Driver happy for Lawrence’s opportunity at Billericay as Leiston lose Byron but sign Ashlee Jones

Byron Lawrence, in action for Leiston against Burgess Hill. Lawrence has joined Billericay.

Byron Lawrence, in action for Leiston against Burgess Hill. Lawrence has joined Billericay. - Credit: Archant

Leiston boss Glenn Driver admits that although he is disappointed to lose Byron Lawrence, he would never have stood in the way of the ex-Ipswich Town midfielder’s chance to move to Billiercay.

Lawrence today signed for the Essex club and joins ex-England international Paul Konchesky who also joined the New Lodge outfit earlier this week, as new owner Glenn Tamplin splashes the cash in pursuit of glory.

Billericay may be in the Ryman Premier League, alongside Leiston, but Driver admits the deal was a good bit of business for his club - and Lawrence.

Lawrence’s move has also allowed Driver to re-sign ‘keeper Ashlee Jones - a popular figure who joined Chesham this season, but who scooped many end-of-season awards last year at Victory Road.

“It’s a good move for Byron and a good bit of business for Leiston,” Driver said.

“Billericay have big plans and have offered him a good deal. He’s a great lad, a talented footballer and a very nice young man. I’m sorry to lose him but so pleased with his opportunity. I think he will do great there.”

While Leiston begin life without their talisman midfielder at Harlow tomorrow afternoon, the Blues have also announced the re-signing of Jones.

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“Ashlee was hugely popular at Leiston last season and we were sorry he decided not to stay. But he’s back now and along with Jacob Marsden I now have two experienced ‘keepers.

“With Nick Eyre injured and two young teenage ‘keepers, who are the future of the club, it will be good to have Ashlee back.”

Leiston travel to Harlow on the back of three good results against top five Ryman Premier teams in recent weeks.

Having beaten Tonbridge Angels, Driver’s team drew with Bognor Regis before losing on penalties in a thrilling Suffolk Premier Cup semi-final to Needham Market on Wednesday night.

“We go to Harlow in a good frame of mind and in decent form,” Driver said.

“Their 3G pitch will suit our style of play and we welcome back Joe Francis and Seb Dunbar. The play-offs are still very much our aim this season.

“There are a lot of big games to come and with games in hand we are still in a good position.”

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