Lowestoft upset Suffolk rivals Leiston in Boxing Day derby
PUBLISHED: 18:05 26 December 2017 | UPDATED: 18:05 26 December 2017
Shirley D Whitlow
Lowestoft Town 1
The Trawlerboys deservedly upset their Suffolk neighbours at Victory Road, beating Leiston by the only goal of the game and climbing four places to 14th in the Bostik Premier table as a result, writes John Campany.
The hosts, in contrast, dropped to fifth in the table following a very disappointing performance, in front of a bumper holiday crowd of 511.
Leiston boss Glen Driver had a full squad available but they started lethargically and despite a rallying second half the visitors were always in command – rarely did the home side look capable of completing a double, having won the away fixture in August.
Lowestoft made the perfect start, albeit fortuitously, when hesitancy and confusion in the Leiston defence proved costly.
A misunderstanding following a poor back pass culminated with Seb Dunbar putting through his own goal. However, they nearly recovered when Chris Henderson had a shot blocked and Jack Ainsley fired over.
The visitors had an opportunity to extend their lead when leading scorer Jake Reed almost capitalised on another defensive calamity, lobbing Marcus Garnham but putting the ball narrowly wide, and moments later Garnham’s poor clearance resulted in Reed rounding the keeper, who managed to redeem himself and deny a second.
As the first half drew to a close Dunbar cleared off the line from Shaun Bammant’s header.
Leiston showed improvement after the restart and exerted plenty of pressure. An exchange of passing with Christy Finch concluded with Chris Henderson testing Ben Dudzinski in the visiting goal and Joe Marsden went close, but the keeper gathered at his near post.
It was proving to be a physical encounter and the referee Richard Holmes administered six cautions.
Leiston continued to largely dominate and the introduction of substitute Matt Blake gave some hope. He was released by Henderson and rounded Dudzinski, but from a good position fired into the side netting.
The visitors were adept at playing on the break and Reed was the perfect outlet with his hold-up play.
The home side gained several corners, but Dudzinski showed excellent handling throughout whilst the Lowestoft defence, ably lead by the outstanding Rory McAuley, provided little scope for the home side to press home their territorial advantage.