Leiston suffer a narrow defeat at the hands of the high-flying Rocks
Bognor Regis Town 1 Leiston 0
Leiston’s mammoth 350-mile round trip to the West Sussex coast ended in a narrow defeat at league leaders Bognor Regis Town tonight.
The Suffolk visitors were undone by an 18th minute thunderbolt from James Wild, as the Rocks cemented their position at the top of the Ryman Premier.
But this was no disgrace for Leiston, who created several good chances to snatch an equaliser in a much-improved second-half display.
Bognor have now lost just one of their last 21 league games, and look destined for National League South, but Glenn Driver’s men remain in the thick of the play-off hunt.
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Leiston struggled to get the ball during the opening 10 minutes, and danger-man Wild was soon in the thick of the action, turning defender Joe Jefford before blasting his shot high and wide from a narrow angle.
Wild capitalised on acres of space again in the seventh minute. This time the Rocks’ lofty No. 9 dragged his 25-yarder wide of target.
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Keeper Ashlee Jones did well to beat away a goal-bound firecracker from right-back Harvey Whyte on nine minutes, but he was powerless to prevent Wild from drilling home the long-range opener, nine minutes later, into the far corner of the net.
Leiston’s only real chance of the first period fell to Conor Hubble. The ex-Colchester United trainee was close to squeezing home Ade Cole’s cross at the near post, five minutes before Wild’s deadlock-breaker.
Otherwise, it was all about keeping the Rocks at bay, although the Suffolk side did start the second half on the front foot, with Seb Dunbar having a shot deflected wide for a corner in 47 minutes, and winger Cole ballooning a shot over the top.
Nicko Muir squandered Leiston’s best opportunity, heading over the bar from Matt Blake’s teasing cross in the 62nd minute, while Gareth Heath was a whisker away with a 20-yard rocket on 72 minutes.
Hubble had a shot cleared off the goal-line shortly afterwards, and Leiston pressed hard for a late equaliser, but were thwarted in their efforts by some last ditch defending.
BOGNOR REGIS: Lincoln, Whyte, Crane, Tuck, El-Abd, Charman, Fraser (sub Haynes-Brown, 81), Budd (sub Davies, 59), Wilds, Pearce, Muitt (sub Parsons, 67). Unused subs: Parsons, Dolcetti, Block.
LEISTON: Jones, Brown (sub Pelling, 83), Jefford, Bullard, Dunbar, Cole (sub Ainsley, 63), Hutchings (sub Francis, 63), Heath, Hubble, Blake, Muir. Unused subs: Schaar, Beckwith.