Sweet brace from Niko Muir ends Leiston’s winless run
- Credit: Archant
Leiston 2 Tonbridge Angels 0
Two cool finishes from Niko Muir gave Leiston their first win in eight Ryman Premier Division games last night.
Muir scored two well-taken goals, with his right foot, in the second half, to give the Suffolk side a welcome and important victory.
This game didn’t kick-off until 8.30 as Kent-based opponents Tonbridge Angels were delayed on their travels into Suffolk.
But that didn’t stop both sides from getting off to a fast start.
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Inside 90 seconds, Joe Francis was released by Muir on the left, and after his flashing cross evaded Matt Blake, the Tonbridge defence hacked clear.
Tonbridge then threatened, without testing Jacob Marsden in the Leiston goal, before The Blues hit the crossbar in the 19th minute, albeit via a cross from Muir.
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Leiston, who were missing key midfielder Byron Lawrence, serving the first of a two-suspension for 10 yellow cards, were grateful to a fine piece of defending from Tom Bullard a minute before half time.
Andre McCollin worked a bit of magic in the Leiston box, and just as the striker looked to pull the trigger, Bullard intervened with a last-gasp tackle.
Francis had Leiston’s first shot on target, on the stroke of half time, with a fizzing free-kick that Jonathan Hedly comfortably held.
Francis was just off target moments after the break when he cut in from the right and fired over, with Muir also seeing a shot blocked by Hedly.
Muir’s first moment came in the 62nd minute. After quickly turning his marker, the striker fired into the bottom corner before celebrating passionately with his team-mates.
Three minutes later, Muir scored his second. After Gareth Heath rolled him through on goal, the talisman ignored the offside appeals before coolly finishing inside Hedly’s front post.
Tonbridge nearly responded when Luke Blewden fired over from close-range and then Tom Phipp’s wicked shot, via a deflection, struck the inside of the post before rolling across the goal-line to safety.
Muir came off to a warm applause in the 90th minute, when young striker Adam Blades replaced him for his Ryman League debut, as Leiston claimed a massive three points.