Ryman round-up: Late comeback isn’t enough to earn Leiston a point
A round-up of the weekend’s Ryman League games
Premier Division Leatherhead 3 Leiston 2
Leiston are still seeking their first win of 2016 after they missed the opportunity to return to the play-off places, following a 3-2 defeat away at in-form Leatherhead.
The visitors fell behind early on, after the experienced Frannie Collin, on loan from Maidstone United, saw his long range effort find the net in the sixth minute.
Leatherhead doubled their lead on 31 minutes when Kiernon Hughes-Mason fired home from 18 yards, and a torrid first-half for Leiston was completed three minutes later when Collin grabbed his second goal.
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With a mountain to climb in the second-half, the visitors rallied and just after the hour mark Kelsey Trotter gave Leiston hope when he scored his first-ever goal in the Ryman League Premier Division.
After the hosts then had a goal disallowed, Leiston skipper Tom Bullard pulled another goal back deep into stoppage time, meeting a free-kick at the far post and heading home.
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But the goal failed to spark a frantic finale that would have brought an equaliser, and Leiston remain without a win in 2016.
Kingstonian 4 Needham Market 2
Needham Market slipped closer towards the relegation zone after letting a 2-0 lead slip to lose 4-2 at play-off chasing Kingstonian.
The Marketmen were looking to bounce back from Tuesday’s 3-0 defeat to relegation rivals VCD Athletic, and made the perfect start when Jay Davies put them in front after 13 minutes.
Luke Ingram doubled Needham’s lead 10 minutes into the second-half, but Kingstonian then pulled one back a minute later through Malachi Hudson.
The comeback was complete for the hosts on the hour mark when Hudson scored his second of the game, before two goals in the final 10 minutes secured them the points.
Andre McCollin put Kingstonian ahead for the first time on 83 minutes, with Dan Bennett adding a fourth in the 90th minute.
Division One North Bury Town 1 Maldon and Tiptree 2
A brace from former Needham Market striker Sam Newson ensured Maldon and Tiptree went home with the points in their mid-table clash against Bury Town.
The visitors opened the scoring on seven minutes when Newson picked up the ball wide on the right, and struck a blistering shot into the top corner of Neil O’Sullivan’s goal.
Bury were back on level terms two minutes later as James Paterson played the perfect cross onto the head of Ollie Hughes, who beat James Bransgrove from close range.
The hosts squandered chance after chance to take the lead during the rest of the first-half, before Newson put Maldon back in front just before the break.
Newson did have a chance to complete his hat-trick from the spot on 82 minutes, but his poor strike was saved well by O’Sullivan.
Witham Town 2 Heybridge Swifts 2
Witham Town and Heybridge Swifts played out a good battle and shared the points, as both teams continue to fight for survival in the lower reaches of the table.
Heybridge took the lead after 30 minutes when Jack Barham nipped in on a poor back pass, before Witham equalised in the 56th minute through John Watson.
The hosts went in front soon after courtesy of a Jordan Pavett volley, but Matt Pooley secured the Swifts a point on 77 minutes.
Redbridge 0 AFC Sudbury 4
Jamie Godbold’s table toppers extended their unbeaten league run to 12 games, after a convincing 4-0 victory at lowly Redbridge.
Craig Parker netted a hat-trick for AFC Sudbury, while Luke Callander grabbed the other one as the Yellows extended their lead at the top to seven points.
Brightlingsea Regent 3 Cheshunt 2
For the third successive game, high-flying Brightlingsea rallied from 2-0 down to record an impressive result against promotion-chasing opposition on Saturday.
The R’s had trailed 2-0 against Thurrock (2-2 draw) and at Cray Wanderers (3-2 win) in their previous two Ryman North fixtures, and they were again staring down the barrel after going 2-0 down to play-off rivals Cheshunt inside the first 24 minutes at North Road.
But skipper Matt Cripps halved the deficit in the 35th minute, and striker Phil Kelly levelled the game on 63 minutes, before Jake Turner converted an 81st minute penalty to see Regent leapfrog Cheshunt into sixth spot.
James Webster’s team are now unbeaten in eight matches, with six victories and two draws