Biggleswade FC were at their imperious best as they came from behind at the break to storm back to the summit of the SSML Premier Division with a 4-1 victory against fellow highflyers Arlesey Town.
Lee Northfield, Alex Marsh, Ryan Inskip and Justin Leavers were all second half scorers as FC profited from Tring Athletic slipping to a surprise 2-0 home defeat to Wembley to move two points clear with two games in hand.
It was a frenetic opening between two in-form sides at Langford Road. FC enjoyed lots of possession, but they struggled to make any real impression in the final third.
The visitors hadn’t really troubled either until their talismanic forward Lorrell Smith came to life on eight minutes. A great turn saw him then using his power and pace to run at the FC defence and with no one able to get near him, he guided a lovely low finish past Tompkins and into the bottom right hand corner.
Tom Cookman and Ryan Inskip had shots well-blocked before Biggleswade carved their opponents open with their best chance of the half on 34 minutes. Northfield and Alex Marsh combined to release Cookman in behind in an inside right position. He lashed a well-struck effort across the keeper but Robbie Ponting’s outstretched leg prevented the equaliser.
In the second half FC hit a level of performance that most sides at this level would struggle to live with and were quickly level. Northfield released Alex Marsh down the left, Marsh picked out Northfield who had continued his run to the edge of the area and with defenders closing in he guided a quite brilliant finish into the top right hand corner.
The turnaround was complete on 53 minutes and it was another cracker, Northfield again conducting the orchestra with a lovely through ball to Cookman. The forward had already seen the flying Adam Hunt over his shoulder and his little flick was perfect for Hunt to deliver first time and top scorer Alex Marsh gobbled up the opportunity with a close range finish.
Midfield pairing Pat McCafferty and Lawrie Marsh were a colossal unit in the middle of the park and they thought they’d combined for a third midway through the half but were denied by an offside flag.
Another terrific run from Northfield saw his impudent attempted lob fall just the wrong side of the post. Then Northfield had a shot well-blocked following some great work from substitute Justin Leavers before Inskip tested the reflexes of Ponting once more with the follow-up.
The points clinching third finally arrived on 82 minutes. Ryan Inskip timed his run to perfection to spring the offside trap and Northfield picked him out with another dream through ball. Inskip took a touch before smashing the ball past Ponting.
It was Inskip’s turn to be provider soon after when he released Adam Hunt with another pass from the top drawer. Hunt’s first time cross left Leavers with the goal at his mercy, but somehow Ponting kept the ball out.
The big forward then expertly dispatched an opportunity ten times as difficult. Northfield breached the creaking Arlesey back line once more with a through pass to Alex Marsh. Ponting had spotted the danger and rushed from his line.
It looked like he handled it as he diverted the ball away from Marsh, but it went straight to Leavers who swept an excellent first time finish into the unguarded net.
Next up for Biggleswade FC is the Buildbase UK FA Vase last 64 tie at Tring Athletic on Saturday. Meanwhile Arlesey visit Oxhey Jets in the SSML.