The Blues lost 2-1 for the first time in five games this afternoon against a resolute and well organised Barwell team.
Captain Seb Dunbar came back into the starting eleven after missing the last two games with illness but Joe Marsden was unavailable. Wyatt Hill remained out injured with an ankle injury however, Jamar Loza was back to fitness while Joe McNeil came back into the squad after impressing in the Under 23’s recently.
The game began slowly and both sides struggled to make real inroads into the game. Seb Dunbar made a good early challenge on the Blues left to tackle Micah Edwards after just four minutes while the same player headed wide at the back post from George Quantrell’s cross moments later. Beck-Ray Enoru was flagged offside when through on goal after eight minutes before Ross Crane went down inside the area for the hosts on ten minutes after good play in the middle of the park by Jack Manly but penalty appeals were waved away by referee Thomas Harvey. In the 13th minute, Adam Bailey-Dennis headed away a cross into the area before Zach Dronfield cleared the loose ball away from the Blues goal. On 21 minutes, Barwell capitalised on a mistake at the back by Leiston and the lively Beck Ray-Enoru dribbled into the box to shoot high into Donkin’s goal to give the side from Leicestershire the lead. Three minutes later, and Blues keeper Sam Donkin made a good save to thwart Brady Hickey but the offside flag was raised on this occasion. George Quantrell ran at the away defence just after the half hour mark before the ball broke to Jack Manly on the right but the player’s cross landed on the roof of Harry Evans’ net. Leiston had a good chance to equalise on 35 minutes, with Ross Crane and Jack Manly combining to set up Seb Dunbar but the captain shot just wide of Harry Evans left hand post. The Blues had a good chance on the stroke of half time to level but George Quantrell couldn’t get on the end of Crane’s ball.
The second half began a little like the first and the first action of note saw Beck-Ray Enoru volley wide from long distance. Barwell, though, netted their second in the 54th minute, when the Blues failed to deal with a delivery from the left and a strike across goal was poked home by Jahvan Davidson-Miller. From the restart, Dunbar forced Evans into a good save to his right but Eddie Jackson reduced the deficit on 62 minutes, firing home from the edge of the area into Evans’ right hand corner. Late on, both sides had chances, with Manly and Crane going close with the latter having a shot narrowly deflected away for a corner in stoppage time and on 93 minutes, the Blues had the ball in the net but the offside flag was raised that meant the points were going back to Barwell.
FT: Blues 1-2 Barwell
Leiston head to Needham Market on Tuesday night in league action as they start the first of two away games (7.45pm kick off).
Blues: Donkin, Casement (Loza 63 mins), Dunbar, Lavin, Bailey-Dennis, Eddie Jackson, Crane, Dronfield, Armin, Dronfield (Mitchell Jackson 86 mins), Manly, Quantrell. Subs not used: McNeil and Ryan Jarvis.
Barwell: Evans, Edwards, Kamara, Kerr, Flanagan, Ward, Enoru (Akinwe 90+4 mins), Hill, Davidson-Miller, Hickey, Charles (Nunn 74 mins). Subs not used: Brook (GK), Kutshienza and Chong.
Blues Man Of The Match, selected by match sponsor Mrs Sue Tugwell: Eddie Jackson