Blues 1 Stratford Town 2
By Craig Cooper
Blues go down to play-off chasing Stratford Town on a mild evening
Leiston went down 2-1 to a very good Stratford Town side on Tuesday evening, in a match sponsored by Sue Tugwell while Stephen Coulter donated towards the match ball.
Will Davies and Patrick Brothers were still sidelined by injury while Tom Bullard was suspended and George Keys and Byron Lawrence were unavailable.
Leiston had a great chance to take the lead in just the 2nd minute. A good Kyle Hammond corner was whipped in and met by Joe Jefford but his effort was saved by Laurence Bilboe and Harry Knights hit the underside of the bar from the follow up. Stratford’s first chance came in the 12th minute but Albi Skendi was off target with his shot. Bilboe caught well from a Hammond corner as chances were hard to come by, but Leiston did take the lead in the 26th minute. Josh Cheetham, starting his first league game of the season, threaded a pass through to Matt Blake and he rode into the penalty area to finish excellently past Bilboe to net his 18th goal of the season. Another good delivery from Hammond came and went as no one could get on the end of it. Hammond and Dominic Docherty combined well to set up Christy Finch but he striked wide of the goal. Harry Knights strode forward and played in Josh Cheetham but the midfielder didn’t read the pass quick enough and Bilboe was out to clear in the away goal. Before half time, Matt Blake stroked wide and Harry Knights twice blocked shots from distance well. In the third minute of added on time, Christy Finch committed a foul in the penalty area and Wilson Carvalho struck home to give Marcus Garnham no chance.
The Blues started the second half slowly and Michael Taylor’s header from close range after just 42 seconds put the team from Warwickshire in front. Just a minute after the restart and good perseverance by Blake saw him get off a shot which Bilboe turned onto his right upright. Josh Cheetham struck just wide of the post moments later and at the other end, Taylor could have had a second but curled his effort just of Garnham’s goal. Leiston soaked up some pressure from the home side well as the back five and Garnham stood firm. Carvalho forced Garnham into a decent save to his right hand side and the home keeper made a another good save clawing a Stratford shot onto the bar after a deflecton and Joe Jefford blocked the Stratford’s follow up. Leiston were restricted to very few chances late on with Stratford defending well. Kyle Hammond’s free kick was flicked on by Noel Aitkens but sub Louie Bloom, who came on to make his debut, put wide as the away side held out for the win.
Leiston now visit Halesowen Town at the weekend as they try to get back to winning ways.
FT - Blues 1 Stratford Town 2
Leiston: - Garnham, Hammond, Dunbar, Aitkens, Jefford, Knights, Cheetham (Bacon 70 mins), Rutterford, Blake, Docherty, Finch (Bloom 82 mins). Subs not used: - Canham, Eagle, Potter.
Stratford Town: - Bilboe, Cox, Fisher, Fry (Sebbeh-Njie 77 mins), Wilson, Jordan Williams, Shariff, Skendi, Taylor (Creaney 89 mins), Grocott, Carvalho (Kai Williams 90+4 mins). Subs not used: - Etheridge, Fishwick.
Match Sponsor Mrs Sue Tugwell’s Man Of The Match: - Matt Blake.
Attendance: - 182.