Leiston's cup dreams shattered

Leiston's FA Cup dreams were shattered at Fleetwood last night after the home side's two-goal second-half salvo put them through to the second round of this season's competition.

Mike Bacon

Leiston's FA Cup dreams were shattered at Fleetwood last night after the home side's two-goal second-half salvo put them through to the second round of this season's competition.

The brave north Suffolk side gave it their all but after Fleetwood striker Andy Bell superbly thumped home two minutes into the second half, Leiston were always up against it against a team three rungs higher up the non-league pyramid.

Leiston had managed to contain their more illustrious hosts in the first half and had been good value for a goalless half-time score, but when Bell struck it settled the home side's nerves and 12 minutes from time Adam Warlow sealed the tie for Fleetwood, as Leiston saw their FA Cup dreams disappear.

But still Leiston battled and Chris Sillett had a golden opportunity to pull a goal back in the final seconds but it wasn't to be and it is now Fleetwood who go into the next round where they will play Hartlepool at Highbury Stadium.

Stuart Boardley started for the visitors, although Tes Bramble was on the bench.

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More than 120 fans from Leiston had made the trip north and were in good voice in front of a large Highbury crowd.

The first shot of the game came from Fleetwood striker Bell after just three minutes and a minute later Lee McGlone got to the byline but could not produce the cross.

There was a close call for the home side after eight minutes when Blake Saker pumped a hopeful ball forward. McGlone was on to it and arrived at the edge of the area at the same time as Fleetwood keeper Danny Hurst.

Hurst just managed to kick the ball away but it was a close call with the home keeper a relieved man.

After 11 minutes Fleetwood were inches away from taking the lead. Bell slipped in behind Shane Wardley and his pull back saw Warren Beattie fire a foot over from 12 yards.

Simon Head was booked for a tough challenge on Matty Kay and from the resultant free kick, Nathan Pond rose highest but Kay's overhead kick was well wide.

Fleetwood won the first corner of the game after 18 minutes but it came to nothing with Steve Foster booked for something he said to the referee after the ball was cleared.

Hesitancy by Pond in the 24th minute almost let Judd Chenery in, but as the big number 4, who was sent off in the first leg at Leiston stretched to clear, he damaged his hamstring and had to go off with Robinson coming on.

Leiston had settled down well and the match was following a similar pattern to the first leg at Victory Road with the Suffolk side certainly not overawed by the occasion.

Leiston won their first corner in the 25th minute and after Boardley's kick was returned to him his second cross was headed over by David Head.

At the other end, Wardley cleared well as Fleetwood continued to have most of the possession, although two corners in the space of two minutes for the home side ended with Beattie firing well wide from 25 yards out.

Boardley's theatrical dive in the box didn't fool referee Collins and Fleetwood almost took the lead in the 30th minute but Foster was inches away from connecting with Bell's cross.

Leiston almost grabbed the lead in the 34th minute when a long throw by Boardley was flicked on by McGlone and David Head connected with the ball, with Hurst grabbing it under the Fleetwood bar.

Foster's shot was tame as the game became scrappy and Kieran Walmsley fired yards wide for the home side.

The first half finished with a dust up between McGlone and Kay in the centre of the park.

Both were booked and Boardley was booked a minute later after diving in on Danny Penswick from the resultant bounce ball.

Farrell Kilbane replaced Richard Mercer at the start of the second half for Fleetwood, who were now operating with two new centre halves to the ones that had started the game.

And whatever Fleetwood manager Micky Mellon said to his team at half time had the desired effect.

Straight from the off Fleetwood were at Leiston, and after 47 minutes took the lead in this FA Cup tie.

Simon Head lost possession in midfield and Jamie Milligan pumped the ball forward to Bell down the right flank.

He still had plenty to do but, seeing Jamie Stannard off his line, the Fleetwood striker hit a wonderful shot over the Leiston keeper and into the net.

It was just the start of the second half Leiston would have dreaded and a minute later Andy Bell almost did it again this time thundering a super 20 yard shot onto the bar.

Fleetwood had enjoyed more shots on target in the first five minutes of the second half than they had in all the first, as Bell thundered yet another one over the Leiston bar.

Leiston was still going and had the ball in the net in the 50th minute but it was ruled out for offside.

Luke Eagle replaced Simon Head two minutes later but the visitors final ball was letting them down despite plenty of decent approach play.

On the hour Adam Warlow replaced Foster as Fleetwood used up their final substitute.

McGlone went on a mazy run as Boardley continued to throw in from distance, but Fleetwood were dealing comfortably with all of Leiston's efforts.

On 67 minutes Hurst in the Fleetwood goal, missed Boardley's free kick, but there was no one on hand to take advantage and although Leiston won two quick corners, both came to nothing.

At 1 - 0 however, Leiston were still in the tie, and Boardley set up McGlone whose low cross was cleared for a corner. Leiston's efforts simply couldn't be faulted, they were giving their all and if they had managed to find a cutting edge to their game this tie could have been very different.

Chris Sillett replaced Brett Girling as Leiston manager Carl Chenery played his last few throws of the dice with Mark Lowe working hard for the visitors in midfield.

But in the 78th minute Fleetwood booked their place in the second round of this year's FA Cup.

Kay played a through ball to substitute Warlow and he calmly slipped the ball underneath Stannard and into the back of the net for Fleetwood's second and deciding goal.

The Fleetwood fans were in full voice now and were cheering that it was them who were going to Wembley as the majority in the 2000 crowd began singing and dancing.

Bramble came on for Chenery with seven minutes to go and his delightful through ball put Sillett in on goal with just Hurst to beat, but the Fleetwood keeper got a touch to the ball and steered it wide.

Still Leiston kept going but it wasn't to be, and the final whistle went with the Leiston players disappointed but far from disgraced.



Hurst, Walmsley, Hills, Pond, Mercer, Penswick, Kay, Milligan, Bell, Foster, Beattie,

Subs, Warlow, Leadbetter, Robinson, Potts, Dunn, Hale, Kilbane


Stannard, Girling, Wardley, D Head, Goldfinch, Lowe, Boardley, S Head, Chenery, McGlone, Saker

Subs, Button, Sillett, Trotter, Morphew, Bramble, Wagner, Eagle,

Referee: Mr J Collins

Attendance: 2010

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