Blues 5 Harlow Town 2
Blues bounce back from early setback
The Blues move up to fourth in the Ryman Premier League after Saturdays 5-2 win against Harlow Town in a match sponsored by the LOCAL LABOUR PARTY. Glen Driver made two changes to his starting eleven after the Bromley game in midweek with Jack Ainsley returning along with Niko Muir, who was cup tied in midweek writes Ollie Fairs.
Leiston seemed to make a positive start to the game and had much of the ball for the first ten minutes. However, they found themselves 1-0 down after 11 minutes when a low ball was played across the face of the Leiston goal causing the ball to roll in after a mix up in the box with Harlow’s Jared Small claiming the final touch and the goal. The Blues had a golden opportunity to equalise immediately from kick off when a long ball down the field was misjudged by the Harlow keeper which allowed Matt Blake to run onto the ball in the box before cutting it back to Niko Muir who had an open net ahead of him, but he was unable to get the ball under control and saw it run out for a goal kick. The Blues struggled to create much after that and for the next 15 minutes Harlow were much the better side, but just lacked that extra edge in the final third which could have seen them increase their lead. Leiston did manage to get back into the game towards the latter stages of the first half however and began to create some quality chances for themselves, the best of which falling to Byron Lawrence and Gareth Heath who were denied by some good goalkeeping and brave defending respectively. In the end, it was a bit of very good fortune that allowed Leiston to draw level again, Patrick Brothers’ 37th minute effort from outside of the box taking a huge deflection that left the keeper completely wrong footed and all he could do was watch the ball as it found its way into the back of the net. Just five minutes later Leiston had completely turned the game around after a cross sailed over the heads of everyone challenging in the box before Ollie Brown brought it down and calmly placed it into the net to give the Blues a 2-1 lead going into the second half.
Leiston looked to carry their momentum from the first half into the second and they certainly did just that when three minutes into the half a corner caused confusion in the Harlow box, only for the ball to be turned into the net by Harlow’s Billy Jones, leaving the Blues firmly in the driving seat. The game then began to slow down in terms of scoring chances as the game became more of a midfield battle. The next goal in this game was crucial and it was Leiston who scored it in the 64th minute. After a long kick up the field by Leiston keeper Jacob Marsden, Matt Blake did exceptionally well to get in front of his marker and win the flick on in the air which run perfectly in the path of his strike partner Niko Muir. Muir then used his pace to get away from his defender and get one on one with the goalkeeper before coolly slotting the ball into the bottom left hand corner of the goal to give his side a three goal advantage with just 25 minutes left to play. Leiston then made it out of sight in the 76th minute when Seb Dunbar rolled a ball into second half substitute Joe Marsden from the left wing which the sub the proceeded to place past the keeper to earn his first goal in a Leiston shirt. The game then took a turn for the worst in the final few minutes with tempers starting to flare between players from both teams. The Referee was forced into giving out several yellow cards to players from both teams. Seb Dunbar was sent off after receiving two yellow cards within one minute, the first being a result of a foul on the edge of the box before he picked up a second after the Referee decided he did enough to earn a second after a Harlow player went down in the box prior to a free kick. Harlow then used the one man advantage to score a consolation goal three minutes into stoppages when Ryan Melaugh got on the end of a cut back to make the final score 5-2 to the Blues.
FT - Blues 5 Harlow Town 2
Blues - Jacob Marsden, Brown, Dunbar, Ainsley (Pelling 78 mins), Jefford, Hutchings, Lawrence (Cole 68 mins), Heath (Joe Marsden 72 mins), Blake, Muir, Brothers. Subs not used - Saker and Lay-Fulcher.
Harlow Town - Hughes, Pope, Jones, Justin- Yiga (Ngamb 72 mins), Sonko, Simms, Small, Muguo, Read (Antoine 55 mins), Melaugh, Eadie (Da Costa 68 mins). Subs not used - Dickens and Lee.
Match sponsors the LOCAL LABOUR PARTY Man of the Match - Ollie Brown
Attendance - 224