​Tough tests for Leighton result in a win and a defeat

​A win and a defeat have got Leighton Town’s pre-season off and running as they began life under new boss Gary Flinn in earnest.
Gary Flinn says he's learned plenty from the opening friendly games.Gary Flinn says he's learned plenty from the opening friendly games.
Gary Flinn says he's learned plenty from the opening friendly games.

​The Reds were 4-1 winners over Hitchin Town on Thursday night thanks to an Albie Hall hat-trick and Jake Watkinson’s goal.

They were then beaten 3-2 at AFC Rushden & Diamonds on Saturday, the hosts starting strongest in a downpour with Ethan Johnston putting them in front on 11 minutes.

Hall’s smart flick levelled on the hour mark, before John Dean put Rushden ahead and then Will Jones made it 3-1.

Substitute Josh Hatton reduced the arrears in the final 15 minutes with a cross which floated into the net, but the home side weathered the changing forecast and saw out the pre-season encounter at Hayden Road.

Speaking after the Rushden game, boss Flinn felt the encounter was a learning curve for his players as they continue to build their fitness.

He said: "We’ll learn a lot from it. Getting away from the result, the rain was torrential and the wind was bad but these are things you have to adapt to throughout the season because that will come around again.

"So it took a bit of getting used to and when we were up against the wind we didn’t play as well, but overall we learned a lot that will help us through the season.

"We’ve been trying to get a good togetherness about us from the start and that’s slowly coming, and hopefully performances will improve with that.”

Leighton are due to be in action again on Tuesday night (18th) when SPL Premier South side Chesham United are the visitors to Bell Close.

Flinn said: "We had a plan for the three games in six days so we’ll be altering things again – starting with different players and finishing with different players – just to see what good elements we’ve got about us and which are the bad bits we need to improve on.

"It’ll be a very tough game for us, as they’ve all been in different ways, but hopefully there will be a good organisation, shape and discipline about us.”

Following the Chesham game, Leighton have a free Saturday as at the time of going to press another friendly hadn’t been arranged to replace the cancelled Harborough Town fixture. Leighton will then go to MK Irish next Tuesday night.

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