Leiston boss rues what might have been

LEISTON boss Mark Morsley admitted his side were guilty of giving higher-league Dartford too much respect - before being inches away from a victory in the FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round.

Dartford, who are three leagues above Leiston in the Blue Square Bet South, showed their superiority in the opening exchanges and former Ipswich Town youth player, Charlie Sheringham, could have given them an early lead.

But slowly, Morsley believes, his side realised that a higher division opposition meant for nothing and striker Danny Smy’s late effort that went agonisingly wide could have capped a fantastic afternoon in the club’s history.

Morsley said: “I thought we were the better team - especially in the second half. I think we gave Dartford too much respect in the first half but then we created a number of chances.

“It was a great day for the whole of Leiston and we had in excess of 800 fans in the ground. And I thought we had won it with Smy’s chance, the whole crowd thought it was going in after he dinked it over the Dartford keeper.”

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After Leiston were drawn at home to Port Vale in yesterday’s FA Cup First Round draw, Morsley admits the match gives his players added incentive to beat Dartford in tomorrow night’s replay.

The manager explained: “What you want in the first round draw is a full-time professional side at home so we have to be delighted. Port Vale are doing very well in League One and in their manager Micky Adams, they have a well-known and successful manager.

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“It is a decent tie for us and one we hope would be televised, if we manage to beat Dartford. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be much of a moneyspinner because we would have to share the costs of the away side which would include an overnight stay.

“That’s the logistics. The reality is that it could be a fantastic tie and an opportunity for my players to really test themselves and maybe put them in the shop window.”

Meanwhile, Leiston will be running supporters coaches to tomorrow night’s FA Cup replay at Dartford. Coaches will leave Leiston at around 4pm - with other collection locations available - and will be returning straight after the game. Costs are �10 per seat with more information or bookings through Tom Rabett on 07883 776310.

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