Leiston 0 Lowestoft Town 0
Lowestoft carry the bigger threat but with neither keeper being fully tested, Lowestoft and Leiston battle out a goalless draw at Victory Road.
Leiston: Dixon, Driver, Dunbar, P Brothers, Jefford, Boardley, Henry, Wilson (Hammond 69 mins), Osei (Winter 72 mins), Stone, M Brothers. Subs; Hammond, Ottley-Gooch, Winter, Heath, Block.
Lowestoft Town: Plummer, Saker, Gaughran, Mitchell, A Smith, Gleeson, L Smith, Okay, Fisk (Henderson 70 mins), Benjamin (Dawkin 77 mins), Frew. Subs; Henderson, Cunningham, Dawkin, Eagle, Ainsley.
Lowestoft carried the bigger threat but with neither keeper being fully tested, Lowestoft and Leiston battled out a goalless draw at Victory Road.
It was always going to be a tough and tight match with Leiston having found their feet in the league and looking solid.
Lowestoft came into the game missing Crane who was starting a three match suspension, Defty who was carrying a knock on his ankle from Monday and Williams who is still feeling his hamstring.
Lowestoft lined up with Benjamin getting a start on the left and Cunningham returning to the squad on the bench. Leiston had Ex-Lowestoft players Stone, Jefford and Wilson in their line-up and also included their new Ipswich Town signing Tom Winter on the bench.
The match kicked off with Lowestoft in white and the Lowestoft supporters in full voice behind the goal, making plenty of noise.
It was a pretty confident start to the match by both teams but Lowestoft were first to get a shot in on goal. An Adam Smith free kick was touched on to Lee Smith and after spinning on the ball and shooting, his shot was cleared off the line by Jefford.
Conditions weren't great with a dry and hard pitch, with a swirling wind also making it tricky to control the ball. Therefore most of the play was contained to the middle of the park and after fifteen minutes it was all fairly even.
Lowestoft were now getting tight on Leiston though, giving them no time on the ball and as a result Lowestoft then started to see more possession in the final third. Benjamin was causing issues for right back Driver and was using his great strength and pace to get beyond him and round the back of the Leiston defence, to deliver a few dangerous cut backs across goal. On the other side, Lee Smith was also quick to the ball and alert, as Lowestoft started to stretch the game a bit more.
Leiston were finding it difficult to get anything up to Stone or Osei and even though Wilson was looking good on the ball for Leiston, the Lowestoft midfield were working really hard with Okay, Fisk and Gleeson all looking solid on the ball and closing down the midfield well. Thirty minutes in though and neither keeper had been asked any question.
With the half coming to a close, Leiston did have a spell of possession in the Lowestoft half and forced a couple of corners but nothing was doing in the way of efforts on goal.
With the whistle being sounded for half time, it had been fairly tight but Lowestoft had carried the bigger threat and controlled most of the play. They were also getting some joy through the powerhouse Benjamin down the left, who was being ably supported by the in-form Adam Smith at left back.
The second half got underway with the Lowestoft fans turning up the volume behind the goal and getting right behind the team.
It was Leiston, however, who came out looking the sharper of the two sides and Danny Laws had obviously asked more of them at half time.
Lowestoft had the wind this half but Michael Brothers was in a buoyant mood and nearly carved the Lowestoft defence open with a powerful burst through the middle but a super tackle by Gaughran halted his progress.
Michael Brothers was involved again, delivering a free kick from the left and with Stone having a free header in front of goal he placed it wide, when he probably should have found the target.
Leiston were looking much sharper and with a fired up Michael Brothers, who was also sending some long throws into the area, Lowestoft were looking second best.
Lowestoft finally found themselves though and settled into the game again, creating their own chance to take the lead. Lee Smith and Frew combined well and with Lee Smith sending a ball into the box it found its way to the head of Frew but his header drifted past the far post.
Another long throw from Michael Brothers picked out Stone but he couldn't get enough on the shot, as the sixty minute mark was reached and both keepers had still not been fully tested.
Lowestoft have scored a couple of great goals from distance of late and with a long ball going forward to Frew, it came down to Gleeson who spanked a fizzing shot from all of 30 yards, which flew just over the bar.
Leiston then had their best chance of the game with a ball into the Lowestoft box not being cleared effectively by Adam Smith and Henry being presented with a glorious chance in front of goal but blasting it over the goal.
The game was starting to become a little scrappy, so both sides made changes with about twenty minutes left on the clock. Henderson had replaced Fisk for Lowestoft and took up position on the right, with Lee Smith moving into the centre, just behind Frew.
The changes appeared to make little difference to a game which was looking like it had 0-0 written all over it but with fifteen minutes remaining Lowestoft started to press and went in search of the winning goal. Adam Smith made a great bursting run down the left but his cross ended up in the clutches of the keeper Dixon, after it had pin-balled around in the Leiston box.
Lowestoft then introduced Dawkin for Benjamin, who had given Driver a torrid time in the first half but hadn't been involved this half.
Lowestoft continued to apply pressure and with Lee Smith sending a good free kick delivery into a crowded box, Leiston were saved by a coat of paint, as a Frew header hit the post and went behind.
Lowestoft were really pushing Leiston back now and as a result they were also drawing fouls from Leiston and getting free-kicks.
Another good free-kick delivery by Lee Smith found Henderson but his downward header was met by Dixon, who got down well to gather.
Lowestoft were giving it their all but with plenty of tackles flying in from both sides, time ran out for Lowestoft and at the final whistle they had to settle for a hard fought point. Leiston had defended well and even though Lowestoft would have liked all the points, it was a solid point, another clean sheet and an unbeaten and confident run that's still intact.
The Lowestoft midfield had performed well again, with Okay brimming with confidence. Benjamin showed great strength and pace in the first half to cause problems and Lee Smith put in a busy performance, while also delivering some good free-kicks into the box.
Gaughran was solid at the back and put in some strong tackles when required and Adam Smith continued his great form, providing Lowestoft with quality out wide and a good support for Benjamin down the left.
My Man of the Match though was Dan Gleeson, who just makes the game look so easy at times and is becoming a key figure for Lowestoft since returning from his lay-off. He's always making himself available to receive the ball and always makes his pass count, to keep things ticking over for his side.
Attentions now turn to Easter Monday, against Bury Town.
As always, these clashes are feisty and have everything, so the excellent vocal support shown at Leiston will be required and appreciated again.
Come on you blues!!!