Brilliant Leiston smash four past Wingate & Finchley
- Credit: Archant
Bostik Premier Leiston 4 Wingate & Finchley 0 This was the most emphatic of wins in this Bostik Premier match at Vicarage Road, raising play-off aspirations for Glen Driver’s side, writes John Campany.
Leiston remain in seventh position in the table, just three points behind fifth-placed Hendon who have played a game less.
In their last five matches, Driver’s side have gathered 13 points, a consistent improvement in form, and there will be optimism that this momentum can carry them forward to the challenge ahead.
There is little doubt that the manager has strengthened his squad with the astute recent signing of Jake Reed from Lowestoft who scored his third goal in as many games.
The arctic conditions were reflected in the modest crowd of 198, but for the majority braving the bitter cold was a small price to pay as the players received rapturous applause of appreciation, at the final whistle.
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Chris Henderson for the home side went close, driving beyond the far post, before they took the lead on 18 minutes. Seb Dunbar and Byron Lawrence combined, setting up Christy Finch who crossed low from the wide left and Darren Mills was well positioned to fire home.
The visitors played some neat approach football, but despite the benefit of the strong wind, could make little impression against a resilient defence as the hosts maintained control during the opening half.
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It took just three minutes after the restart for Leiston to extend their lead when, a poor back pass was intercepted by Reed who rounded keeper Shane Gore, and from an acute angle, pulled the ball back to man of the match Finch to power home.
The temperature rose in the 55th minute when a sweeping diagonal ball from Lawrence found the fast moving Finch who was then fouled in the area and Jack Ainsley blasted home the resultant penalty, his 13th goal of the season.
Driver demonstrated the depth now at his disposal when introducing substitutes Matt Blake – who struck the woodwork with his first touch), Dominic Docherty and Patrick Brothers – but there was no respite for the visiting side who had recently occupied a play-off place.
The home performance was capped when, in the 90th minute, Reed added a fourth, brilliantly finishing off a fine pass from the excellent Finch.