Injury-hit Leiston hoping to reach the Third Round Qualifying stage of the FA Trophy
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Leiston search for progress in the FA Trophy seeking to reach the Third Round Qualifying stages for the very first time.
This is the Blues’ fourth season in the FA Trophy and only once have they reached this stage, in 2012 when they lost in a replay at Hampton & Richmond Borough.
Standing in their way are Bristol-based Paulton Rovers who made the seven-hour coach journey yesterday, staying the night in Ipswich ahead of today’s game.
Rovers play at the same level in the non-league pyramid as Leiston in the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division, and currently sit in 19th position, winning four of their eighteen league games.
In the previous round, Paulton defeated Fleet Town 3-0 at their Winterfield Road ground.
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The home side, who needed a replay to see off Leighton Town (5-2) in the last round, are in a good run of form.
And Tuesday’s Robert Dyas (Ryman) League Cup defeat at AFC Sudbury apart (Leiston had seven first-teamers absent), they have lost only one of their last 10 games – a run that sees them in fourth position in the Ryman Premier Division.
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But this run has come at a cost with the Blues squad severely depleted by injury.
Tom Bullard and Josh Mayhew are ruled out today, while there will be fitness checks on Leon Ottley-Gooch and Adam Tann who both limped off during Tuesday’s cup defeat.
Joe Francis is also out due to the accumulation of five bookings culminating in a one-match ban.
It is hoped that leading scorer Gareth Heath, Conor Hubble and Craig Parker will return to the squad as Leiston look to be in Monday’s draw alongside the Conference North and South clubs.