Leiston boss Steve Ball looking to make Victory Road a fortress
Leiston will be hoping for some more home comforts as they welcome ninth-placed Lewes to Victory Road tomorrow afternoon.
The Blues currently boast the best home record in the Ryman Premier Division over the last five game period with four wins and just the one defeat, with their latest win an impressive 2-1 victory over second-placed Dulwich Hamlet last Tuesday.
Home form is something manager Steve Ball is keen to continue. “When I was here (Victory Road) previously with Mark Morsley, we wanted to make Victory Road a fortress and I want to do the same again,” he said.
“I know that sounds a bit cliché but for most clubs this is one of their longest journeys they have to undertake in this League.
“It’s a decent distance to Leiston, so when we get underway we need to make it as uncomfortable as we can and get at them from the opening whistle.”
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A win tomorrow would move Ball’s side to within two points of their visitors who have won only one of their last seven games on the road.
The game also rekindles some great memories for Leiston after they defeated Lewes (then a Conference Premier side) at their Dripping Pan ground in October 2008 during their famous FA Cup adventure when they reached the First Round proper, before losing to Fleetwood Town in a replay.
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Tomorrow, Leiston are boosted by three additions to the squad.
Colchester United midfielder Jack Simmons has extended his loan with the Blues and is joined by fellow Colchester United striker Conor Hubble who also joins for a month.
Ball said, “I can’t thank Richard Hall at Colchester United enough for his support, he has been the catalyst in getting these quality players and deals together.
“He is very complimentary of the way our club do things and he has a lot of trust in me and the club.”
The third new signing is 19-year-old midfielder Barry Deacon.
Rushden-based Deacon has reached the final of Samsung’s Nationwide ‘win a pro contract’ competition.
On his signing Ball said, “I’ve been hearing some good things and received positive reports about the lad so we thought we’d have a look and see how things go.”
Meanwhile, Dale Cockrill’s knee surgery has been hailed a success – but the Lowestoft Town midfielder’s rehabilitation process means he will miss the rest of the campaign.
Cockrill’s career has been ravaged by injury for the past two seasons but hopes a second operation to repair damaged knee cartilage will finally get him back in a Blues shirt.
However, joint boss Ady Gallagher admitted this week the Blues management don’t expect the 33-year-old to start his comeback until next season.
“Dale has had his operation – he is still on crutches but the operation went well and he is confident they managed to repair the damage to this knee this time,” said Gallagher, who will also have to do without star striker Jack Defty for the rest of the campaign as he recovers from a broken leg.
After finishing last year with a flourish, taking maximum points from their three games over the Christmas period, Lowestoft have endured a frustrating start to 2014, seeing fixtures against Bognor Regis and Billericay Town postponed due to waterlogged pitches.
Tomorrow they travel to 18th-placed Harrow Borough hoping to kick-start their 2014 campaign.