Alvechurch 2-1 Leiston - Match Report
By Craig Cooper
Blues lose to the ‘Church’ after long journey
(Please note this most of this match report has been taking off the Alvechurch website. We thank them for their co-operation in letting us use it).
The Blues went down to 2-1 to Alvechurch on what was a long trek on a Tuesday night. Rob Eagle, Josh Cheetham and Tom Bullard were all unavailable while Will Davies played for the Reserves. Patrick Brothers and Harrison remain out injured.
James Roberts’ first goal for Alvechurch earned the ‘Church’ a huge three points as they came from behind to beat the Blues.
Matt Blake’s stunning 25 yard strike had given Leiston the lead but, following a Kieran Cook leveller, Roberts composed finish extended Church’s position in the play-offs to six points.
With heavy rain throughout the day and just before kick off, the first half proved a sloppy affair but did see both teams create early chances. For Alvechurch, Josh March was denied by Marcus Garnham, with Jamie Willets seeing his header from the resultant corner blocked on the line. Meanwhile, up the other end, Dan Crane was on hand to force Blake to hit the ball wide of the goal and make a good save from Dominic Docherty. With the boggy pitch playing a part it was another twenty minutes before there was any other chances, which ended in a goal. Blake picked the ball up from 25 yards from goal, turned, and curled home a superb strike with his left foot to see the ball nestle into Dan Crane’s bottom right hand corner. It was Blake’s 50th league goal for the Blues. Alvechurch tried to reply but Roberts could only shoot wide and another effort by the same player was easy for Garnham. With five minutes of the half remaining, Ian Long’s side found an equaliser however as a well worked moved lead to Tom Turton’s cross being headed in by Kieran Cook.
The home side made a dream start to the second half as Roberts netted excellently. The striker capitalised on a mix up in the Leiston defence and raced through on goal before calmly dinking the ball over Garnham and into the net.
The same player done well two minutes later and played the ball to Josh March who appeared to have been fouled in the box, but referee Robbie Dadley opted to give a free kick on the edge of the area instead, much to Alvechurch’s disbelief. There was to be more anger for the home faithful soon after as Roberts had a goal ruled out with the referee stating that sub Rahis Nabi had put the ball out of play. Leiston, meanwhile, reminded Alvechurch how dangerous they could be with Christy Finch being denied by Crane after being put through by Noel Aitkens. Roberts was proving to be a thorn in the visitors side and forced a brilliant save from Garnham with little time remaining. It didn’t matter though as Alvechurch held on for the points.
The Blues now travel to Leicestershire on Saturday to face Barwell in their next league match.
FT: - Alvechurch 2-1 Blues.
Alvechurch: - Crane, Ezewele (Nabi 45 mins), Morrison, Turton, Willets, Carter, Bellis, Tonks (Carvalho-Landell 78 mins), Roberts, Cook (Botfield 61 mins), March. Subs not used: - Lloyd, Price.
Leiston: - Garnham, Hammond, Dunbar, Aitkens, Jefford, Knights, Lawrence, Hitter (Rutterford 64 mins), Blake, Docherty, Finch (Sinclair 76 mins). Subs not used: - Head, Boardley.
Man Of The Match: - Byron Lawrence.
Attendance: - 175.