Leighton Town could regain 19th spot in the league tonight (Tuesday) with a much needed victory over bottom club North Greenford United after back-to-back defeats.
After being narrowly beaten by Kettering last Tuesday as they went down 3-2, Town were then beaten 2-0 by Barton Rovers on Saturday to leave themselves a point adrift of Beaconsfield SYCOB, albeit with a game in hand.
The defeat against runaway leaders Kettering will have filled Craig Bicknell’s men with confidence, having showed plenty of fighting spirit against a team comfortably clear at the summit.
Having ridden their luck as Kettering had two goals disallowed for offside, the home side did eventually take the lead when, four minutes before half time, Robbie Goodman was adjudged to have fouled in the box, allowing Dubi Ogbonna to coolly convert the spot kick to put the Poppies ahead.
Kettering doubled their lead in the second half after some clever work by Josh Moreman created a chance which was initially saved by Zaki Oualah but Elliot Sandy was on hand to drive the loose ball into the net from close range.
But back came Town as Danny Watson pulled one back from the penalty spot with 21 minutes remaining.
Town poured forwards in a bid to restore parity, but were caught out with two minutes to go when Andy Hall beat Oualah to make it 3-1.
Aaron Morgan’s stoppage time strike wasn’t enough for Town, though it did make for a nervous final couple of minutes for the home side.
After their promising performance, Town went into Saturday’s encounter on the up, and with news that Phil Draycott, Christian Lester and Tyrone Taylor were available for selection once more.
And their renewed vigour showed as Leighton looked in control for the opening half an hour.
Danny Watson rattled an early shot wide of the post, while Draycott tested the keeper’s resolve with a stinging effort just over the top.
Lester won Leighton a free kick just outside the box in the 17th minute, Aaron Morgan stepped up but his shot was just wide of the post as yet another chance went begging.
Town’s best chance of the half came in the 31st minute when Taylor turned provider for Lester, but he couldn’t poke it over the line.
Leighton were made to pay for their missed chances though, as Connor Vincent win the ball from the throw, turning neatly and firing home.
Things only got worse for Leighton, when Michael Lyon took down Rhys Hoenes in the box and was given a penalty.
Keating stepped up to the spot, but the kick was poor, and Oualah divided to his left pushing the ball away.
The second half saw chances dry up for the visitors as Barton looked content to take their one goal advantage all the way to the close.
A mistake by Alvin Rajaram gave Tuki Tayali space to charge freely at Oualah, luckily a fast moving Gary Ridgway managed to stick his foot in to divert the ball over the bar for a corner.
The smallest man on the pitch Morgan made a big difference when he cleared the ball off the line in the 62nd minute to stop Barton from extending their lead.
But the end was neigh when, nine minutes from time, Lester felt aggrieved after he felt he was elbowed, and clattered into Barton’s Jhai Dhillon earning him a red card and an early bath.
And Barton made their numerical advantage count as they wrapped it up.
Russell Bull charged past Murphy and Rajaram, with only Oualah left to defeat, managed to squeeze the ball just past the inside post making it 2-0 to Barton.
Tonight’s game with North Greenford United - a game which has been rearranged - kicks off at 7.45pm.