Leiston manager Mark Morsley would rather not clinch title against Needham Market

IF LEISTON are to win Division One North of the Ryman League, manager Mark Morsley would rather they don’t clinch the title against Needham Market on Monday.

A large crowd is anticipated for the meeting of the two Suffolk sides at Victory Road, especially if Saturday’s results mean Leiston enter Monday’s match in a position where they can be crowned champions.

With five matches remaining Leiston are eight points clear of second-placed Enfield, who travel to Needham tomorrow, where a defeat for the visitors coupled with a Leiston win at Tilbury could set up a possible promotion party on Monday.

Morsley is too long in the tooth to take anything for granted, even if his side are on a 25-game unbeaten run in the league, and within touching distance of back-to-back promotions.

He said: “These are the types of games you look forward to. It will be a challenge for us, and a good test of whether we can get into the Ryman Premier and stay there.

“Tilbury are one of the surprise packages this season. They gave us a good game at home when we won 2-1 at home when their keeper broke his finger in the warm-up and the left back went in goal.

“They are currently fifth in the table and will want to at least stay there. Their pitch is not the best in the league, and it makes it more of a level playing field. We didn’t adapt well on a similar pitch at Ilford, although we had an exciting 3-2 win, so we need to make sure we get the right personnel out there to do the job.

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“Monday against Needham Market will be a massive game for us. I spent four seasons in two spells at Needham and my affection for the club is well known. I said to their vice-chairman, Nick Francis, the perfect season would be if we were to win the league and they finish runners-up and get promoted via the play-offs.

“I know Needham manager Danny Laws very well and he will be expecting a reaction from his players after we won 5-0 against them on Boxing Day.

“If we win the league we will have exceeded my aim for the season, but I don’t want to win it against Needham on Monday, although you have to take it when it comes.”

Morsley, who earlier this week was named manager of the month for the third time in four months, said the award reflected on a lot of people and the key to Leiston’s success this season had been the unity among his squad.

“It is the best I have ever had - better than when I was at AFC Sudbury or Needham Market - and has been a massive reason for our success. No-one has moaned when they have been named as a sub. They have all been focused on the job in hand.”

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