Blues 3 Needham Market 0
Blues too strong for Suffolk rivals on Boxing Day
Leiston enjoyed the festive spoils of the Suffolk derby in the Ryman Premier Division writes Mark Barber as they overcame Needham Market 3-0 in tricky conditions at Victory Road in a match sponsored by RAY MILLARD INSURANCE BROKERS. The game was very much about who could manage the stodgy pitch and strong breeze the better and the home side took advantage of the wind at their backs first half, scoring three unanswered goals to put the game out of the Marketmen’s reach. The Blues took the lead on 18 minutes, leading scorer Christy Finch found himself 30 yards from goal and he turned in plenty of space, his quick, low shot wasn’t cleanly struck but the ball found its way underneath Needham Goalkeeper Danny Gay and the former Leiston stopper will be disappointed not to have kept it out. Just three minutes later the home side doubled their advantage. Seb Dunbar played the ball into Christy Finch’s feet and he again had time to turn. This time he played a delightful chipped cross into the path of Leon Ottley-Gooch who brought the ball down and finished confidently across Gay. The home supporters felt aggrieved after Christy Finch had a goal chalked off for an adjudged foul on 40 minutes but their dismay soon turned to delight as a minute later Joe Francis’ high looping cross from the left caught the wind and the scrambling Gay was unable to stop it dropping over him and into the net, the look of surprise and joy on Joe Francis’ face the telling sign it was unintentional. The second half saw Needham come back into it in terms of possession and territory as they looked to exploit the wind the way Leiston had first half but the home side managed the conditions much better, restricting Needham’s chances with Luke Ingram’s late free kick their only meaningful shot on target all game. The game became slower as the game wore on, broken up by fouls, injuries and substitutions. Needham Manager Mark Morsley was quick to change things in an attempt to get back into the game but the introduction of former Leiston player Michael Brothers and Kem Izzet did little to change the fortunes of the Marketmen going forward. In fact it was the home side that could have added to their tally, Tom Bullard rifling a left footed half volley against the crossbar and Billy Clark’s corner wasn’t cleared properly. The result moves Leiston back into the final play-off spot in 5th whilst Needham drop a place to 20th, the cushion from the bottom four down to 5 points.
FT - Blues 3 Needham Market 0
Blues - Jones, Saker, Dunbar, Cunningham, Jefford, Bullard, Ottley-Gooch (Winter 71 mins), Heath, Clark (Trotter 92 mins), Finch, Francis (Taylor 78 mins). Subs not used - Brothers and Rossis.
Needham Market - Gay, Brown, Coakley, Fenn (Crisell 78 mins), Miller, Nunn, Ingram, Harrison (Izzet 67 mins), Mann, Davies, Patrick (Brothers 57 mins). Subs not used - Dye and Munson.
Match sponsors RAY MILLARD INSURANCE BROKERS Man of the Match - Tom Bullard
Attendance - 303