Blues 2 Melksham Town 1
Blues progress in FA Trophy
Leiston progressed to the Third Qualifying Round of the Buildbase FA Trophy for just the fourth time in their history as they defeated a granite Melksham Town side in a MATCH SPONSORED BY THE YOUTH TEAM MANAGERS. Stuart Boardley started Matt Rutterford at right back as Kyle Hammond was suspeneded, while Tom Bullard came back into the side. Byron Lawrence, Noel Aitkens, Dominic Docherty and Jake Reed were also back in the starting eleven, having been rested for Tuesday night's League Cup match with Lowestoft Town.
The first half in truth was starved of any action, with the hosts struggling to create chances. Byron Lawrence fired over the crossbar early on, while shortly later Lawrence's free kick wasn't dealt with originally by the Wiltshire side but they eventually cleared. Although both teams defended well in the first period, Marcus Garnham didn't have a single shot to deal with. Byron Lawrence went close as he struck the outside of the post with a half volley, while good play by Jake Reed set up Christy Finch but Darren Bechet in the away goal was out to collect.
After a forgettable first half, the second was much better. Christy Finch could have given Leiston the lead but stroked the ball just wide of Bechet's right hand post when well placed, but the Blues did take the lead in the 55th minute. Patrick Brothers played a pass that enabled Jake Reed to get in behind the away defence, he then played the ball back to Lawrence who excellently curled the ball into Bechet's top left hand corner. Jake Reed flashed off target on the hour mark, before getting injured and having to be replaced by Matt Blake. Melksham's best player on the day Jon Davies had a good chance for the visitors, but his strike was well saved by Marcus Garnham. A Lawrence corner was flicked on by Joe Jefford however Christy Finch could only put his attempt into the side netting. Leiston controlled the game in the latter stages, and finally got the crucial second goal five minutes from the end of normal time. Finch's super cross from the touch line was met by Blake who tapped home. Melksham did score in the sixth minute of added on time through a Jon Davies penalty, after Matt Rutterford fouled in the penalty area, but it was too little too late.
FT - Blues 2 Melksham Town 1
Blues - Garnham, Rutterford, Dunbar, Aitkens, Jefford, Bullard, Lawrence, (Moore 90+3 mins), Docherty, Reed (Blake 64 mins), Finch (Bacon 89 mins), Brothers. Subs not used - Knights and Beckwith.
Melksham Town - Bechet, Perrott, Lyons, Wall (Hutchings 79 mins), Maidment, Thompson, Demkiv, Hobbs, Ballinger, Davies, Gilbert. Subs not used - Davidson and Baggs.
Match Sponsors The Youth Team Managers Man Of The Match - Dominic Docherty
Attendance - 172