Blues 2 Dulwich Hamlet 2
Blake brace rescues point for the Blues
Leiston earned a point at home against Dulwich Hamlet after drawing 2-2, a Matt Blake brace rescuing the point for the Blues in a MATCH SPONSORED BY COASTAL BUILDING SUPPLIES. There was a new addition to the Leiston squad with Connor Hubble being named on the bench after he re-signed for the club after previous loan spells at Victory Road writes Ollie Fairs.
The game got off to a very lively start as both teams looked to get an early goal to put them in the driving seat early on. Leiston had a good chance in the first few moments when a Byron Lawrence shot from inside the box was deflected but it bounced straight into the hands of Dulwich goalkeeper Preston Edwards. It was the away side who scored the first goal to break the deadlock in the 10th minute however, a corner was sent into the box only for the ball to fall loose in the six-yard box which allowed Mark Weatherstone to tap the ball home and give his side the lead. It was not too long until the Blues found themselves level again as just 8 minutes later leading goal scorer Matt Blake netted once again. Matt Blake picked up the ball on the right wing before dribbling past several defenders to get inside the box and find the space he needed to slot the ball into the far-left corner, levelling the scores once again after 19 minutes. This goal gave the Blues the impotence they needed to go on and dominate the remainder of the first half, creating several great chances in the process. Niko Muir-Merchant was causing the Dulwich defence problems all game and when a poor clearance fell to his feet he looked up and crossed the ball into a free Matt Blake who went for the spectacular with a scissor kick volley which flew just wide of the post. Gareth Heath also came close when he had a free kick from 25 yards out tipped onto the post. Dulwich had a golden chance to regain the lead towards the end of the first 45 minutes when a long ball over the top gifted the away side a two on two attack which eventually led to the ball being cut back to first half substitute Gavin Tomlin who seemed to have an empty goal to aim at but he ballooned his shot over the bar.
Leiston would have wanted to carry the momentum that they had gathered in the first half into the second, but it was Dulwich Hamlet who looked the better side at the start of the second half. The Blues struggled to get on the ball as the away side applied constant pressure for large parts of the second half. They created chance after chance and could have been out of sight if it was not for Leiston keeper Jacob Marsden who made several outstanding saves. The highlight of Jacob Marsden's goalkeeping heroics came when he tipped the initial shot from a corner up into the air only to recover superbly to save not once, but twice more in the space of seconds to deny Dulwich what seemed like a certain goal. Leiston looked to be getting back into the game when Gareth Heath had a shot blocked before Niko Muir-Merchant fired just wide minutes later. However, this spell of Leiston pressure soon ended when the referee deemed that Tom Bullard had fouled Michael Chambers in the box and awarded the away side a penalty kick. Ashley Carew stepped up to take the spot kick and powered it home to put his side ahead once again in the 71st minute. Similarly to the first half, Leiston soon responded to going behind and it was Matt Blake once again who drew them level. Niko Muir-Merchant did well once again in the box to hold off the challenge of a defender before fizzing a ball across the goal and towards the back post which Matt Blake beat his defender to, making the score 2-2 with just over 10 minutes of the game still to play. Both teams pushed on in the final minutes as they both looked to get the goal that would surely secure them the three points. Neither team could make the final breakthrough though as both defences stayed tight and ensure that the game would end 2-2, with the two teams taking a point each from the game.
FT - Blues 2 Dulwich Hamlet 2
Blues - Jacob Marsden, Ainsley, Dunbar, Cole (Pelling 77 mins), Hutchings, Bullard, Lawrence, Heath (Francis 69 mins), Blake, Muir-Merchant, Brothers (Hubble 59 mins). Subs not used - Joe Marsden and Beckwith.
Dulwich Hamlet - Edwards, Weatherstone, Green, Kargbo, Drage, Chambers, Ming (Murrell-Williamson 90 mins), Beaney, Dumaka (Tomlin 23 mins), Carew, Akinyemi (Clunis 85 mins). Subs not used - Taylor and Sekajja.
Match Sponsors COASTAL BUILDING SUPPLIES Man of the Match - Matt Blake
Attendance - 399