Blues 4 Cheshunt 2
Blues make FA Cup progress at the expense of battling Cheshunt
The Blues will host Hastings United in the Emirates FA Cup Second Qualifying Round on Saturday, September 22nd after seeing off a battling Cheshunt side. Played in almost constant rain, Leiston finally booked their place in the next round at the expense of a resolute Cheshunt team.
Cemal Ramadan replaced Matt Blake in the starting eleven while Harry Knights, Harrison Bacon and Josh Cheetham came into the squad replacing Patrick Brothers (injured) and Dominic Docherty (unavailable).
The Blues started the match in lively fashion and went ahead in the fourth minute. Kyle Hammond’s free kick wasn’t cleared and Cemal Ramadan fired in the loose ball. Tom Bullard blocked the visitors first attempt, while Chris Henderson’s ball released Jake Reed but Harry Girling in the home goal was out to block his shot. Cemal Ramadan and Christy Finch had strikes that were off target. Girling couldn’t hold Kyle Hammond’s free kick and Girling was in action again to deny Ramadan and then Finch as the hosts dominated. Christy Finch and Kyle Hammond worked a move that ended with Jake Reed turning the ball just wide of Girling’s right upright. With just five minutes of the first half to play, Byron Lawrence played in Seb Dunbar from a quick free kick and the left back was fouled in the area leaving Referee Karl Seat no option but to point to the spot. Christy Finch netting his 50th Leiston goal from the spot.
Tom Bruno was off target with a shot outside the box just after the interval, while at the other end Christy Finch’s deflected effort was clawed away by Girling and Jake Reed skied his attempt after striding into the box. Cheshunt were given a lifeline as Joe Jefford was penalised inside the box resulting in a penalty, with substitute Ricky Sappleton tucking home the penalty. Three minutes later, and the Hertfordshire club restored parity. The Blues failed to clear on a couple of occasions and Ricky Sappleton once again turned in the box to smash into Marcus Garnham’s net. But Leiston responded well and six minutes later were back in front. Byron Lawrence slipped a ball to Seb Dunbar who from the by-line delivered a fantastic cross to Jake Reed who cushioned an excellent side footed volley across Girling and into his bottom right hand corner. Leiston had a renewed energy and were now on top once again, but Cheshunt came back into forcing Garnham into three good stops in succession. Sub Kyle Roberts, Taylor McKenzie and Tom Bruno were all stopped while at the other end, Girling slipped as he raced out of goal and good work by Cemal Ramadan let in Christy Finch but he somehow blazed over from six yards. Girling made two more decent saves from Chris Henderson and Kyle Hammond, and Ricky Sappleton turned wide in a goal mouth scramble as the tie was still evenly balanced. But it was Leiston who sealed the win in the 89th minute. Two of the substitutes combining as Robert Eagle’s cross was well taken down by Matt Blake and he wrong footed Girling with a neat strike to seal Leiston’s place in the next round.
FT - Blues 4 Cheshunt 2
Blues - Garnham, Hammond, Dunbar (Eagle 67 mins), Aitkens, Jefford, Bullard, Lawrence, Henderson, Reed (Cheetham 90+2 mins), Finch (Blake 87 mins), Ramadan. Subs not used - Bacon, Knights and Beckwith.
Cheshunt - Girling, Casey, Adamson, Hughes, McKenzie, Kendall, Koranteng (Sappleton 45 mins), Bruno, Aiken (Kifwasima 84 mins), Akinsanya, Ompreon (Roberts 75 mins). Subs not used - Symons, Olukoga, Sanusi and Husaj.
Man of the Match - Marcus Garnham
Attendance - 179