Leiston and Needham go through in FA Trophy

Jake Reed was on target for Leiston in their FA Trophy win. Picture: JOHN HEALD

Jake Reed was on target for Leiston in their FA Trophy win. Picture: JOHN HEALD - Credit: Archant

Leiston progressed to the Second Qualifying Round of the FA Trophy for the fifth year on the trot as they dispatched a decent VCD Athletic outfit 3-1 under caretaker boss Ian Cornforth and director of football Trevor Elmy.

The Blues, who were missing injured captain Tom Bullard, started Harry Knights in his place, while Seb Dunbar declared himself fit enough to start after being ill for most of the week. Matt Blake passed a late fitness test and took his place on the bench.

Leiston started the game well and scored yet another early goal after Christy Finch finished past home goalkeeper Joe Mant. Then Jake Reed was put through on goal by Finch, but Mant pulled off a good save.

VCD started to come into the game more, and Marcus Garnham had to make a couple of decent stops. From a corner, the home side were given a lifeline as Leiston failed to clear and Patrick Brothers tripped a home player in the penalty area.

However, captain Charlie McDonald’s penalty was pushed away by Marcus Garnham. The Blues doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time as Reed calmly slotted past Mant.

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The second period began slowly but Leiston hit the post on the hour mark. Dominic Docherty this time set up Reed and he hit the base of Mant’s near post.

Leiston made substitutions and took off Dominic Docherty and Patrick Brothers, who were replaced by Cemal Ramadan and Matt Rutterford respectively.

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In the 77th minute, good work by Seb Dunbar allowed Finch to smash home a superb shot to kill any hopes of a home comeback.

Ali Fuseini did pull a goal back with a great strike from a free kick.

Trevor Elmy said after the game: “I’m pleased with the attitude and approach of the players today, who I thought were all excellent. Special praise must go to Jake Reed and Christy Finch who worked tirelessly up front from the 1st to the last minute and caused VCD defenders problems throughout the game.”

Elsewhere in the Trophy, Needham Market won 2-0 at Kings Langley, with Adam Mills and Joe Marsden netting, while Lowestoft were beaten 1-0 at home by Enfield.

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