Leiston grateful to Lawrence as they almost throw it away once more and Driver’s not impressed

PUBLISHED: 08:54 02 September 2018 | UPDATED: 08:55 02 September 2018

GOAL! Noel Aitkens (second from the right) puts Leiston ahead following a corner. Photo: PAUL VOLLER

GOAL! Noel Aitkens (second from the right) puts Leiston ahead following a corner. Photo: PAUL VOLLER

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Leiston 4 Redditch United 3

GOAL Liam Francis heads in the Redditch equaliser. Photo: PAUL VOLLERGOAL Liam Francis heads in the Redditch equaliser. Photo: PAUL VOLLER

Leiston laboured in the second half of this clash, but extricated themselves from a possible debacle against the lowly Worcestershire side, having held a two goal lead at the interval.

This game was almost a replica of last week’s indifferent second half showing against Tamworth when the Blues forfeited a two-goal lead and were held to a draw.

Manager Glenn Driver had bemoaned the Tamworth performance and told his side they needed to compete for 90 minutes, in this clash, recognising the opportunity for redemption against a team languishing in 23rd place.

After a shock start when the visitors went in front as early as the third minute, his side played some delightful attacking football, proving clinical in front of goal, scoring three first half goals in four minutes, and were sufficiently well placed to suggest a comfortable three points was in the offing.

GOAL Jake Reed (far right) watches his shot beat Louis Connor for Leiston's third goal. Photo: PAUL VOLLERGOAL Jake Reed (far right) watches his shot beat Louis Connor for Leiston's third goal. Photo: PAUL VOLLER

However, again the home side inexplicably surrendered the lead as Redditch fought back to draw level. Leiston were thankful for Byron Lawrence’s stunning winner to salvage the points as they moved upto third.

“It was a shocking second half,” Driver said.

“This was virtually the same personnel who again failed to press home our advantage against, I’m sorry to say, the poorest team we have met this season. I can only apologise to our fans for that second half.”

The visitors got the early lead when Leam Howard took advantage of sloppy defending tapping in from three yards.

GOAL Byron Lawrence hits the winning goal for Leiston. Photo: PAUL VOLLERGOAL Byron Lawrence hits the winning goal for Leiston. Photo: PAUL VOLLER

Leiston then imposed themselves controlling the midfield and playing with a fluency that brought about three quick goals in succession.

They levelled on 18 minutes when Lawrence’s corner was headed home by Chris Henderson.

Moments later they benefited from Kyle Hammond’s corner when Noel Aitkens scored, rifling home the loose ball. Two minutes later the points looked all Leiston’s when Hammond threaded a perfect ball into the path of Jake Reed who slipped the ball past Louis Connor.

However, in a wretched spell, momentum and initiative then evaporated as Howard added his second from close in, and Liam Francis headed home to raise the visitor’s previously, unlikely hopes.

Fortunately Leiston blushes were spared when Lawrence shot powerfully home, enabling Driver’s side to at least enjoy their lofty position.

Referee Mr Michael Robertson – Tant (Colchester)

Attendance: 267

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