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1st Team - Match centre

Havant & Waterlooville
J Ainsley (21'), G Heath (51'), M Blake (52')
Full time
Sat 13 Aug 15:00 - The Ryman Football League - Premier Division Attendance 242

Blues 3 Havant & Waterlooville 1


Blues off to a flier in season opener

A goal, two assists and a bottle of champagne, not a bad way to start life at a new club in a new League! Man of the Match Matt Blake epitomised everything the squad delivered as the Blues ensured title favourites Havant & Waterlooville endured a tough afternoon on their Ryman Premier Division return at Victory Road in a match sponsored by the DOUGLASS FAMILY. Two goals in twenty second half seconds ensured Leiston kept their six season opening day unbeaten Ryman League record in tact and the all round display will have certainly not only sent the home fans home happy, but also eager to return for much of the same. With five new faces in their line up the hosts took a while to find any early rhythm, the visitors having the first sight of goal but Brian Stock slashed wildly wide. A fine run from Byron Lawrence saw his cross-cum-shot graze the top of Ryan Young's goal as a tentative first ten minutes elapsed. Havant & Waterlooville, relegated from National South last term, began to impose themselves and after eluding the challenge of Joe Jefford, Matt Patterson saw his shot cleared off the line by Tom Bullard. Minutes later Nick Eyre was at full stretch to claim a looping Theo Lewis header as the pressure on the home goal increased. The first goal of the new season at Victory Road arrived on 21 minutes and it went to the hosts following a clinical break. Ollie Brown skipped inside from the right flank to find Byron Lawrence whose instinctive right foot pass split the visitors defence allowing Leon Ottley-Gooch a run down the right. His low centre was flicked goalwards by Matt Blake falling nicely for Jack Ainsley to find the net at the far post. Stung, the Hawks responded well with ex Bournemouth striker James Hayter forcing a flying finger tip save from Nick Eyre and then just after the half hour mark the visitors were level. Ben Swallow's corner was half cleared with the loose ball returned to the Hawks number 7 who neatly set himself to send in a teasing centre that Theo Lewis rose above the defence to cleverly plant his header inside Nick Eyre's right hand post. As an entertaining half closed there was almost a second Havant goal but a timely block by Joe Jefford from a Matt Patterson shot ensured the sides went in all square.

HT - Blues 1 Havant & Waterlooville 1

Leiston made an attacking change at the interval with Armani Schaar replacing Taylor Hastings as the hosts opted for a 4-3-3 formation. Just seven minutes into the half the game was turned on its head as Leiston raced into a 3-1 lead. On 51 minutes another swift passing move out of defence saw Matt Blake cleverly hold up play on the left. He cut inside and found Gareth Heath who took a touch before unleashing a terrific 25 yard effort that raced beyond the despairing dive of Ryan Young for an early contender for goal of the season. Incredibly twenty seconds later it was three. Havant kicked off and lost possession to Tom Bullard who found Leon Ottley-Gooch whose neat pass inside found Byron Lawrence. The ex Ipswich Town man immediately picked out the run of Matt Blake down the left who held off the challenge of Dan Strugnell before bearing down on goal and his early shot flew beyond Ryan Young much to the delight of the home faithful. Two minutes later the visitors had a glorious chance to reduce the arrears. Nick Eyre and Tom Bullard colliding with Matt Patterson but as the Hawks striker got to his feet first he looked odds on to score but his effort was somehow cleared off the line by the covering Joe Jefford. The game was now evenly poised with Havant desperate to claw a goal back. Hawks boss Lee Bradbury introduced two ex Bognor Regis Town strikers from the bench in an attempt to get something from the game. With twelve minutes remaining one of the substitutes, Alfie Rutherford, somehow prodded an effort wide from six yards after Nick Eyre had thwarted a Ryan Woodford header from point blank range from yet another Havant corner. Blues boss Glenn Driver brought on Blake Saker to create a five man midfield before Tom Winter replaced Man of the Match Matt Blake who had given the visitors defence a hard time all afternoon. Still Havant pressed and with three minutes remaining some great play from Harry Medway down the left danced his way into the box before finding Theo Lewis but his ten yard effort was straight at Nick Eyre. That proved to be the last scare on the home goal as the Blues saw out four minutes of stoppages to ensure there six year unbeaten opening day record in the Ryman League remained in tact and claim three fine points.

