New signing Harvey on target as Leiston earn vital point
- Credit: Archant
Leiston 1 Barwell 1
Leiston's bid to survive relegation enjoyed another boost with a home draw against Barwell on Saturday.
Before kick-off, a minute's silence was held for BBC Radio Suffolk's Simon Warr, who sadly died in the early hours of Saturday morning.
There were 217 in attendance at Victory Road to see the visitors from Leicestershire try to secure a double over their Suffolk rivals.
But there has been a change in fortune at Leiston since the return of manager Glen Driver, with just three defeats from their last 13, and a further step to safety was achieved with a hard-earned point that stretches the cushion from St Ives Town, their nearest rivals in the drop zone, to seven points.
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Saturday was not a classic, but nonetheless it was an energetic display from the hosts which showed their fighting qualities against a decent mid-table side who had won their last three encounters against Leiston.
Driver introduced his two latest signings, Tyler Christian-Law from Braintree and Robert Harvey, formerly with Coggeshall Town.
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Harvey almost made the perfect start for his new club with a blistering volley in the first minute, but Max Bramley tipped it over. Moment later skipper Byron Lawrence produced a stunning volley that went narrowly over.
There was little between the sides, but Barwell should have gone in front on 32 minutes. Ross Oulton crossed to the unmarked Omotolani Omotola, who contrived to miss his attempted shot from four yards out.
However, two minutes later the visitors did break the deadlock when another cross eluded defenders, enabling Kal Williams to drive home from 10 yards.
Leiston showed their character and equalised four minutes later. Kyle Hammond made progress down the right flank before crossing to the near post where debutant Harvey went flying in to convert from close in.
The second half was fiercely competitive. The Canaries tested Leiston's resolve, with man-of-the-match' Jake Hutchings showing coolness under pressure.
In the third minute of added time, Leiston survived a near miss when Oulton struck the bar from two yards out, but the home side deserved their vital point.