Blues 1 Wingate & Finchley 2
Blues woes continue as they slip to a third successive defeat
Leiston suffered a home defeat to Wingate & Finchley on Saturday thanks to two second half goals which put the game beyond their reach in a MATCH SPONSORED BY FAIRWEATHER LAW. Joe Francis scored a consolation goal for the Blues deep into injury time but it was not enough on the day writes Ollie Fairs.
Leiston boss Glenn Driver made three changes to his starting eleven that were defeated by Harrow Borough with Joe Francis and Byron Lawrence starting in midfield and goalkeeper Nick Eyre returning to the starting line up.
For the first half Leiston had the disadvantage of having to play into the wind which had a real effect on the game. Wingate looked to make the most of the wind and looked to put the ball into the box as frequently as possible. However, the Blues did well to cope with the crosses whether it be a defensive header or goalkeeper Nick Eyre coming out to claim the ball himself. While Wingate did not create many chances they certainly had more of the ball for most of the first half and at times were keeping Leiston pinned in their own half and even when the Blues did look to break it was swiftly broken down by the travelling side. Although, as the half went on Leiston began to find their feet and managed to get themselves back into the game. The Blues managed to hit Wingate on the counter a few times, the first seeing Matt Blake running in behind only to have his shot blocked. The Blues then broke again, this time through Niko Muir-Merchant, but his shot was comfortably saved by the keeper. Just before half time Wingate had a chance of their own when Reece Beckles-Richards ran into the box and had enough space to get a shot off but it was well blocked to round off a first half that saw neither keeper really tested but the Leiston defence was certainly the busier of the two.
The second half was played in a very similar fashion to the first as both teams struggled to create any clear-cut chances. Early in the half Wingate worked the ball well down the left wing before it was cut back to Beckles-Richards in the box but his first-time shot was straight at the Leiston keeper who sent it out for a corner. Leiston then put the strong winds to good use as Niko Muir-Merchant played a perfectly timed ball over to top to Matt Blake who did well to control it and get away from his man before putting his shot just wide of the post. The breakthrough came in the 70th minute when a routine goal kick from Nick Eyre was poorly taken and fell to the feet of Wingate & Finchley Beckles-Richards who whipped the ball into the box where, following a Rob Laney dummy, a free Ben Pattie was waiting. The striker did well to bring the ball down, stay calm, and slot the ball home to give his side the lead. Things then got worse for the Blues as the away side doubled their lead 14 minutes later. Second half substitute Walter Figueira made a blistering run through the middle of the pitch before sliding Tommy Tejan-Sie through who placed his right footed shot across goal and in at the far post, leaving Nick Eyre with no chance. At this stage the three points were almost certainly going to Wingate but the Blues did score a consolation goal in injury time when Patrick Brothers headed the ball towards Joe Francis from a corner who then fired his shot into the roof of the net. However, it was not enough for the Blues who were outfought on the night as Wingate & Finchley deservedly walked away with the three points.
FT - Blues 1 Wingate & Finchley 2
Blues - Eyre, Brown (Hubble 72 mins), Dunbar (Brothers 81 mins), Hutchings, Jefford, Bullard, Lawrence, Heath, Blake, Muir-Merchant, Francis. Subs not used - Ainsley, Cole and Marsden.
Wingate & Finchley - Gore, ifil, Abrahams, Vilcu (Sharpe 74 mins), Cronin, Rifat, Laney, McCall, Pattie (Figueira 80 mins), Beckles-Richards, Tejan-Sie. Subs not used - Wales and Obafemi.
Match Sponsors Fairweather Law Man of the Match - Seb Dunbar
Attendance - 224