Saturday is quarter-final day for Leighton Town in the FA Vase
Home tie against Walsall Wood will again be livestreamed for fans
PICTURES BY ANDREW PARKER
Leighton Town have reached the quarter-finals of the Buildbase FA Vase for the third time in four seasons and will welcome Walsall Wood to Bell Close on Saturday.
But Town left it rather late to secure their place in the last eight, needing an 88th-minute winner from Archie McClelland.
Against Cobham FC in Surrey, a great ball in from Joe Fitzgerald teed up Ashton Campbell, who delivered an exceptional cross to the far post and found McClelland in space to head home.
But the game was far from over and the sides then played out 13 minutes of stoppage time following several injuries, but Leighton stayed on top to win 1-0.
Leighton had limited Cobham’s chances and the two sides cancelled each other out before they managed to find an opening to net that one crucial strike.
“It was a really good day, really enjoyable,” said joint-manager Joe Sweeney.
“ It was the perfect setting, Cobham is a lovely area and the pitch was beautiful.
“It’s just a shame our brilliant supporters weren’t there. But we are hoping we can repay their support with a trip to Wembley.
“By the time the final is played a crowd of 20,000 will be allowed in – so everyone can enjoy the big game to end the season.”
First Town will need to beat Walsall Wood – who won their fifth-round game 5-4 on penalties after drawing 0-0 with Anstey Nomads – if they are to reach the semi-finals.
Whoever is victorious at the weekend will then travel to either Warrington Rylands or Hebburn Town in the semi-final on Wednesday, May 12 (7.45pm).
Unlike previous years, the last-four stage will only be played as a single match, rather than two legs, home and away.
“Everyone’s feeling really positive,” Sweeney added.
“The games are every week this year, normally there’s a gap between rounds to give us time to scout and plan.
“Walsall Wood are a really strong side, managed by an ex-professional Darren Byfield so we can expect a really tough test, but at this stage of the competition it’s always going to be.
“Just two games now and then the Wembley dream is a reality.”
Saturday’s tie will again be live streamed for fans to watch.