Pagliaroli delivers FA Cup KO to Leighton Town

Leighton Town vs Royal Wootton Bassett
Leighton Town vs Royal Wootton Bassett

Leighton Town’s road to Wembley ended at the first hurdle when they were knocked out of the FA Cup by Royal Wootton Bassett striker Bradley Pagliaroli on Saturday.

The visitors broke the deadlock on the stroke of half time when Bradley Pagliaroli completed a great move for the only goal of the game.

A red card 20 minutes from time though for Wootton Bassett almost allowed Leighton back into the affair, but the home side could not find the equaliser and were sent packing out of the world’s most famous cup competition.

It could have been a different story though, with several decent chances going begging for the home side.

Matt Hall had two early chances saved by Bassett keeper Alex Bowers early on, first shooting over the bar before bending a free kick just wide. New signing Denilson Silva looked a real threat while on the ball but he struggled to get on the ball much in the opening half.

However, it was Bassett who broke the deadlock late into the first half. Matt Bennett knocked the ball down to Bradley Pagliaroli, who still had plenty to do. Despite pressure from Junior Muya and Captain Jamie Nicholls, Pagliaroli squeezed the ball between the two Town defenders and past Tom Wyant and gave the visitors the lead.

The second half was a gritty affair, with both sides trying to impose a physical presence on the game. Having been booked earlier in the half, Danny Lachacz was shown a second yellow card and was dismissed, rightfully, despite the protests of the Royal Wootton Bassett staff and players. With 20 minutes still on the clock, Leighton believed they could salvage something from this game and force a replay.

Alex O’Brien hit a long range effort that sailed just wide as did Lewis McBride. O’Brien then played some good intricate play before unleashing a strike at Bowers. Bowers spilled the strike and George Armstrong advanced on to the ball but the bobbling ball wouldn’t sit right and the ball went out for a goal kick.

Minutes ticked by and the Town couldn’t find a way through the visitors’ defence. Tom Bryant had an opportunity when a deep cross fell his way, but he mistimed his jump and couldn’t connect with the cross.

The final opportunity of the game fell to Lewis McBride. Tom Bryant played the ball off to the edge of the box, where McBride attacked the ball first time but the shot rocketed over the crossbar and shortly after, the referee blew for full time.