Leighton Town gave a real fright to SSML Premier Division leaders Tring Athletic, but ultimately came out on the losing side of a 3-2 thriller at Bell Close on Saturday.
Town pegged back the leaders in the first half after they took the lead, and made sure it was an uncomfortable finale as Ross Adams added his second of the game late on, meaning Tring had no opportunity to rest on their laurels.
The result leaves Town clinging on to the top half of the table, though Crawley Green’s 2-2 draw with Wembley mean they are level on points.
While Hadley had a week off, Tring knew a win would see them go clear at the top of the table, and it took them just 10 minutes to take the lead at Bell Close.
Ashton Campbell raced on to a through ball that Charlie Jones didn’t quite come for. Campbell rounded Jones, and finished with ease from a tight angle to put the visitors in front.
It looked only a matter of time until Tring were going to snatch another. Campbell was denied by a superb tackle from Kyle Davison-Gordon and the Tring talisman then fired over from close range on the 20 minute mark.
Town’s first real opportunity of the game came through Tom Silford. His effort was saved well by the goalkeeper from inside the area.
Lee Stobbs was next to try his luck for Athletic and he let fly from the right hand side of the area, but could only find the side netting.
And they were made to pay when Town got themselves back on level terms. A long throw in was flicked on and helped by the wind and Ross Adams met it inside the six yard box and bundled it home to get Town back on level terms.
Parity did not last long though as Tring were soon back in front. Ashton Campbell met a looping cross first time on the edge of the six yard box and rifled it home to put his side a goal to the good.
It wasn’t the start to the second half managers Sweeney and Copson would’ve wanted from their team as Tring extended their lead on 50 minutes. George Ironton’s long range drive took a wicked deflection which deceived Jones and went into the back of the net.
However, that didn’t dampen Town’s spirits and they pushed on to try and get themselves back in the tie. Matt Hall whipped in a great ball to the far post from a free kick but no one could get on the end of it.
On 69 minutes, Town won a penalty. Ross Adams was brought down inside the area with a needless sliding tackle. The referee had no option but to point to the spot. Jordan Fredericks stepped up and slotted it coolly into the back of the net.
It meant a nervous final 20 minutes for both sides, as Tring sought the win and Town sought a valuable point. However, neither side were creating many opportunities as the game entered its final exchanges.
However, the league leaders were looking to hang on to a vital three points and were doing everything they could to slow the game down.