Town call on fans to help them into next round

Phil Draycott
Phil Draycott
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Leighton Town need their fans to cheer them as they take on Leiston in the FA Trophy First Qualifying Round replay at Bell Close tonight (Tuesday).

Craig Bicknell’s men let slip a 2-0 lead against Leiston on Saturday as the home side forced the replay.

Goals from Phil Draycott and Tyrone Taylor had put Town 2-0 before the break, but Leiston fought back to snatch a draw late on.

And with a place in the next round at stake, vice-chairman Iain McGregor wants as many fans as possible at Bell Close to cheer on the Reds.

“Attendances haven’t been great this season,” he admitted, “but we’ll need all the help we can get to cheer the lads on, and hopefully into the next round.”

It took just 40 seconds for Draycott to fire Town into the lead.

Draycott, on hot form of late, caught Leiston keeper Danny Gay napping as his fierce shot sailed into the net, giving Leighton an early lead.

Town thought they’d doubled their lead after 15 minutes when Mark Bunker rolled the ball into the net, only to find play had been pulled back for an offside flag.

They weren’t to be denied for much longer though as Tyrone Taylor headed in Leighton’s second.

The visitors looked in total control, but hearts were in their mouths when, two minutes before the interval, Dan Green and Chris Green allowed Tom Winter in around the back, but his lob went just over the bar.

Town could have made sure of the result barely three minutes into the second half when they had a free kick cleared off the line, while Bunker’s curling effort went just wide of the upright.

Leiston were given a lifeline in the 63rd minute when Green couldn’t hold on to Conor Hubble’s free kick, parrying it as far as Scott Mitchell who fired home.

And their comeback was completed with 12 minutes to go when Gareth Heath got the all-important equaliser, forcing the tie into a replay back at Bell Close.

Leighton did have a chance late on to snatch back the lead, but Gay was a match for Draycott’s strike.

Tuesday night’s replay at Bell Close will kick off at 7.45pm. Tickets available on the door.