Leiston chairman Andy Crisp calls for more fans to board the Blues’ revolution, as Stuart passes milestone
Leiston chairman Andy Crisp has called for more fans to come through the gate at Victory Road, and be part of the Blues’ revolution.
The Suffolk side, on the brink of the Ryman Premier Division play-offs, host league-leaders Maidstone United this afternoon (kick-off 3pm) hoping to keep tabs with the top five.
The game comes on the back of a narrow 1-0 home defeat to title-chasers Margate, with Crisp delighted at the quality on show.
“The first-half performances from both sides were by the far the best I’ve seen this season,” declared Crisp.
“It really was a fantastic half of football, and I was proud of our performance.”
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Over 200 spectators watched Margate claim victory, and Crisp is urging more people to come and watch good quality football.
“We are playing some good football here, we’re not far from the play-offs (Leiston sit three places and two points short before kick-off today), and I think we deserve to get more through the gate,” he added.
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“We appreciate the local support we get, there’s a lot of talk about us in the town, and we’re encouraging more people to come through the turnstiles.”
John Sands made his Leiston debut on Tuesday, and Crisp is delighted to have finally secured a deal for an out-and-out goalscoring striker.
“I think from a goalscoring point of view, John is the first striker we’ve had in that mould since the Lee McGlone era,” he explained.
“Although I think I’m right in thinking that we are the third highest scorers in the division (ironically behind Margate and Maidstone), we haven’t had that striker who can maybe turn one point into three as recent games against Met Police and East Thurrock have proved.
“John is a recognised name at non-league level, and the only reason the move has gone ahead is because of his relationship with Wilks (Richard Wilkins, the Leiston boss – who managed Sands at Bury).
“Some people may look at the deal and think that we’ve gone financially overboard but I can assure those people that’s not the case – the deal is a very sensible one for all parties involved, and is made with good intentions of the club.”
Stuart Boardley made his 300th league appearance for Leiston on Tuesday, and Crisp was generous in his praise of the versatile player.
“Stuart has spent many years here and has been a great servant to the club that we’re very appreciative of,” he said.
“He’s a great footballer and has been very loyal to us over the years.
“Like with Blake (Saker), Stuart was one of the first players we signed on a contract, and here they are still with us numerous years and four levels of football higher.”
The pair, who are likely to feature at full-back today, are just two of a group of players that have been at the club for several seasons, something Crisp sees of significance.
He said: “We’ve had lots of players who have progressed two or three levels with us, something not many clubs at this level can boast
“Yes, we’ve had the odd Colchester United loanee, but the nucleus of our squad have either stuck together, or come from the same level, so that’s very pleasing.”