Leiston pay the price for their errors as Leatherhead deservedly take the spoils at Victory Road
Leiston 1 Leatherhead 2
Leiston manager Glenn Driver kept faith with the side that crushed Needham Market on New Years’ day, but found the Surrey side a different proposition and despite a spirited late Leiston rally, The Tanners just about deserved the points, writes John Campany.
The hosts were level at the break having taken the lead, but it was Marcus Garnham who kept them afloat with some fine first-half saves.
In the second half an horrendous defensive error gifted the visitors a goal, enabling them to win their fifth successive match in front of 255 spectators.
Leiston dropped down to sixth in the Bostik Premier table.
Garnham’s heroics were over shadowed by Leatherhead’s player/manager Sammy Moore – previously with Leyton Orient – who was the architect influencing the match from midfield.
Garnham punched clear two Moore free-kicks, and then the keeper was beaten when former Colchester United defender, Sean Clohessy fired in from an angle, but Joe Marsden cleared off the line.
Moments later Garnham made an excellent save to deny Moore’s in-swinging corner followed by another fine stop from Niall McManus’ blistering effort.
As the visitors pressed home their superiority, Tom Derry tested the keeper and Joe Jefford did well to block a ferocious attempt.
However, Leiston went ahead against the run of play on 29 minutes when Matt Blake capitalised on hesitancy in the visiting defence and ran through beating Zaki Oualah with aplomb.
The Tanners equalised on 40 minutes when Moore released Tom Derry who gave Garnham no chance with a low shot.
The hosts’ bizarrely gifted Leatherhead with their winning goal on 55 minutes.
There was no apparent danger when Garnham released a short ball to the luckless Marsden who inexplicably presented the ball to Moore who, from 20 yards, drove home into an empty net.
Leiston introduced substitutes Kyle Hammond, Dominic Docherty and Robert Eagle and this gave renewed optimism while the visitors withdrew Moore through injury.
This resulted in a greater share of the play and the visiting defence were under considerable pressure.
But apart from an injury-time rasping effort from Byron Lawrence from 25 yards, that struck the bar, the visitors defence stood firm.
Referee Mr Adrian Sannerude (Lowestoft)