Stratford Town 3 Blues 2
By Craig Cooper
Stratford defeat the Blues to end a tough week at the club
Leiston, under caretaker charge of Tony Kinsella, made two changes to the team defeated by King's Lynn Town on Tuesday night. Jake Reed and Christy Finch replaced Matt Blake, who was injured, and Noel Aitkens who dropped to the bench. Leiston made the perfect start when Finch headed home Kyle Hammond's cross after just 22 seconds. The Stratford centre forward Michael Taylor started to impose himself and was causing problems for the Leiston defence and it was no surprise when Stratford equalised after seven minutes. The Blues had numerous chances to clear the ball but the ball landed at the feet of Wilson Carvalho who fired home from the edge of the area. The physical size of most of the Stratford players was proving difficult as they continued to press forward. On 23 minutes, a corner wasn't cleared with the ball kindly falling to Albi Skendi and from 12 yards out he made no mistake and shot firmly into the corner of the net. Leiston were gradually finding a foothold in the game with Patrick Brothers looking impressive in midfield. With nine minutes of the first period remaining, Leiston restored parity. Jake Reed showed great strength to hold off a couple of Stratford defenders, eventually managing to get a shot away which struck a defender and looped up over Richard Walton in the home goal.
The second half began with both teams probing and the Leiston defence now appeared to have the measure of striker Michael Taylor. Marcus Garnham was called into action to produce a fine save from Jamie McAteer's twenty five yard effort. Taylor ghosted in behind the defence moments later but failed to hit the target from six yards out. However, in the 68th minute Stratford regained the lead. Wilson Carvalho added his second when he cut in from the left and with no one challenging him he stroked the ball into Marcus Garnham's bottom left hand corner. Leiston made three changes, with the introduction of Cemal Ramadan, Joshua Moore and Noel Aitkens in an attempt to salvage at least a point from the game. Despite lots of possession, Leiston were unable to create any clear cut chances in the final twenty minutes.
The Blues now head to St Ives Town on Tuesday night for more league action.
FT - Stratford Town 3 Blues 2
Stratford Town - Walton, Cox, McAteer, Williams, Westwood, Wilson, Fry, Grocott, Skendi, Taylor, Carvalho. Subs - Isaac, Behan, Oulton, Dias and Fisher.
Blues - Garnham, Hammond, Dunbar, Knights (Ramadan 70 mins), Jefford, Bullard, Lawrence, Docherty (Moore 75 mins), Reed, Finch, Brothers (Aitkens 80 mins). Sub not used - Beckwith.
Man Of The Match - Patrick Brothers
Attendance - 227