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Kings of Anglia Issue 8 Magazine Offer

Boss Driver unhappy after Leiston surrender a two-goal lead

PUBLISHED: 14:45 26 August 2018 | UPDATED: 14:45 26 August 2018

Jake Reed celebrates giving Leiston the lead against Tamworth. Picture: PAUL VOLLER

Jake Reed celebrates giving Leiston the lead against Tamworth. Picture: PAUL VOLLER

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EvoStik Southern Premier League

Leiston 2

Tamworth 2

Leiston were held to a draw in this clash at Victory Road, in front of 329 spectators, writes John Campany.

Tamworth stopper Jas Singh is beaten by Christy Finch's penalty kick for Leiston's second goal. Picture: PAUL VOLLERTamworth stopper Jas Singh is beaten by Christy Finch's penalty kick for Leiston's second goal. Picture: PAUL VOLLER

It was the old cliché, a game of two halves, as the home side were in command at the break, but then followed it with a calamitous second half, which suggests that the newly structured division will be both tough and competitive.

Glen Driver’s side were cheered in the week with the return of Byron Lawrence who signed a two year contract having transferred from Dulwich Hamlet.

Indeed it was Lawrence’s range of passing that featured heavily in the opening 45 minutes and dictated much of the play, to which the visitors had little answer.

Chris Lait (number 11) pulls a goal back for Tamworth at Leiston. Picture: PAUL VOLLERChris Lait (number 11) pulls a goal back for Tamworth at Leiston. Picture: PAUL VOLLER

Leiston were ahead in the eighth minute when Marcus Garnham’s long clearance was headed by Matt Blake into the path of Jake Reed, who showed composure steering the ball beyond Jas Singh.

Leiston’s performance was easy on the eye, playing some intricate attractive football, and enjoying plenty of possession.

It was a sublime 50 yard diagonal ball from playmaker Lawrence to Chris Henderson in the 38th minute that culminated in Blake being tripped and Christy Finch adding the second from the spot.

Akwasi Asante watches his shot beat Marcus Garnham for the Tamworth equaliser. Picture: PAUL VOLLERAkwasi Asante watches his shot beat Marcus Garnham for the Tamworth equaliser. Picture: PAUL VOLLER

A double substitution for the visitors with the introduction of Akwasi Asante and Ryan Beswick completely changed the complexion of the game and Leiston virtually surrendered possession and transmitted anxiety to their supporters.

The visitors were in the ascendancy and Leiston struggled to regain cohesion.Tamworth’s offensive perseverance was rewarded on the hour when Chris Lait, their best player, took advantage of poor defending and drilled home from the edge of the box.

They continued to force the pace with their attacking play and with 10 minutes remaining Tyrell Waite out-paced Joe Jefford, who was making his 300th appearance, before squaring to Asante, who rifled home.

Leiston keeper Marcus Garnham gets his fingertips to Chris Lait's shot. Picture: PAUL VOLLERLeiston keeper Marcus Garnham gets his fingertips to Chris Lait's shot. Picture: PAUL VOLLER

In the closing minutes Garnham saved low down from Lait, and Reed forced a decent save from Singh following Finch’s cross, but boss Driver was very disappointed after the match.

He said: “You cannot surrender a two goal lead, particularly against the league favourites. We have to compete for 90 minutes.”

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