Leiston’s Mark Morsley says title-decider is biggest game of his managerial career
LEISTON’S Mark Morsley says that tomorrow’s title-decider is the biggest game of his managerial career.
The Suffolk side entertain Potters Bar Town in their final Ryman League Division One North match of the season needing to equal second-placed Enfield Town’s result to secure automatic promotion.
After a superb 25-match unbeaten run took Leiston to the brink of back-to-back promotions, last season’s Ridgeons League champions have lost three of their last four matches and lead Enfield by a single point.
Morsley admitted it was “devastating” to lose to a last-minute penalty at Enfield last Saturday, when a draw would have seen them promoted, and so the title race goes down to the wire.
“Without a doubt it is the biggest match I have faced as a manager. One of my ambitions is to take a side into the Ryman Premier, which is a great level to be involved at. I got close when I was at Sudbury a few years ago and we lost in the play-off final to Harlow on penalties.
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“We have had two games where we have not quite achieved the win we required, so we now need a victory on Saturday.”
Morsley’s optimistic approach has stood him in good stead during his managerial career, and he said: “I don’t look at it that we have lost three of our last four – we must have got something right in the 40-plus games we have had this season to be where we are.
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“There is no need to change anything. Our preparation will be the same. I don’t think it has been any different in the previous games, but the pressure has told on certain players. We just need to make sure we focus individuals’ minds on their individual jobs.
“No disrespect to Potters Bar, but if we perform on a par with how we have done for most of the season we will win the game. We will pick the team and set up to win the game from the off. I had a scout watch them last Saturday so I have had a report on the game and the team.”
Morsley said Jemel Fox is definitely ruled out after dislocating his elbow at Enfield last Saturday, while Patrick Brothers is doubtful as he has not responded to intensive treatment on an injured ankle and calf as much as much as hoped.
“Patch has been an influential player for us in that wide left role, but we have other options,” added Morsley, who has recalled Mark Goldfinch from his loan spell at Hadleigh United to provide cover on the bench.
Leiston have had tarpaulins covering the pitch this week to protect the surface from the heavy rain that has fallen. The Ryman League have said that should the game be postponed it will be played on the Sunday.
Meanwhile, Needham Market, already assured of a play-off place, host Brentwood Town, looking to cement third place to ensure home advantage in the semi-final.