Leiston ‘getting to grips’ with life in Ryman Premier

LEISTON are “getting to grips” with life in the Ryman League Premier Division, according to manager Mark Morsley.

The Suffolk side have been struggling at the wrong end of the table since winning promotion from Division One North at the first time of asking last season.

But two draws and two wins in their last four league games, including their first away win of the campaign, suggest that any threat of relegation may diminish sooner rather than later.

Morsley, whose side have moved up to 16th place, said: “When we won the Ridgeons League two years ago we were often winning games in 70 minutes and sometimes 45 minutes.

“Last year in we were winning games in 70-75 minutes, but we have found at this level we have to play for the full 90-95 minutes.”

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Morsley pointed to the home match in October when Leiston led the then league leaders Hampton & Richmond 2-0 only to be pegged back by two injury-time goals and forced to settle for a point.

“I think we are now getting to grips with this league. We have had two solid 1-0 wins, at home to Carshalton and away to Met Police.

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“That was the Met Police’s first home defeat of the season. We have changed our style of play this season and we kept the ball well, but we can still be more direct and robust when we need to.”

Morsley was left with mixed emotions after Tuesday’s scheduled league game at Thurrock was postponed an hour-and-a-half before kick-off as players were already arriving at the ground.

He said: “I was three miles away when it was called off at 6.20pm. We felt it could have been called off two hours earlier, because once the sun goes down the frost kicks in and conditions are only going to get worse. On top of that there was freezing fog.

“Most of the other games were called off at 2pm, which was the warmest part of the day.

“I was disappointed with Thurrock as I thought they would have been more on the ball.

“We are not a full-time club and players left off work at 4 o’clock to play. Joe Jefford and Nathan Stone, who travelled from Pakefield, had just arrived at the ground when it was called off.

“That said, I was not too disappointed it was called off because of players being out injured, and it will be a key game in our season.”

Leiston will hand Colchester United’s Under-21 goalkeeper Shaun Phillips his debut in today’s match at home to Harrow Borough, subject to the paperwork being completed in time.

Goalkeeping coach Nathan Munson – who has played 300 games for Morsley who says he is the best keeper he has worked with as a manager – has been standing in for the injured Danny Potter.

“Harrow Borough started the season well, but they have had some disappointing recent results.

“They are like all teams in the league – they are a good side and it will be a challenge for us to continue playing the way we have after putting in four positive performances,” added Morsley.

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