Blues 1 Enfield Town 1
Late, late Blake goal saves the Blues
Leiston looked to get back to winning ways in their final game of 2016 after their disappointing defeat at the hands of Lowestoft on Boxing Day in a MATCH SPONSORED BY MARQUIS LEISURE. It was not to be however, as the Blues were only able to rescue a point thanks to a 95th minute equaliser from Matt Blake after Scott Shulton put Enfield ahead on 63 minutes writes Ollie Fairs. Glenn Driver made just one change to his side with Adeyinka Cole replacing Joe Marsden who took his place on the bench.
The first half was a hard fought, close encounter with both teams playing some attractive and attacking football. Leiston certainly looked to make the most of the pitch which had a nice layer of moisture on top which really allowed them to get the ball on the floor and put together some slick passing moves. The first half was mainly contested in the midfield with both teams looking to go through the middle of the park and try to play their way into a dangerous position. This meant that there were very few clear cut chances in the first 45 minutes with perhaps the best chance going to Enfield Town when they appeared to have a clear shot on goal in the box but they were denied by a Jack Ainsley who did superbly to track back and throw himself in front of the shot which was certainly goal bound. Leiston did have a few chances of their own, including a good run into the box from Adeyinka Cole but his shot was deflected out for a corner. Later on in the half Matt Blake was played through and appeared to be through on goal but he was unable to get the ball out from under his feet which allowed the defender to get back and put him under pressure which led to chance breaking down. As previously stated the first half was a very even affair and it was fair for the two teams to go into the break on level terms.
The first 20 minutes of the second half were very similar to the first. Both sides looked to create chances and certainly did just that. Enfield had a great chance denied by Jacob Marsden after Bobby Devyne made a positive run into the box. Leiston’s best chances came from Niko Muir-Merchant, his first chance saw him twist and turn in the box to get away from his defender before getting a shot away only for it to be cleared off the line by an Enfield defender. Muir was on the end of another opening when he had the ball played into him in the box before he hit his shot well but watched it fizz just past the post. The first goal of the game went to Enfield and more specifically, Scott Shulton. It came about after the Blues failed to properly clear their lines on a few occasions before Enfield put together a nice bit of passing play around the 18 yard box and eventually finding Shulton free in the area who fired his shot hard and low into the bottom left hand corner of the goal to give his side the lead. Leiston struggled to get back into the game after that and at times they looked disjointed with the away side taking complete control of the game as they kept the Blues pinned in their own half. Enfield should have increased their lead when a blocked cross fell to Devyne who blazed his shot wildly over the bar from just 12 yards out. Leiston didn’t look at all like scoring the goal they needed to get back into the game until the Referee signalled that there would be 4 minutes of added time. The Blues then began to press the Enfield back four, putting several dangerous crosses into the box until they got the goal to draw themselves level again. It all came from a good bit of play from Niko Muir-Merchant on the edge of the box as he turned his man and got his shot away which was parried by the goalkeeper and straight into the path of Matt Blake who fired the ball home to earn Leiston a point in their final game of the year.
FT - Blues 1 Enfield Town 1
Blues - Jacob Marsden, Brown (Joe Marsden 70 mins), Dunbar, Ainsley, Jefford, Hutchings, Lawrence (Pelling 73 mins), Heath, Blake, Muir-Merchant, Cole (Brothers 66 mins). Subs not used - Bullard and Beckwith.
Enfield Town - McDonald, Muleba, Gabriel, Joseph, Kirby, Shulton (Livings 77 mins), Campbell, Crook, Devyne, Wynter (Ottaway 61 mins), Parcell (Collins 59 mins). Subs not used - Dickson and Kiangebeni.
Match Sponsors MARQUIS LEISURE Man of the Match - Jack Ainsley
Attendance - 363