Leiston miss a late penalty and a chance to nip into the play-off spaces
Thurrock 0 Leiston 0
Thurrock and Leiston settled for a point in what was most probably a fair result on the day, writes Craig Cooper.
Glenn Driver brought Kyle Hammond and Dominic Docherty into the starting line-up, while Joe Marsden and Christy Finch had to make due with a place on the bench, along with Darren Mills who was cup-tied on Tuesday evening in the Suffolk Premier Cup, where Leiston had beaten Kirkley.
The hosts started the brighter of the two teams, with Leiston getting caught a couple of times at the back, as full back Remi Sutton tested Marcus Garnham with an early shot.
Jake Reed created Leiston’s first shot on goal, delivering for Chris Henderson but his effort ballooned over the crossbar.
Jordan Clark had a great chance for Thurrock but he sliced his shot high and wide. Docherty jinxed into the penalty area, but his shot was easily saved by Ben McNamara.
Patrick Brothers’ strike was deflected over the bar by a defender, as both teams failed to create another decent opportunity before the half-time interval.
Leiston, playing in orange on the day, came out of the blocks well for the second period.
Byron Lawrence’s shot was easy to catch for McNamara in the home goal, but Leiston looked to have taken the lead in the 56th minute.
Seb Dunbar’s surging run into the box looked to have been deflected into the net, but Lewwis Spence cleared off the goal line.
Substitute Mills set up Reed a minute later but he shot straight at McNamara.
Hammond lifted his effort wide on the edge of the area, before the same player nearly turned provider but Brothers put the ball wide of McNamara’s left hand upright.
Henderson had a penalty appeal waved away by the referee, but Leiston were awarded one in the 83rd minute as Reed was adjudged to have been fouled.
However, Jack Ainsley placed the spot kick past Ben McNamara’s left hand post.
With time running out, Ronnie Winn and Lewwis Spence fired wide for Thurrock, and Marcus Garnham saved excellently from Jordan Clark as both teams had to settle for a point a piece.
The result leaves Leiston in seventh spot, two points off the play-offs. The Blues entertain Needham Market at Victory Road on Easter Monday, 3pm kick off
Thurrock:- McNamara, Morgan, Sutton, Goode, Peter, Clark, George Winn (Oseyemi 73 mins), Spence, Brown (Ogunrinde 60 mins), Ronnie Winn, Nouble (Cave 64 mins). Subs not used:- Smith and Weston.
Leiston:- Garnham, Hammond, Dunbar, Ainsley, Jefford, Bullard, Lawrence (Marsden 79 mins), Reed, Docherty (Mills 50 mins), Brothers (Finch 71 mins).
Subs not used:- Knights and Beckwith.
Man of the match:- Tom Bullard.