Matt Blake rescues Leiston’s blushes as Blues earn 2-2 draw with Dulwich Hamlet
- Credit: Archant
Matt Blake cannot stop scoring goals.
The menacing striker took his tally to 34 in all competitions with another brace, as Leiston twice came from behind to draw 2-2 with Dulwich Hamlet.
Played in front of a crowd of 399, Dulwich, who visit Braintree Town in the FA Trophy next weekend, opened the scoring.
Right-back Mark Weatherstone doesn’t score many goals, but he was on hand to bundle home from a corner after 10 minutes.
But Leiston equalised on 20 minutes when Blake, on his weaker left foot, beautifully finished into the bottom far corner from 20 yards.
Striker partner Niko Muir then brought the best out of Preston Edwards, with Blake’s acrobatic volley also going narrowly wide as Leiston took control.
Gareth Heath’s 25-yard free-kick hit the post for Leiston in the 43rd minute, before Dulwich substitute Gavin Tomlin missed an absolute sitter less than 30 seconds later.
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In fact, Tomlin, a 24th-minute replacement for Dumebi Dumaka, a player Ipswich Town were looking at last season, was wasteful all afternoon.
He should have scored again, in the 51st minute, from close range, although Jacob Marsden’s brilliance kept the effort out.
Marsden then made a brave double stop moments later as Dulwich carved out chance after chance in a dominant 30-minute spell.
Ibrahim Kargbo, Ashley Carew, and Dipo Akinyemi all missed good chances, before Dulwich did retake the lead from the penalty spot.
Tom Bullard fouled Michael Chambers, and Carew slotted home to put Dulwich 2-1 up with 18 minutes left.
But there was to be one more twist in the 79th minute. A neatly-worked corner routine, involving new signing Conor Hubble from Billericay, saw Muir hold the ball up and find Blake to finish, even though he knew very little about it.
Leiston: Jacob Marsden, Ainsley, Dunbar, Cole (Pelling 77), Hutchings, Bullard (c), Lawrence, Heath (Francis 69), Blake, Muir 8, Brothers (Hubble 59). Subs not used: Joe Marsden, Beckwith.
Dulwich Hamlet: Edwards, Weatherstone, Green, Kargbo, Drage, Chambers, Ming (Murrell-Williamson 90), Beaney (c), Dumaka (Tomlin 24), Carew, Akinyemi (Clunis 85). Subs not used: Taylor, Sekajja.
Referee: Thomas Hancock.