‘We haven’t hit top gear yet’, says Leiston boss Driver ahead of big FA Cup clash with Hastings

Noel Aitkens, who scored an equaliser in the fourth minute of injury-time for Leiston in a 4-4 draw.

Noel Aitkens, who scored an equaliser in the fourth minute of injury-time for Leiston in a 4-4 draw. Photo: PAUL VOLLER - Credit: Archant

Leiston boss Glen Driver says there’s ‘more to come’ from his team as they prepare for a second round qualifying FA Cup clash with Hastings at Victory Road on Saturday.

This, after the Blues ruined high-flying Kettering’s 100% record in the Southern Premier Division Central with a terrific 2-1 win at Latimer Park on Saturday.

It means Leiston are third place in the table and have lost just once in 10 games this season.

Now they can look forward to a Hastings team who are in good form in Bostik South, a step below the Blues.

“We will prepare for Hastings just as we have for all our games,” Driver said.

“The result at Kettering was a big one. We changed formation and it worked. My team were absolutely terrific in front of a top team and a big crowd.

“We’ve played four of the current top seven sides and beaten three of them.

Most Read

“But I know there is more to come from this group. We haven’t hit top gear yet.

“As a club we are going down a different route these days and bringing more youngsters through. We have had young players including James Gaffer, Charlie Canham, Josh Cheetham, Will Davies and Harrison Bacon, who is still in our under-18s, on the first-team bench.

“Harry Knights is a regular in the first-team squad.

“We lost two good players in Darren Mills and Jack Ainsley in the summer and replaced them with Noel Aitkens and Cemal Ramadam, who are younger.

“Both have done really well.

“For me, that’s what it is all about.

“Players get older and although still have much to offer, young ones come through and, with me, will get a chance.”

Leiston came back from 2-0 down away at Cheshunt in the last round to draw 2-2, before winning 4-2 in an exciting replay at Victory Road.

It’s £9,000 for the winners of Saturday’s tie.

“The FA Cup is still special and Hastings, like us, will be eyeing the prize,” Driver said.

“We know a bit about them and I’m sure they know a bit about us.

“Our fans can be our 12th man. We know how passionate they can be and we certainly need their support.”

Kick-off at Victory Road on Saturday is 3pm.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter