Runaway leaders edge out valiant Mursley

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Mursley United put up a spirited fight but ultimately succumbed to defeat by the odd goal in five against runaway South Midlands League Division Two leaders Hale Leys United at the weekend.

The visitors, who have only dropped two points all season, made an ominous start and led after just two minutes through Steve Garbutt’s glancing header that eluded stand-in keeper Tom Sloan in the home goal.

Mursley responded impressively, however, with Robin Tucher powerfully heading home a James Wardell corner before Sloan made an excellent double save to keep the scores level.

The hosts had to soak up plenty of Hale pressure and the visitors soon restored their lead when Sean Coles burst through and flicked the ball past the onrushing Sloan, but again Mursley came fighting back with Tom Robinson stabbing in the loose ball to send the sides in on level terms at half-time.

The second period was an even affair with Tom Kennard breaking away and rolling the ball just wide for Mursley before Hale netted what proved to be the winner when Nathan Graham was fouled by Charlie Attwell in the penalty area and Tom Brindley stepped up to despatch the resulting spot-kick.

Despite some late pressure from the hosts, the leaders held on for their 20th victory from 21 games this season, with the defeat keeping Mursley in 10th.

This weekend, Mursley United welcome Willen to The Playing Field. Kick-off is 2pm.