Leiston manager delighted with free-scoring side’s defensive discipline, as team face Canvey Island

Byron Lawrence has scored eight times this season

Byron Lawrence has scored eight times this season - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

They may have plundered 15 goals in their previous three Ryman Premier Division games, but Leiston manager Glenn Driver is getting just as much satisfaction out of his side’s discipline in defence.

Leiston are fourth in the Ryman Premier, ahead of tonight’s home clash with struggling Canvey Island, six points off leaders Bognor Regis, who host second-top Needham Market this evening.

The Blues have ran out convincing winners in their last three games – the last big win coming at home to Billericay Town on Saturday, the hosts winning 4-1 at Victory Road.

Matt Blake is now on 30 goals for the season, while the likes of Niko Muir-Merchant, Gareth Heath and Byron Lawrence are also providing a regular source of goals.

However, it’s at the other end of the pitch that Driver is the most pleased with.

“I am delighted with 15 goals in three games, but even more pleased with our recent defensive record,” said Driver.

“That’s three goals in the last four games which is good as we have shipped too many goals this season and made too many individual mistakes.

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“We look more solid and I think we are working harder off the ball and are better as a defensive unit.”

Driver is keen to pick up a fourth straight win tonight and, on paper, given Canvey’s precarious position at the bottom – the Essex side are only being kept from the basement by Grays – Leiston will be strong favourites to maintain their good form.

However, Driver warned: “We are fighting for points to get out of trouble and playing Canvey is probably almost tougher than when we played Needham Market at our ground.

“Needham came to our ground and we knew what they were about – they are up there with us – whereas Canvey are struggling, they have signed one or two players – and are battling for points for the wrong reasons.

“They will be desperate to survive in this league.”

Back in August, Leiston emerged 3-2 winners, but only after Lawrence and Tom Bullard both scored in stoppage-time, the Blues having trailed 2-1 with just six minutes left.

“It was a frantic game to be honest, it was absolutely mental,” recalled Driver.

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