Hadleigh bow out of FA Vase despite taking the lead at Leighton
- Credit: Archant
Leighton Town 2 Hadleigh United 1
Hadleigh United failed to take advantage of scoring the first goal as they bowed out of the FA Vase, at the first round proper stage, at the hands of Leighton Town this afternoon.
Kyle Cassell broke the deadlock for the Brettsiders in the 26th minute, against a Leighton side who had not won a league match all season, with just one point taken from eight fixtures in the Spartan South Midlands Premier Division.
But man-of-the-match Danny Webb bagged a brace for the hosts, diverting home a 29th minute corner and then dispatching a 39th minute penalty, which proved to be the match winner.
So an afternoon which began with such promise, for the Suffolk visitors, ended in disappointment.
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Hadleigh had begun in promising fashion, fresh from back-to-back victories over Woodbridge Town (in the league) and AFC Sudbury (penalty shoot-out success in the Suffolk Premier Cup).
Reece Dobson ballooned an early free-kick over the bar, while defender Kris Rose had a goal ruled out in the 11th minute. Rose stooped to head home Cassell's delivery, but his celebrations were cut short by an assistant referee's flag for offside.
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The Brettsiders also earned a succession of corners, all taken by Cassell, and most of them cleared by tall centre-half Michael Donkor.
Home keeper, Brad Kirkwood, did well to palm away a stinging drive by danger-man Cassell in the 13th minute, but he was powerless to prevent Cassell from breaking the deadlock on 26 minutes.
Kye Rue was clearly fouled just outside the penalty area, in a central position, but the referee waved play on, so enabling an unmarked Cassell to plant a low short into an unguarded net from 12 yards out.
However, having got their noses in front, Hadleigh allowed their hosts to dictate for the rest of the first half, and found themselves trailing 2-1 at the break.
Leighton equalised just three minutes after Cassell's opener, with Webb diverting home a corner from point blank range. That was an all-to-easy finish.
Webb nearly converted from close-in again, shortly afterwards, as the visitors were forced on to the back foot, and it was Webb again who blasted a 20-yarder only a foot over the top in the 35th minute.
Leighton took the lead in the 39th minute, from the penalty spot, after James Ross had brought down Archie McClelland just inside the box. Webb made no mistake with the penalty, so chalking up his second goal of the game.
Hadleigh almost equalised, three minutes before half-time, with both Rue and Cassell having shots blocked in front of goal.
Hadleigh's goal led a charmed life during the early stages of the second half, Nick Punter blocking Webb's angled drive, while at the other end, on a rare attack, Joel Glover lifted a shot-on-the-turn over the bar.
Cassell, who was comfortably Hadleigh's best player, threatened with a ferocious low drive on 65 minutes, which Kirkwood was at full stretch to divert around his near post.
Substitute Brett Crisp warmed Kirwood's hands with a long-range effort in the 84th minute, but otherwise Christian Appleford's men rarely looked like forcing a replay.
LEIGHTON TOWN; Kirkwood, Osborne, Silford, Murphy, Donkor, Bryant, Towell, Fredricks, Campbell, Webb, McClelland. Unused subs: Morrell, Leslie, Barker, Condon, Butawo.
HADLEIGH UNITED: Punter, Ferguson, Ross, Lambert (sub Yaxley, 71), Rose, Howlett (sub Hayes, 82), Cassell, Rue, Glover, Dobson, Andrews (sub Crisp, 82). Unused subs: Appleford, Lawrence.
Elsewhere in the FA Vase, WOODBRIDGE TOWN won 3-1 away at Tring Athletic.
Kelsey Trotter gave the Woodpeckers the lead, and although Tony Fletcher equalised for the home side, Carlos Edwards converted a penalty to put the Suffolk side 2-1 up at half-time.
Alfie Strong saved a second-half penalty to preserve Woodbridge's lead, and a third was added late on to ensure passage through to the second round.
WHITTON UNITED lost 3-1 at home to Long Buckby, but FC CLACTON won 2-0 at Risborough Rangers and MILDENHALL TOWN defeated Crawley Green 4-1 at Recreation Way.
Matt Green scored a brace in the first half, with Jack Braeme (47) and Luke Butcher (72) adding goals in the second half for Ricky Cornish's men.
Meanwhile, in the FA Trophy, AFC SUDBURY came from a goal down to win 4-1 at VCD Athletic in a preliminary round tie.
Jack Steventon scored early on for the hosts, on four minutes, but Adam Bailey-Dennis (36) and Joe Whight (45) gave the Suffolk side a 2-1 lead at half-time.
Tom Maycock stretched that lead, via 59th minute penalty, before Sean Marks added a late fourth in the 87th minute.
But BURY TOWN were beaten 3-0 at Soham Town Rangers in the same stage of the competition.
Bury had the better of the first half, but found themselves trailing to Tom Newman's 11th minute opener. Sam Mulready (53) and Callum Russell (83) netted in the second half for the Cambridgeshire hosts.