VCD Athletic 1 Blues 3
Strikers fire Blues into next round of the FA Trophy
Leiston progressed to the Second Qualifying Round of the Buildbase FA Trophy for the fifth season on the trot as they dispatched a decent VCD Athletic outfit under caretaker boss Ian Cornforth and Director Of Football Trevor Elmy. The Blues, who started without captain Tom Bullard, started Harry Knights in his place, while Seb Dunbar declared himself fit enough 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. Jake Reed was put through on goal by Christy Finch moments later but this time 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 Jake Reed calmly slotted past Mant.
The second period began slowly but Leiston hit the post on the hour mark. Dominic Docherty this time set up Jake 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 (the latter making his club debut) respectively. In the 77th minute, good work by Seb Dunbar allowed Christy 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, and sub Malachi Hudson headed onto the crossbar late on but the Blues eased their way into the next round.
Director Of Football, 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."
The Blues next play on Saturday when they welcome Biggleswade to Victory Road in EVO STIK League action.
FT - VCD Athletic 1 Blues 3
VCD Athletic - Mant, Gyamfi (Ashikodi 71 mins), Joseph, El-Moyhalbel (Odusanya 45 mins), Eweka, Steventon, Gaggin, Gordon, Fuseini, McDonald, Barrington (Hudson 67 mins). Subs not used - Baker and Adebayo.
Blues - Garnham, Hammond, Dunbar, Aitkens, Jefford, Knights, Lawrence, Docherty (Ramadan 79 mins), Reed, Finch, Brothers (Rutterford 72 mins). Subs not used - Canham, Blake and Beckwith.
Man Of The Match - Christy Finch
Attendance - 98