Leiston record a 2-0 victory at home to Enfield Town in the Ryman Premier league
First-half goals from Gareth Heath and Christy Finch secured victory for Leiston last night as they played host to Enfield Town.
The Blues also hit the woodwork when Joe Francis’ long-range shot in the second period, cannoned off the post.
Enfield were fifth-bottom ahead of the game, having recorded just one win all season, but at times they proved menacing opposition, and saw a second half header from Harold Joseph hit the bar, while Blues ‘keeper Ashlee Jones pulled off a good save at the death to deny Jared Small a consolation goal.
It wasn’t Leiston’s best performance of the season but had they really been tested, they looked like a team that would have been able to step up a couple of gears, with Heath, Francis, Finch and Stuart Boardley linking up well in the final third.
The Blues took the lead on 18 minutes. A long throw into the box, from the left wasn’t cleared sufficiently, and it remained in the danger area. Joe Jefford intelligently headed the ball back across to the far post where, six yards out, Heath nodded home.
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The goal immediately put Leiston on the front foot and also meant that the visitors would have to throw more caution to the wind, having previously been content to press the Blues and give Richard Wilkins’ side little room to manoeuvre, without posing much attacking threat.
Leiston went in search of a second goal and got it five minutes later.
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A long ball forwards towards the left corner saw Francis challenge in the air with a defender, the ball dropping to Finch on the edge of the box.
There, the striker – with three goals under his belt already since his summer move from Gorleston – produced a classy finish, lobbing the ball first time over the back-pedalling Nathan McDonald, from the edge of the box.
Leon Ottley-Gooch was then cautioned for a late tackle on Nathan Livings, before Heath almost scored his second of the night, nodding narrowly wide at the back post, from a Francis cross.
Jefford was next to try and get his name on the scoresheet, his header being collected by McDonald at the back post, after the defender had connected with Boardley’s long throw.
It had been one-way traffic, but suddenly Enfield woke up and had their best spell of the half in the five minutes before the interval.
First, out of nothing, Dernell Wynter produced a low shot from range that had Jones scrambling the ball round the post for a corner.
Bobby Devine then went close with a shot that skidded just wide, before Joseph’s goalbound shot was cleared by a Leiston defender after Jones had failed to collect a high ball from a corner.
The visitors carried on where they had left off at the start of the second half and dangerous substitute striker Harry Ottaway had strong appeals for a penalty, after Boardley seemingly handled in the box, waved away by referee Paul Burnham.
Joseph then hit the top of the bar with a header as the visitors pressed to get back into the game, before Francis cut inside at the other end and forced a regulation save from McDonald.
Francis then hit the post, before Danny Cunningham was booked for a late tackle,
That angered Enfield who were left even more frustrated, minutes later, when Seb Dunbar clipped Ottaway as the striker ran towards goal.
However, the left-back only received a booking, despite the visitors claiming the defender was Leiston’s last man.