Thame force Leighton Town into FA Cup replay


Leighton Town blew a 2-0 lead against Thame United on Saturday and will need a replay to continue their FA Cup adventure this season.

Town looked in total control in the opening period, racing into a 2-0 lead, thanks to goals from Ashton Campbell and Aaron Murrell.

Thame pulled one back before half time,through Andy Gledhill and then levelled in the second period before Danny Webb thought he had done enough late on.

But Gledhill’s hat-trick strike forced a replay at Bell Close on Tuesday September 3.

It was a very bright start from Town, who nearly netted early, but Tom Bryant curled just the wrong side of the post.

Leighton opened the scoring after 17 minutes. Campbell was slipped through on goal and after beating the back line for pace, he composed himself and fired home.

Murrell doubled the advantage 11 minutes before the break, turning on the edge of the penalty area to fire into the bottom corner.

Andy Gledhill pulled one back almost immediately for Thame with his first of the afternoon. With the wind in their sails, Thame rallied before the break and could have been back on level terms but for Leighton keeper Renell McKenzie-Lyle.

The keeper was called into action twice, first saving at the feet of a Thame striker, before then making a fine stop from a long-range effort as they sought an equaliser.

The half time whistle helped Town out as the start of the second half saw a shift in momentum again, but the home side headed onto the roof of the net in the closest chance.

But while Webb should have made it 3-1 at one end, denied by a vital block from the Thame defence, the home side then countered to draw level as Gledhill tapped in at the far post on 65 minutes.

Substitute Archie McClelland saw a great effort denied by the Thame keeper, but Town’s efforts were eventually rewarded when, 12 minutes from time, Webb managed to fire in their third.

Out-pacing the defender, Webb burst into the box to fire home what Town thought was going to be the winner.

But as they had done earlier in the game, Leighton conceded immediately as Gledhill completed his hat-trick and Thame forced a replay.Another deep cross in the penalty area was not dealt with by the Leighton defence, and Gledhill was on hand to fire in his third of the afternoon, forcing the replay.

First though, Town are in FA Vase action on Saturday against Bugbrooke at Bell Close - kick off at 3pm.