Blues 4 Redditch United 3
Blues up to third after seven goal thriller
The Blues moved up into third spot thanks to Byron Lawrence’s late winner in a seven goal bonanza at Victory Road in a MATCH SPONSORED BY FGH MOTORHOMES.
Leiston were missing the unavailable Joe Jefford and the injured Seb Dunbar so Harry Knights came back into the team to partner Tom Bullard at centre-half while Rob Eagle filled in for Dunbar at left back. In a third change, Noel Aitkens started instead of Dominic Docherty. Matt Blake returned to the bench after missing Monday’s match with Needham Market and Toby Groom and Charlie Canham were called up from the Reserves.
For the second Saturday home game in a row, it was a case again of a tale of two halves as Redditch came back which looked to have denied the Blues the three points. The Worcestershire side took the lead in just the third minute after hesitant defending as a long ball wasn’t dealt with and Leam Howards placed his shot past Marcus Garnham in the home goal after two failed attempts to clear from the home defence. However, this goal seemed to revitalise Leiston and the hosts created chances as Christy Finch, Kyle Hammond and Noel Aitkens all went close. Leiston restored parity to level the scores when an unmarked Chris Henderson headed in from Byron Lawrence’s corner. Two minutes later, and Leiston were in front. Rob Eagle’s strike in the area was deflected for a corner. The resultant corner wasn’t cleared and Noel Aitkens scrambled the ball over the line. They doubled their lead soon after as well. Chris Henderson’s through ball found Jake Reed who finished excellently from a tight angle. It could have been more before half time with Leiston spreading the ball about with good build up play and Christy Finch, after an excellent pass by Jake Reed, tried to curl a shot in but Louis Connor made a fine stop. In the last chance of the half, Cemal Ramadan crossed to Christy Finch but he couldn’t get enough force on the ball to trouble Connor.
Redditch came out for the second half a different team and pulled a goal back seven minutes into the half, albeit in controversial circumstances. Leam Howards turned in a cross from the right hand side, but the linesman adjudged to have ruled the goal out. After a talk with the referee, the goal was given. Louis Connor was in fine form in the away goal still, this time denying Christy Finch and Byron Lawrence. With just under 20 minutes of normal time remaining, Tom Bullard was harshly penalised by referee Michael Robertson-Tant for a foul near the by-line, and Tom Winters free kick was headed in by Liam Francis to bring the teams level. Leiston went on the front foot again though, and Patrick Brothers’ pass found Jake Reed who held off his man to lay the ball to Byron Lawrence who smashed home from the edge of the box. Ramadan forced Connor into another excellent save and the Blues held on well and defended stoutly to move up to third in the league table.
FT - Blues 4 Redditch United 3
Blues - Garnham, Hammond, Eagle, Aitkens, Knights, Bullard, Lawrence, Henderson, Reed, Finch (Brothers 73 mins), Ramadan (Docherty 82 mins). Subs not used - Blake, Canham and Groom.
Redditch United - Connor, Summerfield, Mills, Meade, Francis, Willock (Whittingham 38 mins), Munce-Boyd, Benjamin, Moore (Gabbiadini 82 mins), Howards, Winters (Sebben-Njie 84 mins). Subs not used - Pierce and Sinclair.
Match Sponsors FGH MOTORHOMES Man of the Match - Byron Lawrence
Attendance - 267