Leighton Town celebrating their Bedfordshire Senior Cup victory on Tuesday evening Picture www.simongillphotography.com

Pictures - Manager reflects on Leighton Town's Beds Senior Cup victory

Winning the Bedfordshire Senior Cup is a night that will live long in the memory for everyone at Leighton Town, says manager Lee Bircham.

By Zoe Ashton
Thursday, 28th April 2022, 9:39 pm

After just six games in charge he guided the club to their first silverware since 2003 – beating Bedford Town 5-3 on penalties at Luton Town’s Kenilworth Road ground.

The underdogs’ spot-kick success came after the agony of the Southern League Division One Central champions equalising in the 97th minute.

"The boys were brilliant on the night,” said Bircham.

“I’d had to leave some lads out and picked the biggest side I could as Bedford are very physical. But we competed against them and out-Bedforded Bedford!

"It looked like we’d got it completely wrong when we went a goal down in five minutes, but we rallied round and came back phenomenally well.”

Luke Pyman quickly levelled for the Spartan South Midlands Premier Division side and Duncan Culley made it 2-1 after 20 minutes.

Bedford went down to ten men just before half time, but Bircham feels that didn’t really change the game.

"I don’t know how there was seven minutes of added time but how Bedford celebrated their equaliser showed they wanted the league and cup double as much as we wanted our first trophy in 20 years.

“All credit to the lads. From being seconds away from victory, to pick themselves up and score all five penalties takes some doing.

"I’m so pleased we didn’t disappoint all those who had travelled,” added the delighted boss.

"Most people had it as a given that Bedford would win. Going into the last ten minutes the lads could hardly move their legs, they’d given everything, but it was a really great evening. The boys loved it! It’s one of those nights that lives long in the memory.”

It didn’t start in such fine style though, as their coach couldn’t get close to the stadium and had to drop them in the town.

"We had to walk from the high street, all the way to the ground!” he explained.

“A 25 minute walk with all our gear and kit! It wasn’t how we expected to turn up, but in a way it was good as it took the edge off the occasion.

"Arriving with players carrying the bibs and the bag of balls reminded us that we are proper non-league!”

The underdogs’ spot-kick success came after the agony of the Southern League Division One Central champions equalising in the 97th minute.

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