Double trouble for Bury as Hubble and Parker strike for Leiston who gain all three points in Ryman League Premier at Ram Meadow. Leiston continue their march up the table
- Credit: Archant
Leiston gained revenge for their 4-0 home drubbing at the hands of Bury Town last August, by coasting to a hard-earned victory at a chilly Ram Meadow on Tuesday night.
Conor Hubble, on loan from Colchester United, impressed all evening and it was the U’s Academy product who broke the deadlock in the 25th minute.
Bury keeper Marcus Garnham, who made several eye-catching saves on a busy evening, was unable to deal with Stuart Boardley’s corner inside a congested six-yard box, and the alert Hubble was able to poke home from a few feet out.
Eleven minutes later and Leiston doubled their lead to take a decisive grip on this Suffolk derby.
Again Bury conceded from a corner, this time Craig Parker heading home in style at the near post.
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The visitors could have added to their tally, especially before the break, but Bury improved in what was a more even second period, without ever having that cutting edge.
After their marvellous recent run of seven wins and three draws from a 10-game sequence, this was Bury’s second successive defeat, following their 3-0 reverse at promotion-chasing Wealdstone.
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Leiston, for their part, continue to go from strength to strength under manager Steve Ball.
Depleted by suspensions – both centre-halves Adam Bailey-Dennis and Tom Bullard were starting bans – and weakened by recent departures, this was always going to be a tall order for Bury.
It was fairly even for the first 20 minutes. In fact, the hosts almost broke the deadlock on 17 minutes when Billy Clark burst onto Liam Wales’ pass and crashed in a low shot that was half-blocked by keeper Danny Gay, with Blake Saker hooking the loose ball off the goal-line.
A minute later and Leiston, gradually stamping their authority on the game, registered their own first effort on target.
Colchester United loanee Jack Simmons skipped past his marker and crossed low into the danger zone, only for Parker to scuff his shot straight into the arms of Marcus Garnham.
Fellow U’s loanee Hubble had no problem with his connection, from a sweetly-struck right-footed half-volley, which Garnham did well to parry in the 21st minute.
However, four minutes later and Garnham was powerless to prevent Hubble from stabbing Leiston into the lead, from close in.
The visitors so nearly doubled their lead in the 28th minute. Defender David Head climbed high to meet a free-kick which Garnham did well to keep out.
It was becoming one-way traffic and Garnham was in the thick of the action again on 36 minutes. He arched back to claw Leon Ottley-Gooch’s goalbound header over his bar, from Boardley’s cross.
However, Leiston did score from the ensuing corner, thanks to Parker’s clinical header from a corner.
There was no respite for Bury. Both Parker and Simmons peppered the target with shots, in a crowded penalty area, before Boardley shot straight at Garnham from the rebound.
Richard Wilkins’ men almost nicked a goal back in first-half stoppage time, with Joe Whight just inches away from diverting home Danny Cunningham’s free-kick.
Into the second half and Bury exerted some early pressure, not least when Clark’s fierce shot from Anthony Roulston’s lay-off was well smothered by Gay.
Normal service was then resumed, with the red shirts of Leiston pouring forward in numbers – Hubble curled one good chance over the bar, as he searched for his second of the night. Yet Bury stuck to their task during the last half-hour, on what was certainly an improvement on their first-half showing.
They perhaps deserved a consolation goal, and Clark nearly obliged in the 86th minute with a thunderous low drive that Gay did well to cling onto. Bury were again denied in stoppage time. Gay failed to cope with a high ball into his six-yard box, but substitute Tevan Allen could not convert at the far post.
In the third and final minute of injury-time, the woodwork denied Leiston a third goal as substitute Ryan Crisp’s angled shot struck the far post.
But this was a deserved three points for the visitors.
Meanwhile Lowestoft had to come from behind to grab a point at home to Wealdstone last night at Crown Meadow.
Scott McGleish intercepted a back pass to put Wealdstone ahead after 44 minutes, before Jake Reed grabbed a second-half equaliser.
In Ryman North, Witham kept up their good form with a 2-0 win over Redbridge. Kris Newby (5) and Lee Townrow (31) gave the Spa Road side all three points. But Heybridge lost at home to Soham despite taking a Chris Bryan lead on 16 minutes.
Luke Stanley and Joey Abbs, a penalty, scored two in two minutes before the break and Chris Lindsey made it safe for Soham in the second half.
In the Red Insure Cup Felixstowe & Walton’s winning run continued at a windy Walmer Road, Kirkley, with late goals turning the match on its head after Ross King had given the Royals a 77th minute lead.
Rhys Barber levelled on 86 minutes and Alfie Matthews put the visitors in front 60 seconds later. Danny Thrower added an injury time third to see the Seasiders into their second semi-final both at the expense of their hosts on the night.
In the Essex Senior Cup semi-final, a strong Braintree side beat Hornchurch 5-4 on penalties after it was 1-1 at 90 minutes, Dan Holman getting Iron’s goal