Leiston winger Joe Francis looking forward to Canvey Island challenge

Leiston's Joe Francis

Leiston's Joe Francis - Credit: Archant

Fresh from their fine FA Trophy victory at Leighton Town in midweek, Leiston travel to Canvey Island today seeking some important Ryman Premier Division points.

Fifth-placed Leiston travel to 11th-placed Canvey Island eight points better off than their hosts, and on the back of a four-game unbeaten run, with new boss Richard Wilkins looking for a second League win since taking over from Steve Ball.

One of the Victory Road stars this season has been winger Joe Francis, who has notched seven goals and provided 11 assists to date.

On Tuesday at Leighton, Francis had a hand in four of the five goals and is clearly enjoying his football at Leiston.

“Yes, I’m really loving it at Leiston,” said the Ipswich-based winger.

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“For the first time in quite a few years I am really enjoying my football and playing with a great deal of freedom which is down to a great set of lads and a great club.

“I’m very happy and it’s making me play better.

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“It’s hard to judge the expectations at a club like Leiston as we are punching above our weight, but I can see no reason why we can’t be one of those few clubs who build up momentum and charge into the play offs.”

Despite playing in the Ryman Premier Division for five seasons, Francis has never actually played at Canvey’s Prospect Stadium,

“I’m really looking forward to Saturday as I’ve never played there before,” he added.

“Last season (at Canvey) we were outstanding in the first half, and raced into a three-goal lead, but had to hold on for the win in the end.

“I was injured and missed the game. They are a side like us with similar aspirations and another of those clubs looking to build momentum.

“Obviously they are a bigger club who have played on a higher stage, but we are a strong attacking force and will definitely be going for the win.”

In contrast to Leiston, Canvey crashed out of the FA Trophy in midweek as they were taken to penalties by Leatherhead after the sides were tied 2-2 after extra-time, the Surrey side winning the shoot-out 6-5.

The visitors will come up against former player Jack Simmons, who recently left Victory Road to join the Islanders.

Elsewhere in the Ryman Premier Division this afternoon, Bury Town host Hampton & Richmond Borough, while AFC Sudbury travel to Redbridge in the Ryman North Division.

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