Leiston manager Mark Morsley praises his side’s bravery

LEISTON manager Mark Morsley hailed his players’ bravery after they earned their first Ryman Premier league win for two-and-a-half months on Saturday.

Second-half substitute Leon Ottley-Gooch scored the only goal of a cagey contest against basement club Carshalton Athletic at Victory Road, lifting his side to fourth-bottom.

His 78th-minute winner gave the Blues just their second league win this term – their first since a 3-1 win over Hastings United on September 15 – and Morsley praised his team for remaining committed to their game-plan despite adverse weather and pitch conditions.

“I’m obviously glad with the result but I wasn’t pleased with our first-half performance. It looked like a relegation scrap,” said Morsley.

“I was disappointed because we can play so much better than what we showed.

“But I felt we were braver in the second half. We kept the ball better and on a difficult pitch played much better football.

“Sometimes it’s very easy to get sucked into a nothing game and you’re hoping for a mistake.

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“But you have got to be brave to go out and keep playing, keep wanting to play and keep that belief in yourself – and not relying on the gods to get that goal.

“And when that doesn’t work, you don’t give up on it – you do it again. If they keep that attitude going throughout the season then we’ll do ok.

“It was an important win and will push us up the league. My overriding emotion is having pride in my team for being brave enough to go out and play like they did.

“The players need to take on board how important it is to be brave enough to pass the ball and want the ball back.

“We worked hard during the pre-season to work on our ability to keep the ball and being better in possession, and that takes a little bit of time.”

Morsley outlined the importance of the long-term benefits of his side sticking to their guns and playing the attractive football they like to express.

“As a football club, that will make us better and we need more experience at this level to improve,” he said.

“But the players will take a massive amount of confidence from this.

“They made it very hard for us. They were strong in defence. But I don’t think there is any doubt we deserved to win the game.

“Winning is a habit and losing is a habit so it’s important to win games.

“We’ve drawn with good teams and played a lot of the top sides and we haven’t been that far away.

“This is a big year for us because we are a small football club in a big division but I’m pleased with what I’ve got.”

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