Leiston are back in the play-off groove after 3-0 win over VCD Athletic
- Credit: Archant
Leiston produced a masterclass of football in the first half of this clash to seal three easy points as they head into a crucial week.
Christy Finch (2) and Gareth Heath were the scorers for the home side who moved back into the Ryman Premier division play-off positions with a second league win at Victory Road in four days.
It was all comfortable stuff for Richard Wilkins side who showed their class against a VCD Athletic team who had shown a bit of form of late. And while Wilkins and Leiston will know it was a job well done, there are bigger tests ahead this week with trips to Bognor Regis Town (tomorrow night) and Hampton & Richmond on Saturday – both teams in the play-off positions too.
However, if Leiston show the type of form they produced in the first 45 minutes of this game, it could prove a fruitful week on the road for the north Suffolk team.
Finch opened the scoring in the ninth minute, reacting first to a gorgeous curling effort from Heath, who was in silky-smooth form all afternoon, that hit the post.
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Eleven minutes later it was two, Finch again the scorer this time heading home Billy Clark’s corner, with not a VCD defender in sight.
The home side were dominant and they scored a third five minutes before the break, that man Heath chipping a wonderful ball over VCD ‘keeper Robert Budd in the visitors’ goal, as Leon Ottley-Gooch came in at the far post to make sure the ball was rammed home – the goal was Heath’s though.
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That third goal capped a classy first-half performance from Leiston and it was damage limitation for VCD in a forgettable second period, as Leiston created but fluffed three good chances, while the visitors from Dartford were left to fire a few pot shots at home ‘keeper Alex Rossis, who had little to do throughout.
The only disappointment for Leiston, one would suspect – and certainly surprise for this scribe – was the attendance.
This is a side playing just two steps below the Conference – three below the Football League! The standard of football is high and the commitment of the players has to be the same – Leiston deserve a few more on the gate than 146.
Many towns five times the size of Leiston would be proud to have a club of this stature to support.
On Saturday, Heath and company were far too good for VCD Athletic.
The visitors giant No.9 Ricky Sapleton received little change all day from impressive Leiston centre-backs Tom Bullard and Joe Jefford.
But quite honestly finding star men in the home team was as easy as looking for trees in a forest.
After Finch’s opener for Leiston, Heath stung the visiting ‘keeper’s gloves but no-one was on hand to poke the ball home. It was soon 2-0 thanks to Finch again as Leiston piled on the misery for VCD, as Sapleton curled a free-kick narrowly over.
Heath made it three and after the break Seb Dunbar had a run down the left that saw Ottley-Gooch fire over. Finch should have grabbed his hat-trick but fluffed his lines when clean through and substitute Tom Winter’s superb through-ball to Heath saw him in on goal – but Budd saved. The points were Leiston’s before the two teams came out for the second period. It was a cool and calculated 90 minutes from Wilkins’ side.