Leiston 0-0 Banbury United
By Steve T
Hard work and a missed chance for United
Banbury made their final trip to Suffolk for the season and came away from Leiston with a point from a goalless draw. With Nash, Shamsi, Henderson and Berry-Hargreaves unavailable for a variety of reasons, Banbury made one change to the previous Saturday's XI with Edmund Hottor in for Nash.
Leiston had a decent first move after just three minutes when Rob Eagle put through Kyle Hammond who was flagged for offside. Charlie Wise had a header from a corner that Eagle cleared off the line moments later and captain Ricky Johnson was off target with a headed attempt from a free kick. Harry Knights crossed the ball from the right-hand side and found Dominic Docherty but Jack Harding, maintaining his great form from the previous week, made a fantastic save to his left to keep the scores level.
After 14 minutes, Anton Sambrook was sent to the stands from the Banbury United dugout by referee Michael Robertson-Tant for disputing a decision. Edmond Hottor guided in a shot from outside the area a little later but Beckwith caught it easily. The game became scrappy before the interval, with neither side creating much in terms of chances. Both sides delivered aerial balls into the box but these were defended well by both defences.
Play was held up at the beginning of the second period, with Seb Dunbar clashing heads with Charlie Hawtin. Sub Christy Finch did well on the left hand side to cross into the box but Harding was there to grab at the second time of asking. Byron Lawrence let fly with a volley just outside the penalty area and forced Harding into a good save down to his left hand side to palm the ball out for a corner. Kyle Hammond's corner into the box was met well by Harry Knights but the ball flashed wide. Lawrence's cross from the left hand side was then headed towards goal by Will Davies but it went over the crossbar.
With ten minutes of normal time remaining, Harry Knights was adjudged to have fouled Ricky Johnson in the box but striker Giorgio Rasulo's penalty was pushed away superbly by Charlie Beckwith. In the dying moments, Christy Finch headed wide of Harding's left hand post while a great Seb Dunbar ball to the back post just evaded the boot of Kyle Hammond. Both teams tried for the winner but a point was a fair result in the end.
Whilst disappointed not to have taken all three points with the penalty, Banbury can take heart from a third successive clean sheet in the league.
Leiston: 1. Beckwith, 2. Knights, 3. Dunbar, 4. Eagle, 5. Jefford, 6. Bullard, 7. Lawrence, 8. Hitter (Sub 12. Davies 64'), 9. Blake, 10. Hammond, 11. Docherty (Sub 13. Finch 53').
Subs not used: 14. Cheetham, 15. Head, 16. Garnham.
Banbury: 1. Jack Harding, 2. Edmund Hottor (Sub 12. Amer Awadh 74'), 3. Matt Taylor, 5. Charlie Wise, 7. Charlie Hawtin, 8. Matt Richards, 9. Ricky Johnson, 10. Joe Iaciofano, 16. Greg Kaziboni, 17. Harry Whitehead, 18. Giorgio Rasulo.
Subs not used: 6. Jogue Antonio, 15. Eddie Odihambo, 19. Ryan Macdonald, GK. Charlie Barnett.
Attendance – 208
Photo: Jack Harding and eight teammates repel Leiston.