Leiston end positive season in defeat

Tom Winter. Picture: James Ager

Tom Winter. Picture: James Ager - Credit: James Ager

Ryman League round-up

Premier Division

Hendon 2

Leiston 1

Leiston ended their season with a defeat, but ended another successful season with a top-ten finish, finishing ninth for the second successive season.

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It looked as though Richard Wilkins’ side would end with a win when Tom Winter fired home into the roof of the net after just two minutes, his second goal in successive games.

Hendon ‘keeper Brandan Hazlett then made a fine stop to deny Conor Hubble as Leiston made all the early running.

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Hendon, guaranteed a runners-up position, drew level 14 minutes into the second half when Kezie Ibe curled a fine shot beyond Danny Gay.

The front pairing of Ibe and Leon Smith for the hosts continued to be a threat, and it was Smith who gave Hendon the lead 13 minutes from time.

Leiston searched for a deserved equaliser, but were out of luck twice late in the game as first Brandan Hazlett denied Hubble again with a great save, and then a Stuart Boardley free-kick smacked against the inside of the post and away to safety.

Elsewhere, Bury Town, already relegated, ended their season with a 2-0 defeat to Lewes.

Enfield Town 2

Witham Town 0

Witham Town ended their season with a 2-0 defeat at an Enfield side, who finished the season in the fifth and final play-off spot.

After a quiet opening to this game, it all happened on the half hour when Tyler Campbell scored with a superb volley.

Enfield’s Joe Ellul then saw red after an incident with Witham captain Paul King who was cautioned.

Witham went close during the second half, hitting the bar twice, but the hosts went further ahead as Campbell scored again. Witham’s keeper Louis Godwin-Greene then saved a penalty taken by Ryan Doyle.

North Division

Soham Town Rangers 1

AFC Sudbury 1

Substitute Luke Callander’s equalising goal deep into stoppage time earned AFC Sudbury a share of the spoils from their final regular league match of the season at Soham on Saturday.

Sudbury went into the match with the third league place and a home game in the semi-final play-offs already assured, and so made six changes resting key players.

Soham kicked off in front of their highest crowd of the season, and took the lead after five minutes when a long throw-in from the left was cleared only as far as Kojo Ofori-Gyasi, and the defender, from fully 30 yards, scored with unstoppable shot that gave stand-in Sudbury ‘keeper Louis Johnson no chance.

With the hosts looking to have held on for a hard-earned win, Sudbury were awarded a direct free-kick just outside the Soham box in the last of four minutes of stoppage time, and up stepped Callander, who scored with a superb strike to earn his side a deserved share of the spoils.

Other results mean that Sudbury will host Brentwood Town at the Wardale Williams Stadium on Wednesday evening (ko 7.45pm) for their play-off semi-final which must be finished on the night.

Harlow host Thurrock in the other.

The final is on Sunday, May 3.

Brightlingsea Regent 3

Thurrock 1

Brightlingsea Regent ended their season with a fine 3-1 win at home to fifth-placed Thurrock, leaving the R’s in sixth spot in the final proceedings.

Finishing just two points short of the play-offs, it has been a fantastic season for the Essex-based club in their debut season at this level.

Jake Gordon’s double allowed them to finish the season on a high as he struck decisively in the 61st and 76th minutes after Matt Cripps saw his first-half opener cancelled out by Aaron Waters’ penalty.

A good finish for Regent.

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