Lewes out of form ahead of Leiston tie

ON-FIRE Leiston face one of non-league football's most out-of-form sides today in the shape of Lewes.The East Sussex side were promoted to the top tier of the non-league game for the first time in their history last season after claiming the Blue Square South title.

Stuart Watson

ON-FIRE Leiston face one of non-league football's most out-of-form sides today in the shape of Lewes.

The East Sussex side were promoted to the top tier of the non-league game for the first time in their history last season after claiming the Blue Square South title.

But life in the Blue Square Premier has not been much fun so far for the Rooks, who are rooted to the foot of the table after taking just 11 points from their first 16 games.


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In addition, Kevin Keehan's side suffered a humiliating home exit from the Setanta Shield earlier this month against Bognor Regis Town, rock-bottom of the Blue Square South.

And to add to their misery, Lewes arrive at Victory Road today with a squad decimated by fresh injuries, suspensions and cup-tied players.

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Key playmaker Michael Standing (groin) and back-up keeper Dean Ruddy (hip) have joined long-term injury victims Craig Richards (groin) and Danny Davis (back) on the treatment table this week, while Brighton recalled on-loan striker Sam Gargan on Thursday and have ruled that their other loanee, winger Jack Compton, cannot play as they do not want him cup-tied.

To make matters worse, striker Chamal Fenelon has also been suspended by his own club following an unsavoury incident at the end of a Sussex Senior Cup tie on Wednesday.

So, while four leagues may separate Ridgeons League Premier Division side Leiston from their FA Cup fourth round opponents today, it is the Suffolk side that have all the momentum.

Carl Chenery's side have lost just one of their 15 games this campaign - and that was only by a single goal after their keeper was dismissed in the opening minute.

The Suffolk side have scored an average of three-and-a-half goals a game - 7-0 wins coming over Whitton United and Harwich & Parkeston - and have conceded a total of just seven.

Manager Chenery, who returned to the club as boss last season having spent eight seasons there as a player, said: “Looking at it overall they are bottom of the league and probably a little bit low on confidence.

“We don't know who they've got coming in though. and it is difficult to judge them, having only seen them once.

“We know we will have to have everyone playing well and will need them to have a bad day. Ian Smith (assistant manager) and myself have tried to instil in the players that nothing less than 100 per cent will do while we are here.

“This club has had lots of good footballers in the past but know I feel we've got players who can dig in deep when the going gets tough and players that know how to win football matches.”

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