Leighton Town returned to SSML Premier Division action in style with a consummate 4-1 victory over London Tigers.
After the highs of their extra time win over Norwich CBS in the FA Vase last weekend, it was back to the bread-and-butter of the league campaign, but Scott Reynolds’ side showed no signs of a cup hangover, with an Alex O’Brien brace and goals from Lewis McBride and Lea Coulter secured the three points.
Leighton dominated the first half, but they found Tigers keeper Ruben Da’Sila in fine form, but the breakthrough finally came on the half hour mark as O’Brien fired Leighton into the lead from the edge of the box after good work by McBride and a fine dummy by Carl Tappin.
In the final minutes of the first half a Tigers defender was adjudged to have handled the ball deliberately in the visitors penalty area and the referee pointed to the spot.
Having received a yellow card earlier in the half the defender was dismissed. Marsala took the penalty but his well struck shot was acrobatically saved by the Tigers keeper.
O’Brien, however, was the quickest to react and fired home his second goal of the game from close range, to give Leighton a significant advantage at half-time.
Any thoughts that Leighton would go on to control the game were quickly dispelled, as the visitors dominated large periods of the second half with Town lacking shape, positional discipline and pattern.
Although Smith had two good chances to further Leighton’s lead, Tigers were the team who looked most likely to score, which they did, with ten minutes to go. It was a truly splendid individual goal by the young Tigers left back, who beat four Leighton players and then curled an unstoppable shot past the helpless Wyant in the Leighton goal.
The Leighton faithful were now biting their nails; this was not a game in which Town could afford to drop any points.
In the end, as is so often the case, it was Lewis McBride that calmed the nerves, as he converted a superb run and pass by O’Brien with great precision and venom to secure the game.
The experienced Coulter on for James Hatch, wrapped up the points with an excellent strike, after latching on to another O’Brien through ball, to add gloss to the score line.
With promotion rivals Berkhamsted Town, Harpenden Town and Leverstock Green all losing, it ended up being a good afternoon for Leighton as they sit seventh in the table.
Up next for Town is a trip to Edgware Town on Wednesday night as they look to continue their winning run and climb up the SSML table.