Blues 2 Worthing 0
Hubble at the double as Blues move upto third
The Blues walked away from Victory Road with all three points thanks to a Conor Hubble brace against Worthing in a MATCH SPONSORED BY NNB GENCO (SZC) LTD & CEETECH. The midfielder’s goals in both halves capped off a solid Leiston performance and further boosted their playoff hopes writes Ollie Fairs.
There was a very stiff breeze throughout the game and this gave both teams something to think about as the ball was often getting caught by the wind. Leiston had the difficult job of playing in to the wind in the first half, but they appeared to be coping well as they took the lead early on. On 12 minutes a corner was swung in from the left by Gareth Heath and Conor Hubble rose highest of everyone in the area and powered his header past the keeper to give the Blues the lead. Matt Blake had a chance to double this lead less than a minute later when he was played in behind the Worthing defence but his shot across goal just rolled past the post. The wind really was a major factor in this game and changed the way both teams had to play. Leiston struggled to get men in behind as any form of lofted through pass would simply get caught in the wind, making it easy for a Worthing defender to head clear. Worthing weren’t having much luck either as they too struggled to create many clear cut chances. Blues skipper Tom Bullard was making his 100th League appearance for the club and for a moment he thought he had celebrated it with a goal. After another Gareth Heath corner the ball was headed towards the back post where Tom Bullard climbed over his man to head it in, only for the Referee to disallow it for a push on a Worthing defender. Just seconds before the half time whistle Worthing’s Dan Summers was allowed time in the area to bring the ball down and have a shot on goal, however he sliced his effort horribly and put it well past the post.
The wind was on Leiston’s side in the second half and they used it to full effect with several balls in behind that the Worthing defence struggled to deal with. Niko Muir-Merchant found himself on the end of one of these passes and as he looked up he saw the keeper off his line, but his attempted lob was just over hit and sailed over the crossbar. Worthing had a fair share of the ball in the second half but once again failed to create any real chances, Adeyinka Cole in particular did a brilliant job of breaking down Worthing attacks and still being able to get his head up and find a purposeful pass. The second goal of the game came after 70 minutes and it was Conor Hubble who was the scorer once again. He picked up the ball on the edge of the Worthing 18-yard box before dropping his shoulder to send his man the wrong way as he made his way into the box. He then found the yard of space he needed before opening up his body and calmly slotting the ball into the bottom right hand corner of the net. Leiston did not sit back after that as Matt Blake had multiple chances to put the game to bed but a combination of good goalkeeping and uncharacteristic poor finishing from the Blues’ top scorer kept the score at 2-0. Worthing should have had a consolation goal in the final minutes of the game when a mix up in the Leiston defence saw the ball land to the feet on Will Hendon who scuffed his shot wide of the goal from less than 10 yards out.
FT - Blues 2 Worthing 0
Blues - Jones, Brown, Dunbar, Hutchings, Jefford, Bullard, Cole (Pelling 81 mins), Gareth Heath, Blake (Blades 89 mins), Muir-Merchant (Schaar 88 mins), Hubble. Subs not used - Brothers and Beckwith.
Worthing - Thorp, Hendon, Cadman, Wills, Cook, Corey Heath (Williamson 80 mins), Sparks (Edwards 75 mins), O'Neill, Summers (Pope 69 mins), Clark, Rents. Subs not used - Belward and Herbert.
Match Sponsors NNB GENCO (SZC) LTD & CEETECH Man of the Match - Conor Hubble
Attendance - 330