Leiston 2 Dulwich Hamlet 2 match report - Joe Jefford rescues a point late for Leiston
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Bostik Premier Leiston 2 Dulwich Hamlet 2 It took a dramatic 90th minute equaliser for Leiston to salvage a point from the much fancied Dulwich Hamlet side in this Bostik Premier Division clash at Victory Road, writes John Campany.
In front of 341 spectators Glen Driver’s side roared back from a 2-0 deficit to remain unbeaten. It was a pulsating game with ‘The Hamlet’ playing some scintillating football in the opening half, but saw Leiston display their character after the break to storm back to grab a vital point.
The visitors started strongly with Ashley Carew and Richie Hayles heading just wide and Joe Jefford denying Dumebi Dumaka with a timely tackle.
Maintaining their early pressure Nyren Clunis raced down the left and crossed to Nathan Ferguson who went close.
The visitors then went in front on 18 minutes. A superb cross from Sanchez Ming picked out Clunis who brilliantly controlled the ball before turning and driving past Marcus Garnham.
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Hamlet continued to press, playing good quality football as the home defence soaked up considerable pressure.
Little was seen of the home attack against a well organised defence although Matt Blake had a shot charged down and Joe Marsden fired wide.
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On 38 minutes the visitors moved into a 2–0 lead. A superb flowing movement started with Dumaka playing in Ferguson who then released Frazer Shaw whose cross was driven home by Sanchez Ming. However, against the run of play Leiston pulled a goal back two minutes later.
Byron Lawrence sent a thunderous effort beyond keeper Preston Edwards that struck the foot of the post and rebounded into the path of Christy Finch who prodded home from close in.
Moments later Edwards made a terrific save from Lawrence’s drilled free kick to maintain their advantage.
Leiston had more possession and composure as they fought back but the strong visiting defence featuring Mark Weatherstone and Frazer Shaw were resilient.
Hamlet should have made the game safe but a brilliant crucial double save from Marcus Garnham foiled both Clunis and Muhammadu Faal to set up a grandstand finish.
Blake, Regan Pelling and Sam Ford all had powerful shots blocked but in added time skipper Joe Jefford rose majestically to powerfully head home Rob Eagle’s corner to deservedly take an all important point.
Leiston’s assistant manager, the genial Tony Kinsella, admitted that “Dulwich played good football and together with Billericay Town will be thereabouts challenging in May.”
He continued: “We started playing football too late, replicating the same result achieved at Margate last week with a late equaliser.”
In an honest assessment he added: “We must be better as a unit to stop the delivery into the box and become more solid and ruthless with and without the ball.
“It is essential to defend the ball better around the penalty area and not to concede soft goals.”
He added: “We have got to learn to do the ugly side of the game closing down and winning the ball back quickly.”
Nevertheless Kinsella, together with boss Glen Driver, was full of praise of their side who are now in fifth place, remaining unbeaten in an extremely competitive Premier Division.
They anticipate another tough game in tomorrow afternoon’s derby clash at Lowestoft.