FA Cup heartache for Leiston as three late goals see them beaten at Oxford

Byron Lawrence, who netted a late winner for Leiston against Brightlingsea Regent. Photo: JAMES BASS

Byron Lawrence, who netted a late winner for Leiston against Brightlingsea Regent. Photo: JAMES BASS - Credit: James Bass

Oxford City 4 Leiston 2

Leiston went close to grabbing a deserved replay against Oxford City on Saturday in the FA Cup, but two late goals for the home side saw them home 4-2.

Indeed the visitors from Suffolk had been leading with just 12 minutes to go, but three goals in that period, including two in injury-tim broke the Blues’ hearts.

Leiston started off the brighter side, and deservedly took the lead after just six minutes. Byron Lawrence had some space outside the penalty area and his fierce strike deflected off an Oxford City player, wrong-footing home custodian Jack Stevens and ending up in his bottom right hand corner.

Leiston had another chance just moments later when Christy Finch’s cross was blocked, which resulted in Chris Henderson firing over the crossbar.

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Ezra Forde would have the hosts’ first effort on goal but Marcus Garnham was out well to deny him. However, from the corner that followed, Joe Oastler headed in to level the scores.

Jack Ainsley headed wide from a corner, before Robert Eagle’s delivery from the left was easily gathered by Stevens.

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Another good ball by Eagle was missed by Blake, and Joe Marsden hit into the side netting.

Garnham did well to punch away a free kick and a short while later spread himself well to smoother Matt Paterson’s effort away for a corner.

The final attempt of note in the half fell to Joe Marsden, but he fired over from 25 yards.

Leiston started the second half well and had chances.

The first was from a Finch’s cross which was well cleared by Joe Oastler.

Another good chance came when Eagle set up Finch whose ball into the box was cleared to Seb Dunbar, but he vollied over.

Oxford City substitute Jack Tutton headed wide before Dave Pearce’s strike was well handled by Garnham.

With just over 20 minutes of the match remaining, Garnham had to be replaced by Harry Lay-Fulcher in the away goal due to a calf injury.

Good interlink play between Lawrence, Matt Blake and Regan Pelling ended with the latter firing at Stevens.

Leiston regained the lead in the 73rd minute when Blake got in behind the home defence to side-foot home.

But Oxford equalised for a second time when Dave Pearce slotted past Lay-Fulcher. Leiston had a shot from Lawrence that was saved, before Oxford came on strong and after Tom Bullard and Jack Ainsley did well to block shots on the edge of the area.

But Leiston could not hold on and conceded in the 93rd minute when Ezra Forde backheeled from close-range after good build up play to give them the lead. And in the final seconds of the match, Oxford capitalised on a mistake at the back and Rob Sinclair took advantage to round off proceedings to net a fourth which was harsh on the visitors.


Oxford City:- Stevens, Jones, Navarro, Fofana, Poku, Oastler, Forde, Sinclair, Paterson (Tutton 53 mins), McEachran, Pearce. Subs not used:- Khawaja, Agyakwa, Landers.

Leiston:- Garnham (Lay-Fulcher 69 mins), Ainsley, Dunbar, Marsden (Pelling 56 mins), Jefford, Bullard, Lawrence, Henderson, Blake, Finch, Eagle (Docherty 85 mins). Subs not used:- Brothers, Ford, Saker.

Attendance:- 185.

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