Leiston boss Steve Ball is happy with progress as Blues entertain Margate at Victory Road

Leiston's Stuart Boardley, who scored in the midweek win against Canvey Island

Leiston's Stuart Boardley, who scored in the midweek win against Canvey Island

Eight weeks into his post at Victory Road as Leiston boss, Steve Ball is certainly happy with the way his side is progressing.

Ahead of the visit of Margate tomorrow, the Blues have recorded back-to-back away league victories over the past seven days for the first time in almost a year.

The fact the second win was on a cold Tuesday at Canvey Island adds further testament to the rejuvenated Blues.

“I was immensely proud of the team Tuesday night and it shows how far we have come since early December,” said Ball.

“Their attitude pre-match was exemplary and in all my years at Leiston as coach and now manager that was the best opening 45 minutes I have witnessed and that is saying something because I have witnessed some outstanding displays.

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“The first-half was the perfect example of how I want the side to play with a dynamic edge, pace and power, we had it all.

“The formation was excellent but also credit to the Canvey Island ground staff because despite the recent poor weather they produced a great playing surface that suited us perfectly.”

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Leiston raced into a three-goal interval lead at Canvey Island thanks to a brace from Gareth Heath and one from Stuart Boardley before the hosts responded with two second-half goals from ex-Bury Town striker John Sands.

But Leiston deservedly held out for the points much to the delight of Ball.

“It was a fine win and we had players putting their bodies on the line for the side and we took a few knocks,” Ball added.

“Both Patrick (Brothers) and Jack (Simmons) had to go to A&E after the game following facial injuries but they were on the phone to me a few hours later saying they’ll be fine for Saturday which shows the spirit of the players.”

The match-winner at Wingate the previous Saturday, Joe Francis, missed Tuesday’s game through injury but should return to the squad for the visit of Margate tomorrow as the Blues look to continue their upward progress under Ball as the season enters the second half of the season.

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