Leiston face biggest game in club’s history
With promotion in their grasp, manager Mark Morsley will use the bad memories of last weekend’s shock defeat at Tilbury should his table-topping Leiston side require motivating.
The Blues play arguably the biggest game in their history at Maldon & Tiptree tomorrow knowing a win will seal the Ryman League Division One North title and the club, a first-ever crack at the Ryman League Premier Division.
It could have all been done and dusted on Easter Monday but Morsley’s side’s 3-1 humbling at Tilbury, 48 hours previously, meant their 3-0 victory against Needham Market was not enough to clinch promotion, with Enfield eight points behind with three games to play.
Promotion would secure Morsley’s maiden tilt at managing at the next level up, the manager having suffered play-off heartache twice with Sudbury, but the Blues boss insists victory will not be served on a plate to his side.
“Everyone has to be aware that we need to win this game, it won’t be a gimme,” said Morsley.
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“Maybe that was part of the problem against Tilbury where the players thought they could just go and win there then seal the title against Needham Market.
“Football has a habit of biting you on the backside when you least expect it and this is a massive game. If the players think they can just turn up, I will remind them of the Tilbury game and how we did not perform.
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“There is a job to be done and we must be focused and motivated against a side who, if they have anything about them, are going to give us a game.
“They won’t roll over and if they do then their manager has too many of the wrong type of players in his side. They have a responsibility to themselves and a responsibility to the league.”
Morsley will be without Patrick Brothers (hamstring) for tomorrow’s trip to Essex but the former Brantham Athletic man’s absence will be the only one for the Blues.
Brothers is one of the younger members of the squad but Morsley feels he has a good mix and a team with enough nous to get his side over the line.
“If you look at the likes of Gareth Heath, David Head, Sheridan Driver and Stuart Boardley, they have played in many big games and I will be making sure they lead us on the pitch and allow the younger lads to relax and play their normal game,” said Morsley.
“This is probably the biggest game in the club’s history, it has had some good FA Cup runs but in terms of progression of the football club then this Saturday, the following Saturday or the Saturday after that is massive for us.
“The Needham result was the right result for us in terms of the attitude we showed and our commitment. There is great unity in the squad and all these things will be needed in order for us to win tomorrow.”