Leiston keen to continue FA Cup adventure by winning at South Park

Glenn Driver

Glenn Driver - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ryman Premier Division leaders Leiston head to Reigate today as their quest for success in the FA Cup continues, writes Dave Rees.

Standing in their way of progression to the Third Qualifying Round are South Park, currently 21st in Ryman Division One South.

This is the third consecutive home tie for the Sparks after wins against Phoenix Sports and Dorking Wanderers.

Leiston, meanwhile, defeated Grays Athletic in the last round.

Manager Glenn Driver has been delighted with his side’s start but is wary of today’s opponents.

“Our league form has been great, six wins, one draw, 24 goals scored, with only 10 conceded is a great achievement,” said Driver.

“Now we have lost our winning streak (6-3 defeat at Brightlingsea Regent in the League Cup in midweek) I feel the pressure has softened a little.

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“We now have to regroup and put another run together and push on. We have had South Park watched and by the report received, we are in for a tough afternoon. We won’t be taking anything for granted and will go there showing them the respect they deserve.”

Cup competitions are great levellers as they are one-off games, as was proven at Bridge Road, Brightlingsea on Tuesday.

“We made eight changes to the side on Tuesday and that’s not an excuse for our defeat as I felt the side we picked was good enough to compete and get a result,” added Driver, who is without Leon Ottley-Gooch and Regan Pelling today.

“We never recovered from a bad start and found ourselves too great a mountain to climb.

“Brightlingsea did very well and it shows what can happen in one off games if you’re not at your best.

“Resting a few players with the tough start to the season meant other players had a chance to impress but Brightlingsea were worthy winners.”

Today is a huge weekend for all non-league clubs competing in the Cup, with £4,500 on offer for the winners.

“It’s a great opportunity to play against teams from all levels and, if successful, the income it brings can help make a big difference,” Driver added.

“The magic of the FA Cup to all of us is massive, it can take you on journeys and leave you looking back on your career and saying, I was part of that run.”