Watson hat-trick seals the deal for Reds

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Leighton Town FC 4-1 AFC Hayes

With AFC Hayes winning their last four games, it was going to be a tough game for Leighton Town on Tuesday night, but they were ready to take on the challenge, writes Hannah Sellman.

A few changes had been made from Saturdays line-up, Chris Crook was dropped due to injury, Michael Lyon was back from suspension and Claude Seanla started up front.

With AFC Hayes kicking off they managed to earn themselves a corner in the first two minutes, thankfully Tyrone Taylor cleared the ball with ease.

Tables turned quickly and the ball fell to Seanla who struck the ball hard but it curled right, just past the post. An early yellow card was shown to Lee McManus who took down Michael Lyon in his own half.

Phil Draycott stepped up to take the awarded free kick, the ball found Danny Watson and he launched the ball right into the middle of the net, putting Leighton into an early lead.

Dave Murphy was shown a yellow card for pulling back one of the opposition.

It wasn’t long before AFC Hayes had some luck and equalised in the 18th minute. A free kick was cleared well by Leightons’ defence but rebounded straight back to Richard Faux-James who made it all square.

Tobi Akinjirin couldn’t control his temper and punched Alvin Rajaram in the ribs soon after the goal, but the referee was oblivious and gave nothing.

Seanla found himself in a tricky situation in the 28th minute, on his own in the corner with three AFC Hayes defenders, but he managed to find Draycott who put a brilliant cross in, finding the head of Watson and the back of the net, making it 2-1 to Leighton.

Sam Mazurek (ex-Leighton player) was caught unawares when a shot from Taylor hit the post but ricocheted straight back to AFC Hayes. An early substitution saw an injured Jake Cass replaced by Dan Bourne.

Some great defending by Gary Ridgeway prevented AFC Hayes from drawing level just before the half-time whistle. A half-time substitution saw Ridgeway make way for Dan Hart.

Eager for another goal Leighton kicked off the second half looking strong and it wasn’t long before Seanla took control of the ball and hit it just wide of the post.

Leighton were in luck with only two minutes of the second half played, Lyon flicked the ball into the back of the net from a Draycott corner, putting them 3-1 up.

A good goal kick by Dan Green saw the ball fly through the air and land at Watson’s feet, with Mazurek out of his goal Watson took a chance and lobbed the ball over his head, the ball flew straight into the goal, sending Leighton into a storming lead.

It could have been 5-1 for Leighton but a goal by Robbie Goodman was disallowed after the referee witnessed pushing in the box. A second substitution for Leighton saw Lyon make way for Ash Farmer in the 64th minute.

Play was stopped when Dave Murphy went down with an injury to his groin and was brought straight off, leaving Mark Bunker to take his place.

A series of throw-ins for AFC Hayes took place 10 minutes before the final whistle, which culminated with Akinjirin shooting at goal, but the ball just scrapped over the bar.

Christian Lester received a yellow card in the 85th minute for constantly niggling away at the opposition. A crucial save by Green in the 89th minute denied Faux-James of a goal, as the ball was pushed against the post and bounced straight back out to Leighton.

> Leightons’ next game is at home to Godalming Town on Saturday, October 11, kick off 3pm.

Leighton Town FC: Green, Rajaram, Ridgeway, Goodman, Murphy, Taylor, Lester, Lyon, Seanla, Watson, Draycott. Subs- Farmer, Durcan, Hart, Bunker, Morgan

AFC Hayes: Mazurek, Walters, Vincent, Underwood, Goode, Ecclestone, Elivi, McManus, Akinjirin, Faux-James, Cass. Subs- Bourne, King, Grant, Wallcott

Attendance: 70