Leiston secure replay with Eastbourne Borough in FA Trophy

Jack Ainsley takes a tumble for Leiston

Jack Ainsley takes a tumble for Leiston - Credit: Archant

Ryman Premier League side Leiston forced a replay in the FA Trophy, securing a draw with a 90th-minute penalty.

Patrick Brothers in action for Leiston

Patrick Brothers in action for Leiston - Credit: Archant

The Blues, who went behind from the spot on 85 minutes, will travel to Eastbourne Borough tomorrow night, trying to finish the job off.

Despite playing in a division lower, Leiston more than matched their rivals in all departments throughout and were unlucky not to have won this absorbing and exciting contest.

The game was played at pace and both sides committed to attacking football but the respective defences excelled, as did both goalkeepers, who made several crucial saves.

Home custodian Jacob Marsden was the first in action, saving a rasping shot from Mark Hughes and then an Alex Smith corner was headed over by skipper Ian Simpemba.

Ollie Brown ventures forward

Ollie Brown ventures forward - Credit: Archant

The home side responded when Ollie Brown released Byron Lawrence, who had drifted inside, before the midfielder dispatched a terrific angled shot that Charlie Horlock acrobatically palmed round his near post.

Then a Gareth Heath corner was headed on by leading scorer Matt Blake but Horlock instinctively saved in brilliant fashion to keep his side level.

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As Leiston continued to impress, the visiting defence was hard pressed to contain the Blues’ excellent expansive play, orchestrated by the imperious Lawrence.

Patrick Brothers tested Horlock but, for Borough, Murphy and the speedy Elliott Romain were a constant threat on the break.

The half concluded with the visiting goal under siege and living a charmed life, as three successive shots were blocked with Borough hanging on.

The intensity increased further after the break and Romain fed Murphy with a great chance in front of goal, before Ryan Worrall’s deflected effort resulted in Marsden making a sublime save to tip over.

The tie was on a knife-edge as Heath struck a powerful shot from 28 yards but Horlock excelled again, saving at the foot of his post.

Leiston went close again, this time through Jack Ainsley, before the same player released substitute Joe Francis, who was denied by Horlock.

This had been terrific performance from Glenn Driver’s Leiston but all seemed lost in the 85th minute.

Heath underhit a pass back to Marsden and as Romain chased the ball down, the keeper infringed the striker, substitute Nathaniel Pinney striking home the spot kick.

However justice prevailed in the 90th minute when substitute Regan Pelling was felled in the penalty area and Ainsley scored the resultant penalty.

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