FT - Blues 3 Havant & Waterlooville 1

Blues - Eyre, Brown, Dunbar, Ainsley, Jefford, Bullard, Lawrence, Heath, Blake (Winter 86 mins), Ottley-Gooch (Saker 82 mins), Hastings (Schaar 45 mins). Sub not used - Pelling.

Havant & Waterlooville - Young, Strugnell, Williams (Medway 79 mins), Stock, Woodford, Robinson, Swallow, Lewis, Patterson (Rutherford 61 mins), Hayter (Prior 61 mins), Tarbuck. Subs not used - Molyneaux and Fogden.

Match Sponsors The Douglass Family Man of the Match - Matt Blake

Referee - Callum Walchester

Attendance - 242

Matt Blake

Player of the Match

Matt Blake

Key moments

Goal Jack Ainsley scores for Leiston
Goal Gareth Heath scores for Leiston
Goal Matt Blake scores for Leiston


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90:00 Player of the Match
Matt Blake is awarded player of the match for Leiston
86:00 Sub Off
Matt Blake is substituted off for Leiston
86:00 Sub On
Tom Winter is substituted on for Leiston
82:00 Sub Off
Leon Ottley-Gooch is substituted off for Leiston
82:00 Sub On
Blake Saker is substituted on for Leiston
68:00 Yellow Card
Tom Bullard is yellow carded for Leiston
63:00 Yellow Card
Jack Ainsley is yellow carded for Leiston
52:00 Goal 3 - 0
Matt Blake scores for Leiston
52:00 Assist
Byron Lawrence makes an assist for Leiston
52:00 Assist
Byron Lawrence makes an assist for Leiston
51:00 Goal 2 - 0
Gareth Heath scores for Leiston
51:00 Assist
Matt Blake makes an assist for Leiston
45:00 Sub On
Armani Schaar is substituted on for Leiston
45:00 Sub Off
Taylor Hastings is substituted off for Leiston
End of period 1
21:00 Goal 1 - 0
Jack Ainsley scores for Leiston
21:00 Assist
Matt Blake makes an assist for Leiston
Start of the game
Replay game

As it happened

  • Leiston
  • Havant & Waterlooville
  • 0
  • Jack Ainsley Goal 21:00'
  • Matt Blake Assist 21:00'
  • Taylor Hastings Sub Off 45:00'
  • Armani Schaar Sub On 45:00'
  • Gareth Heath Goal 51:00'
  • Matt Blake Assist 51:00'
  • Matt Blake Goal 52:00'
  • Byron Lawrence Assist 52:00'
  • Byron Lawrence Assist 52:00'
  • Jack Ainsley Yellow Card 63:00'
  • Tom Bullard Yellow Card 68:00'
  • Blake Saker Sub On 82:00'
  • Leon Ottley-Gooch Sub Off 82:00'
  • Tom Winter Sub On 86:00'
  • Matt Blake Sub Off 86:00'

Team selection

Eyre, Nick Eyre, Nick
Brown, Oliver Brown, Oliver
Dunbar, Sebastian Dunbar, Sebastian
Heath, Gareth Heath, Gareth
Bullard, Tom Bullard, Tom
Jefford, Joe Jefford, Joe
Hastings, Taylor Hastings, Taylor
Ainsley, Jack Ainsley, Jack
Ottley-Gooch, Leon Ottley-Gooch, Leon
Lawrence, Byron Lawrence, Byron
Blake, Matt Blake, Matt
  • 1. Nick Eyre
  • 2. Oliver Brown
  • 3. Sebastian Dunbar
  • 4. Tom Bullard
  • 5. Joe Jefford
  • 6. Taylor Hastings
  • 7. Byron Lawrence
  • 8. Jack Ainsley
  • 9. Gareth Heath
  • 10. Leon Ottley-Gooch
  • 11.
  • 11. Matt Blake
  • 12. Blake Saker
  • 13. Tom Winter
  • 14. Regan Pelling
  • 15. Armani Schaar

League round up

League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Havant & Waterlooville 46 94
2. Bognor Regis Town 46 92
3. Dulwich Hamlet 46 80
4. Enfield Town 46 76
5. Wingate & Finchley 46 75
6. Tonbridge Angels 46 74
7. Leiston 46 73

Team sponsors


Club sponsors