Leiston revive play-off hopes with hard-fought win over Tooting & Mitcham
- Credit: Archant
Leiston 2 Tooting & Mitcham 0
Leiston revived their fortunes with a hard earned win in this Bostik Premier League match following a miserable sequence of results that produced a just two points from the last six games, writes John Campany.
The visitors promoted last season have found life difficult and occupy 22nd position in the table as they try to consolidate.
Nevertheless the South London side belied their lowly position and the result was in doubt until the 88th minute when Christie Finch made it 2-0.
Leiston boss Glenn Driver, was rightly pleased with his side’s victory.
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“The win will give us a much-needed confidence boost,” he said.
“We made a decent start, but were then handicapped with the injury to Matt Blake and by necessity changed the system playing with three up top.
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“At the break we spoke of getting behind them as they were playing square and our two goals came from this, getting behind full backs with the deliveries clinically finished.”
Although missing several players, it was a confident start from Leiston, with Finch firing wide from Byron Lawrence’s free kick and Kelsey Trotter, making his first home start, having a shot blocked.
Substitute Harry Knight replaced the injured Blake on 18 minutes and Tooting’s Quincy Rowe then tested Marcus Garnham with a fierce strike from 25 yards, as Matt Dixon, for the visitors, fired wide.
The nearest Leiston came was in the 44th minute when Dominic Docherty touched a free kick into the path of Jack Ainsley who rifled a low shot that Matte Pierson did well to save diving to his left.
Tooting, who had competed well in the opening 45 minutes, were unlucky when Dominic Morgan-Griffiths struck a rising shot that hit the woodwork. But the home side broke the deadlock on the hour when Joe Marsden did well down the right and cut the ball back into the path of Ainsley to prod home.
Garnham made a fine acrobatic save to deny Peter Wedgeworth’s free kick as the visitors continued to carry a threat, but the home defence stood firm and settled the result in the 88th minute.
Patrick Brothers raced down the left and, cutting in, released the ball to Finch who with fine precision drilled the ball past the helpless Pierson to ensure three points that keeps the Suffolk side in eighth place and just outside the play-offs.
Referee: Mr Michael Robertson-Tant