Leiston 2-1 Needham Market - Match Report
By Craig Cooper
Blues defeat Needham Market in scrappy affair
Leiston won their first match since the first Saturday in November after a 2-1 win against high flying Needham Market, in a match sponsored by The Windscreen Company and KBB Centre.
Noel Aitkens failed a late fitness test so in came Ashley Nicholls to replace him, while Joe Jefford and Byron Lawrence returned to the starting line-up at the expense of Harry Knights and Joshua Moore respectively.
Kyle Hammond's early cross was easily taken by away keeper Jake Jessop, but Leiston took the lead when Byron Lawrence was fouled on the edge of the area and he got up to superbly curl a free kick into Jake Jessop's bottom left hand corner. Callum Sturgess struck wide from a free kick in the 15th minute for the 'Marketmens' first opportunity, but three minute later the visitors levelled. Sturgess' corner into the penalty box evaded everyone and Adam Mills slotted in at the back post. Ashley Nicholls then fired wide for Leiston while Joe Marsden head off target at the other end. Towards the end of the first period, Seb Dunbar was harshly booked for a strong challenge and Marcus Garnham palmed over a delivery from the impressive Callum Sturgess.
At the start of the second half, Jessop parried Byron Lawrence's free kick out of play while after the corner, Lawrence's strike was blocked. Needham became the more dominant side for the next 20 minutes, and James Baker's effort was cleared off the line by Joe Jefford, with Jefford blocking Dan Morphew's shot from the follow up. Garnham saved well from Mills and Sturgess and Tom Bullard blocked Baker's strike well as time started to tick away. The Blues regained the lead in the 79th minute. Patrick Brothers' strong run down the left gave Leiston a corner, and Kyle Hammond assisted a great ball to Ashley Nicholls, who headed into Jessop's top left hand corner. Needham didn't really threaten from there on in and Leiston held on for all three points to send most of the 440 supporters home happy.
Leiston moved up a place to 11th with the win in what is now an extremely tight league. At the weekend, Royston Town visit. (3 o'clock KO).
FT: - Leiston 2-1 Needham Market.
Leiston: - Garnham, Keys, Dunbar, Nicholls (Knights 90 mins), Jefford, Bullard, Lawrence, Hammond, Reed (Finch 72 mins), Blake, Brothers. Subs not used: - Aitkens, Moore, Beckwith.
Needham Market: - Jessop, Dye (Issa 90 mins), Sturgess, Squire (Kamanzi 84 mins), Kieron Morphew, Daniel Morphew, Marsden, Heath, Baker, Ingram (Dobson 84 mins), Mills. Subs not used: - Griffiths, Shorten.
Match Sponsors The Windscreen Company and KBB Centre's Man Of The Match: - Byron Lawrence.
Attendance: - 440.