Padbury United 3
Padbury maintained their lead at the top of the South Midlands Division Two with a workmanlike win at lowly Caddington.
The poor surface got worse as the game progressed and it was to be a leveller as Padbury found it difficult to shrug off their dogged opponents.
It all started so differently as the visitors knocked the early ball about with some confidence and took the lead on three minutes when Michael McKenzie slotted home after seeing his first effort blocked.
Caddington scored with their first attack - a long ball from defence found Dan Fleming who outran a slow Padbury defence, caught square, to fire home an equaliser on 12 minutes.
This shocked Padbury who laid siege to the home goal and only bad luck and fine goalkeeping kept Caddington level. Dominic Lawless saw his shot hit both posts before the keeper recovered and McKenzie saw his point blank header tipped onto and over the bar. Lee White also suffered as his effort hit a post.
The second half should have seen Padbury take control but they played more hesitantly as if concerned about the mud and conditions.
A further surprise came after 55 minutes when Caddington took the lead after some heavy Padbury pressure. A soft goal from a corner saw Taylor Barnes poking home with all the Padbury players in shock as the ball trickled over the line.
Padbury then pushed forward relentlessly. McKenzie hit the bar with a blistering shot and the home keeper pulled off two amazing point blank saves from Lee White and Tyrone Taylor.
Padbury were not to be denied and equalised on 60 minutes when Danny Hart was tripped in the penalty area and Dominic Lawless shot home.
More relentless but now direct pressure was exerted and with just three minutes remaining Lawless brought a high ball down on the edge of the box to shoot home a magnificent goal in the top right hand corner to seal victory.
Relieved Padbury boss Crag Bicknell said:“We have to cope with difficult conditions against teams who work very hard against us, but our character showed again as we came back from 2-1 down.”