Leiston grab revenge with win over St Neots
Evo-Stik Central Premier League
St Neots Town 0
Leiston avenged Tuesday evening’s 2-0 defeat at St Neots by winning this return encounter very comfortably, against what amounted to be a struggling Cambridgeshire side, in a match which saw both sides end with 10 men.
The win keeps Stuart Boardley’s team’s play-off aspirations in focus, whilst the visitors languish firmly in the relegation zone.
This was hardly a vintage display from the home side, but it was nevertheless a hardworking performance that produced the moments of quality that earned these vital points, in front of over 200 spectators at Victory Road.
There were three changes from Tuesday’s game. Joe Jefford returned to the starting line up, as did Noel Aitkens, whilst manager Boardley made a surprise seasonal debut in midfield. Leading marksmen Matt Blake was sidelined feeling unwell.
Gary Wharton should have put the visitors ahead on three minutes but shot wide in front of goal.
Thereafter, Leiston dominated the early play, but suffered a set back in the 20th minute when Harry Knights was shown a straight red card for a high tackle on Jordon Norville-Williams.
The home side almost went ahead when Kyle Hammond’s corner was headed on to the upright by skipper Tom Bullard. However, they took the lead on 30 minutes.
Manager Boardley, leading from the front, produced a sweeping pass that sent man of the match Patrick Brothers rampaging down the left, cutting in and dispatching a sublime angled shot over Finlay Iron inside his far post.
St Neots barely looked capable of engaging Marcus Garnham in the home goal, despite the numerical advantage, as the first half ended.
A second red card was administered in the 53rd minute to the visitors’ Devante Stanley for another high tackle.
Christy Finch struck a decent shot just past the post, but the home side made it two in the 57th minute with the best move of the match. Hammond started proceedings on the right and the play was switched diagonally to the left embracing half a dozen passes that culminated with a fine cross that Aitkins drove home from close range.
There was plenty of promise displayed following the introduction of young substitutes Will Davies and Harrison Bacon – who was making his first league appearance – as Leiston continued to dictate the game, although a late flurry from the visitors saw Garnham save from Wharton.