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1st Team - Match centre

Canvey Island
J Ainsley (15'), M Blake (44'), N Muir-Merchant (38'), B Lawrence (61')
Full time
Tue 17 Jan 19:45 - The Ryman Football League - Premier Division Attendance 214

Blues 4 Canvey Island 0

Four out of four for the Blues at the start of the New Year

Leiston continued to impress when they came away comfortable 4-0 victors at home against Canvey Island on Tuesday night in a MATCH SPONSORED BY THE EELS FOOT INN, EASTBRIDGE. Glenn Driver made just one change to his starting eleven that beat Billericay 4-1 on Saturday with Jake Hutchings returning to the starting line up as Joe Jefford dropped to the bench writes Ollie Fairs.

From the first whistle Leiston looked very positive and had managed to subdue the attacking threat that Canvey Island possessed whilst still managing to play some good football themselves. Their hard work paid off in the 15th minute when Matt Blake was running through on goal only to be brought down in the box, earning his team an early penalty. Jack Ainsley stepped up to take the penalty and saw his spot kick saved by Moore in the Canvey goal but reacted quicker than any other player to convert the rebound and make up for missing the original spot kick. The Blues continued to dominate the game and controlled the tempo of the half from start to finish. Canvey Island rarely got the ball into the Leiston final third and spent most of their time sat back in their half trying to hold against the constant pressure being applied by the home side. Byron Lawrence in particular controlled the game well as he roamed across the pitch and would often drop deep to pick up the ball before getting his head up and spraying passes across the pitch. The Blues doubled their lead through Niko Muir-Merchant in the 37th minute as he collected a loose ball from a cross on the edge of the box and drilled his shot hard and low past Lewis Moore in the Canvey Island goal, leaving him with no chance. Leiston were not done there though and looked to add a third to their goal tally before the end of the first half. Jake Hutchings made a marauding run from the back before sliding an inch perfect pass through to Matt Blake who shrugged off his defender and calmly side-footed the ball into the back of the net to put his side three to the good after 44 minutes.

It was not surprising to see that Canvey Island made some improvement in the second half as they looked to find a way back into the game which was slowly drifting further and further away from them. Within the first few minutes of the second half and they had already created an opportunity down the right flank before a cross was floated to the back post only for Harrison Chatting to slice his volley wide of the mark. It was more apparent that it was not going to be Canvey Island’s night when the ball dropped to George Sykes who prodded it towards goal only for it to bounce off the post and out for a goal kick. The Blues continued to create good chances and Matt Blake was gifted a golden opportunity when a pass towards goal was badly controlled leaving Matt Blake one on one with the keeper who did well to get down quickly to stop the powerful strike from Leiston’s top scorer. In the 61st minute Byron Lawrence capped off what was a very impressive performance when he intercepted a poor pass which allowed him to run at the Canvey defence and get in behind them before accurately rolling his shot across the goal and into the bottom corner of the net, giving Leiston a 4-0 lead with just under 30 minutes to play. As the game drew towards its conclusion the away side had plenty of chances to get themselves a consolation goal but where denied once again by the woodwork and some poor finishing from close range which preserved Leiston’s clean sheet and saw the final score settle at 4-0 to the Blues.

FT - Blues 4 Canvey Island 0

Blues - Jacob Marsden, Brown, Dunbar (Joe Marsden 71 mins), Ainsley, Hutchings, Bullard, Lawrence, Heath, Blake, Muir-Merchant (Francis 64 mins), Brothers (Cole 64 mins). Subs not used - Pelling and Jefford.

Canvey Island - Moore, David-Wrightman, Dumas, Howlett-Mundle, Sheehan, Mbamarah, Lawson, Merrifield, Sykes (Ibe 71 mins), Tuohy (Hayden-Smith 88 mins), Chatting (Pitty 64 mins). Subs not used - Jomanday and Gough.

Match Sponsors THE EELS FOOT INN, EASTBRIDGE Man of the Match - Byron Lawrence

Attendance - 214

Byron Lawrence

Player of the Match

Byron Lawrence

Key moments

Goal Jack Ainsley scores for Leiston
Goal Niko Muir-Merchant scores for Leiston
Goal Matt Blake scores for Leiston
Goal Byron Lawrence scores for Leiston


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90:00 Player of the Match
Byron Lawrence is awarded player of the match for Leiston
71:00 Sub Off
Sebastian Dunbar is substituted off for Leiston
71:00 Sub On
Joe Marsden is substituted on for Leiston
64:00 Sub On
Joe Francis is substituted on for Leiston
64:00 Sub Off
Niko Muir-Merchant is substituted off for Leiston
64:00 Sub On
Adeyinka Cole is substituted on for Leiston
64:00 Sub Off
Patrick Brothers is substituted off for Leiston
61:00 Goal 4 - 0
Byron Lawrence scores for Leiston
End of period 1
44:00 Goal 3 - 0
Matt Blake scores for Leiston
44:00 Assist
Jake Hutchings makes an assist for Leiston
38:00 Goal 2 - 0
Niko Muir-Merchant scores for Leiston
38:00 Assist
Sebastian Dunbar makes an assist for Leiston
15:00 Missed Penalty
Jack Ainsley misses a penalty for Leiston
15:00 Goal 1 - 0
Jack Ainsley scores for Leiston
15:00 Assist
Matt Blake makes an assist for Leiston
10:00 Yellow Card
Byron Lawrence is yellow carded for Leiston
Start of the game
Replay game

As it happened

  • Leiston
  • Canvey Island
  • 0
  • Byron Lawrence Yellow Card 10:00'
  • Jack Ainsley Missed Penalty 15:00'
  • Jack Ainsley Goal 15:00'
  • Matt Blake Assist 15:00'
  • Niko Muir-Merchant Goal 38:00'
  • Sebastian Dunbar Assist 38:00'
  • Matt Blake Goal 44:00'
  • Jake Hutchings Assist 44:00'
  • Byron Lawrence Goal 61:00'
  • Joe Francis Sub On 64:00'
  • Niko Muir-Merchant Sub Off 64:00'
  • Adeyinka Cole Sub On 64:00'
  • Patrick Brothers Sub Off 64:00'
  • Joe Marsden Sub On 71:00'
  • Sebastian Dunbar Sub Off 71:00'

Team selection

Marsden, Jacob Marsden, Jacob
Brown, Oliver Brown, Oliver
Dunbar, Sebastian Dunbar, Sebastian
Lawrence, Byron Lawrence, Byron
Hutchings, Jake Hutchings, Jake
Bullard, Tom Bullard, Tom
Ainsley, Jack Ainsley, Jack
Heath, Gareth Heath, Gareth
Blake, Matt Blake, Matt
Brothers, Patrick Brothers, Patrick
Muir-Merchant, Niko Muir-Merchant, Niko

League round up

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