Leiston striker warns rivals - ‘We are back to our best’

Matt Blake heads towards goal (right)

Matt Blake heads towards goal (right) - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Leiston hitman Matt Blake has fired an ominous warning to the free-scoring Blues’ Ryman Premier League rivals, saying: ‘We are back to our best’.

The prolific striker netted four goals in the Blues’ 6-0 victory at Burgess Hill Town on Saturday, Glenn Driver’s men going into that game buoyant after the 5-1 home victory over Suffolk rivals and fellow play-off contenders, Needham Market, on January 2.

Ahead of their home game with Billericay at the weekend, Leiston sit fifth in the Premier Division, eight points adrift of leaders Bognor Regis, but with three games in hand.

“It was a great day at Burgess Hill – it was always going to be difficult to top the Needham game – but the energy and hunger of our players on the pitch was unbelievable,” said Blake, who previously hit 119 goals in three seasons with then-Thurlow Nunn Premier Division side, Norwich United.

“We have been at our best the last two games, we fell away before for whatever reason, and we are looking at going on a little run now – if we win our games in hand we can go top of the league.

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“We have beaten Needham home and away, we beat Havant at home on the opening day and went to Dulwich and won there – all good teams.

“But we have to make sure we don’t get complacent, as anyone can beat anyone in this league as we have found out.”

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Blake has hit 27 goals already since his summer switch to Victory Road, but was quick to deflect the attention away from his exploits.

“The team spirit in the dressing room is massive,” revealed Blake, who lives in Thetford, but works in Bury St Edmunds.

“There is lots of banter flying around and I think that is important. You need to be turning up for training and games with a smile on your face. We are confident and happy going into games.

“We have got good players throughout the team and on the bench. Bully (Tom Bullard) has come back, which is massive too.

“Jake (Hutchings) did really well in his absence, but Bully is a character and a big part of the team.”

He added: “You look at the team we have and we have a lot of class players.

“It’s hard for me not to score goals in this team. From a personal point-of-view I set myself a challenge to score 20 before Christmas. I had three weeks out injured and I didn’t look like getting anywhere near it, but I smashed through it.

“I try not to let it (scoring) get to me though, I have just got to take one game at a time.”

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