Lee Lashenko’s Manor Farm channelled the same tenacity they displayed against Westfield on Saturday by sweeping aside Western League outfit Bishop Sutton 4-1 at Lakeview last night. Matchday Reporter Jack Davies was on-hand to cover the action.
It was the Farm who opened the scoring inside 30 minutes; Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist continued his strong pre-season form, building on his two previous strikes against Avonmouth. That lead was cut short on 46 minutes, when Bishop Sutton’s number two equalised for the hosts. New signing Josh Ford restored Manor Farm’s lead on 63 minutes, heading into the back of the net. The in-form Leigh-Gilchrist added his second of the night – this time from the penalty spot on 71 minutes. And finally, captain Aron Robbins rounded off a richly deserved victory in the dying embers, slamming the ball into Bishop Sutton’s net.
Farm started on the front foot against the Bishop’s, Kyle Tooze devilishly cutting inside within minutes but his goal bound shot was blocked. Both full backs combined shortly after in the search or a breakthrough, Robbins cross found its way all the way to Stuart Tovey and his superb header almost found the onrushing Tooze.
Leigh-Gilchrist’s busy evening began with him coming inches from an opener, smart work on the edge of the box won him half a yard and his low finish clipped the post before Ford could only put the rebound into the side netting.
Farm’s prayers were answered before the first half hour break, good pressure from Jamie Short as he stole the ball high up the pitch before finding Tooze who in turn teed up the arriving Leigh-Gilchrist for a superb low finish.
It should have been two minutes after, more excellence from Leigh-Gilchrist as he played Jamie Bird through but the Welsh wingman could only lift his shot high into the heavens. The second period of 30 minutes should have seen Farm wrap the game up, substitute Mike Bryant won a penalty with one of his first involvements but Tooze saw his spot kick well saved.
Bishop Sutton quickly siezed on their reprieve, their full back allowed ample time to drive forward and smash home a fine equaliser. The bustling Tooze then almost dragged Farm back ahead before the second period was over, firstly seeing his cross hooked away from Bryant on the goal line, then having his own effort well saved after Short’s wonderful volleyed cross.
Ford became the second player foiled but the woodwork on the hour mark, his glancing header crashing off the post with defenders only able to stand and watch.
Farm would finally capitalise on a largely dominant performance as we entered the final third period of the game. Ford making no mistake this time and he rose highest again to thunder home a header after another superb corner. Leigh-Gilchrist saw another effort well saved before he got his chance to secure a brace. Tooze winning another spot kick and the aforementioned Leigh-Gilchrist was able to send the keeper the wrong way. As the light faded in the final few minutes, Farm would add a touch of gloss their performance merited. 15 year old debutant Regan Lashenko, just sent on by his proud Dad, challenged the hosts keeper after a deep cross and his pressure sent the ball loose for Robbins to drive home for 4-1.
(STAR MAN, Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist)