Hat-trick hero Leon Ottley-Gooch’s premonition
HAT-TRICK hero Leon Ottley-Gooch told his team mates he would score a hat-trick prior to doing so as Leiston clinched promotion to the Ryman League Premier Division.
Ottley-Gooch struck three times in six second-half minutes as Leiston overpowered Potters Bar Town 6-0 at Victory Road on Tuesday night to win the Division One North title.
The 24-year-old midfielder, who had never previously scored a hat-trick in senior football, said: “I can’t quite believe it – I am completely lost for words.
“Before the game I was really buzzing in the changing room and I was so up for it that I said I was going to get a hat-trick!”
Ottley-Gooch admitted his first goal, when he went in for a tackle on the edge of the Potters Bar penalty area and the ball cannoned into the bottom corner of the net, was the “luckiest” he had ever scored.
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Before joining Leiston three years ago Ottley-Gooch was playing for Whitton United in Division One of the Ridgeons League, and he reflected: “It has been a sharp rise.
“If you had told me when I was at Whitton that I would be standing here talking to you now after winning promotion to the Ryman Premier, I would not have believed it.”
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Ottley-Gooch and his team mates are now looking forward to the challenge of Step 3 football next season.
“I thought we gave Bury Town a decent game in the semi-final of the Suffolk Premier Cup (Leiston lost on penalties after a 1-1 draw) and proved we can mix it with them, so hopefully next season we can push on,” he added.
Ottley-Gooch received special praise after the game from manager Mark Morsley, who said: “He was unplayable in the second half. What a player that boy could be – he is so athletic.”
Morsley also spoke of his pride in his team after seeing them claim the Ryman League Division One North title.
He said: “The team deserve this. I am so proud of them. The Ryman Premier is a good level of football and I am really pleased we will be playing in the league next season.”
Morsley said a change of formation was the key to Leiston’s second-half display which saw them swamp their visitors with four unanswered goals, including Ottley-Gooch’s quickfire hat-trick.
“I picked an attacking side, playing two up front, and although we were winning 1-0 we were in trouble as they had a lot of the ball.
“We went back to our usual system of one upfront and two wingers. The second goal was important, and we needed the half-time break to give instructions to the players.
“Our emphasis was to get our wingers in more dangerous areas of the pitch, and that made a big difference.”