Leiston beat Needham Market to improve play-off chances
- Credit: James Bass
Leiston 2 Needham Market 0
Leiston put in an excellent performance to beat a hard-working Needham Market side 2-0 at Victory Road tonight, to gain three more valuable points in the exciting race for the play-offs.
The home side dominated throughout the encounter and took the lead after just four minutes. Seb Dunbar’s run down the left ended with a cross that was hooked home by Jake Reed at the back post.
Man-of-the-match Byron Lawrence shot just wide of Danny Gay’s left-hand post, and a couple of more opportunities also went begging, before Leiston doubled their lead.
Tom Bullard’s long pass found Matt Blake, who set up Patrick Brothers to smash into the net from 25 yards out via Gay’s left-hand post.
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The Blues nearly added to their tally late in the first half, but Kyle Hammond shot just over the crossbar and Reed couldn’t prod home from Christy Finch’s delivery from the right.
At the beginning of the second period, Reed volleyed wide as Leiston continued to dictate.
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Reed was put in the clear but Gay blocked well, and Finch put the rebound over the bar.
Dominic Docherty headed over from close range, from Seb Dunbar’s cross, and the latter set up Finch moments later, but he was thwarted by the impressive Gay in the away goal.
Joe Jefford had a shot blocked on the line, while Lawrence’s rifled strike was stabbed inches wide by Kyle Hammond.
Gay made a fine save, denying Finch from a header as Leiston comfortably saw the game out.
The win keeps them fifth in the table, and leaves them behind Hendon on goal difference.
Fourth-placed Hendon are away at seventh-placed Leatherhead in another key game tomorrow evening. Leatherhead are three points behind Leiston.
LEISTON: Garnham, Hammond, Dunbar, Ainsley (sub Docherty 48 mins), Jefford, Bullard (sub Marsden, 79), Lawrence, Blake (sub Mills, 87), Reed, Finch, Brothers. Unused subs: Eagle, Beckwith.
NEEDHAM MARKET: Gay, Dye, Sturgess, Kamanzi (sub Turner, 90+3), Morphew, Nunn, Ingram (sub Rose, 90+5), Heath, Griffiths, Edge, Gibbs (sub Exworth, 80). Unused subs Carragher, Munson.