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Home / News / Interview / Leighton Loving Life At The Gate

Leighton Loving Life At The Gate

Leighton Loving Life At The Gate

He’s hit the ground running since joining the club last month and centre-forward Noel Leighton was delighted to get his first ‘home’ goal – and the winner – at Hartsdown Park on Saturday afternoon.

Leighton’s first-half header was the difference in a blustery battle against play-off contenders, Merstham. Speaking after the game, Leighton expressed his delight with the day’s proceedings.

“After six games unbeaten, we strived to get another win and I was buzzing to get off the mark at Hartsdown Park but the most important thing was the three points.”

“For me, it’s the perfect result. A clean sheet and getting myself on the scoresheet and theoretically making the difference but the whole team played excellently today.”

Determination and work-rate are part and parcel of Leighton’s game, alongside a valuable ability to be in the right place at the right time, causing opposition defenders no moment’s respite.

Reflecting on his goal, Leighton was quick to praise his team-mate, George Brown for manufacturing a golden opportunity:

“I didn’t really have too much to do, I just had to get myself in the area and George put in a very good ball. I didn’t really need to aim it, it was just the perfect ball, so all credit to George. “

The victory extends Margate’s unbeaten run to seven games, as Leighton admits he and his team-mates want to maximise the momentum and keep it going until the end of the campaign.

“The mood in the dressing room is great, everyone is buzzing. When everyone is in high spirits it just makes you want to do even better. Everyone is putting in the work to keep going on this unbeaten run and hopefully make it eight, nine, ten and so on.”

“Looking at our fixtures and how we’ve been playing as a team, I think we can keep this going for the rest of the season, I don’t see why not.” 

“Personally, I’m aiming to get to ten goals. I know there’s only seven games left but with the players and deliveries we’ve got, I think that’s achievable. So that is a personal goal and to keep the unbeaten run going until the end of the season.”

Leighton joined Margate from National League side Dagenham and Redbridge and whilst discussing the move, it is clear Leighton is thriving from the change in scene.

“It has been a very positive move for me which was dictated by the great manager we have here. It was an easy decision for me to come in and play more football.”

“I’m loving my time here with the supporters, players, staff who have all been excellent. I certainly don’t regret any decisions and I just want to carry on the good experience.”

Looking ahead to Saturday’s trip to Burgess Hill, Leighton believes Margate’s recent resurgence in form should foster confidence against any Bostik League Premier outfit.

“I know Burgess Hill aren’t as high up as Merstham and other teams we’ve played recently but with the quality we know we have, I don’t think there is any team in the League who we can’t match.”

“With everyone in such high spirits, we go into every game – not focused solely on our opponents and what they can do - but focusing on ourselves knowing if we perform at our very best, we can come out on top.”

Leighton added,

“The team spirit, based on results, has been great but even before that the changing room is a good place to be and you want to be involved and be in that changing room. Since I come in, all the lads have been excellent and it has pushed on from there.” 

Tuesday, 19 March 2019
By Charlotte Richardson

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