Ryman Premier Division high-fliers Leiston and Canvey Island share the points

Adam Mills scored a wonderful goal for Needham against Billericay on Tuesday evening

Adam Mills scored a wonderful goal for Needham against Billericay on Tuesday evening - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

Ryman Premier Division high-fliers Leiston and Canvey Island shared the points in an exciting encounter at Victory Road last night.

Former Ipswich Town midfielder Billy Clark scored after just 62 seconds for Leiston, but Canvey pulled level through Glenn Poole’s strike and the pair, sitting third and fourth respectively in the league, couldn’t be separated thereafter in what a fair end result.

The Islanders, who lost 1-0 to Ipswich Wanderers in the FA Cup earlier in the season, had been in a rich vein of form before kick-off, winning seven of their previous nine league games to propel themselves towards the top of the league.

But Leiston showed no mercy and scored after just 62 seconds when Jake Taylor, making his first league start for the Blues, drew a foul and Clark was on hand to finish Gareth Heath’s half-cleared cross.

Taylor went close himself in the seventh minute with a vicious strike from the edge of the box, before Ashlee Jones produced an excellent one-on-one save from Martin Tuohy in an exhilarating start.


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Jones was busy again, in the 15th minute, saving Steve Sheehan’s powerful strike with two hands, but was powerless to prevent Poole from equalising in the 30th minute as the midfielder’s well-hit, yet deflected effort found the bottom corner.

Tuohy went mightily close as Canvey asserted control for a spell, but Leiston threatened on the counter attack with Joe Francis unable to find a final product on three occasions.

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Tony Stokes was a yard off target at the start of the second half, before Jones reacted quickly to prevent Tuohy sneaking in a shot at his near post in the 54th minute.

The pace of the game died down a little, with Canvey going close through numerous set pieces and Leiston playing on the break – one of which saw Francis’ heavily-deflected cross-cum-shot narrowly loop over.

Heath had a goal disallowed for offside, and Jones saved well from Tambeson Eyong, but both sides couldn’t find that elusive winner as the points were deservedly shared.

Leiston: Jones, Saker, Dunbar, Jefford, Bullard, Boardley, Ottley-Gooch, Clark, Francis (Baker 90), Heath, Taylor (Winter 72). Unused subs: Trotter, Thurlow, Rossis.

Attendance: 219

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