PICTURES BY ANDREW PARKER
Tremendous support for Leighton Town helped top the Step 5 league crowds for the second week running when 418 fans watched their game with unbeaten leaders Harpenden.
Sadly the top-of-the-table clash spelled the first defeat of the season for Leighton in the Spartan South Midlands Premier Division, going down 2-0 to goals in the 72nd and 90th minutes after poor defending.
But after leading the table on goal difference going into the game, Town are still flying high in second place on 14 points from seven games.
Harpenden have 17 and Risborough Rangers and Hadley, in third and fourth, are also unbeaten with 13 points from five games.
Tonight’s (Tuesday) hosts Leverstock Green are fifth on 12 points from six games.
Another away game follows on Saturday, with the short trip to Tring Athletic.
Leighton were not at their best on Saturday and lost out to a good Harpenden side in very competitive game played in a great spirit – with the club’s Under 10s Youth team as very proud mascots.
The hosts started the stronger but did not create many chances, the most notable being a free-kick from 25 yards which just flashed past the post with the Harpenden‘keeper beaten. Defences dominated and the sides cancelled each other out in midfield. Town ‘keeper Connor Coulson was the busier after the break, however Leighton regained some control and really should have scored but lost composure at the final moments.
Leighton’s elevation to top spot had been helped by last Tuesday evening’s 2-0 win at home to Dunstable Town.
Leighton went ahead after nine minutes when Ashton Campbell’s defence-splitting pass found in-form striker Dave Parkinson, whose powerful shot beat the visiting ‘keeper to the delight of another 300+ crowd .
Excellent defending and a stronger second half by Dunstable prevented Leighton from adding to their lead and it stayed 1-0 until the match was drawing to close.
Then Dave Murphy popped up in the Dunstable six-yard box and calmly smashed home Town’s second following a corner.