Leiston are becoming the entertainers of the Ryman Premier

Glenn Driver

Glenn Driver - Credit: Archant

Leiston are becoming the non-league entertainers and manager Glenn Driver is keen for the table-topping Blues to maintain their superb start to the Ryman Premier season.

The Blues have a perfect record after four games, having secured home wins against Havant & Waterlooville (3-1) and Grays Athletic (4-1) and picked up maximum points at Canvey Island (3-2) and Dulwich Hamlet (4-2).

Five goals a game on average have been plundered in the Victory Road team’s opening four games – the Blues scoring 14 of them.

However, their unbeaten run and position at the head of the division will be tested this Bank Holiday weekend with a trip to Needham Market on Monday following a home game with Burgess Hill today.

“If we can get the ball down and play it does not matter who we come up against, the way we are playing at the moment,” said Driver who replaced Needham Market assistant manager Richard Wilkins as manager in the summer, thus starting his second spell in charge.

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“Last season we were very defensive-minded. Myself and Tony Kinsella’s (head coach) philosophy is to get the ball down and play, be good on the ball and even better off it.

“Our first line of defence is attack.

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“One supporter said to me on Saturday that the football we were playing was breathtaking and that was nice to hear.

“Although myself and Tony were put in charge to do a job, it’s all about the supporters.

“We have gone away from home and scored seven goals in two games so far, but if you look at the best teams in the world, they are just as good off the ball and work very hard. We are probably playing better without the ball than with it at the moment.”

One of the key protagonists of Leiston’s flying start is Byron Lawrence, the midfielder who made his Ipswich Town debut as a 15-year-old before being released and spending time at Colchester United last season.

He scored two goals in the Blues’ dramatic 3-2 victory at Canvey Island last Tuesday.

“Byron was a big signing for us, in terms of our style of play,” explained Driver.

“He comes from the other side of Cambridge so people assume he has come for the money, but we have a policy in place and we did not break that to sign him.

“He bought into the way we want to play and he has been sensational from the word go.

“Byron has a great desire to be a professional again and makes things happen, but it would be wrong to say we’ve been a one-man show.

“We have got a few ex-pros like that, such as Jack Ainsley and Blake Saker.

“Joe Francis has been exceptional, and (new striker) Matt Blake has taken to the league like a duck to water.”

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