Morsley aiming to reward faith at Leiston

MARK Morsley is aiming to reward the faith shown in him by taking Leiston a step closer to a Wembley final tomorrow.

Morsley has guided the Suffolk side to the top of the Ridgeons League Premier Division and into the last 16 of the FA Vase, where tomorrow they entertain Northamptonshire side Long Buckby.

Morsley, who took over at Victory Road in the summer, said: “Leiston have always supported their manager in the past, and they have supported me. Andy Crisp, the chairman, and (vice-chairman) Peter Mayhew deserve to be successful.

“The club have faltered in the past, but they deserve better and hopefully we can give them something back this season.”

Leiston are in good shape going into tomorrow’s fifth round tie, when they will be looking to advance to the quarter-finals of the competition for the first time in their history.

They are undefeated in the league since the opening day of the season, currently sit five points clear and have won their last five matches in a row, scoring 12 goals and conceding none as well as defeating Guildford City 6-2 after extra time in the last round of the Vase.

Morsley said Leiston have done their homework with Tony Simpson, who used to do his scouting reports while he was manager at AFC Sudbury, watching Long Buckby in last Saturday’s 2-1 win at Irchester, when new signing Ashley Robinson scored both goals.

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Morsley has also spoken to Ozzie Foster, who played under him at Sudbury and is now with Peterborough Northern Star, who currently sit fifth in the United Counties League Premier Division, one place behind Long Buckby.

“At the end of the day if you are in the last 16 of the of the Vase you are going to be a decent side. We know they have a good striker in Dan Holman and they have a left back who is very good offensively,” said Morsley.

“We always play with two wide players and neither Leon Ottley-Gooch nor Michael Brothers, who play on the right-hand side, are particularly good defensively, but Blake Saker has been having a great season for us at right back.

“So we are aware of their strengths and how they play, and if both sides perform to the best of their ability we should win, but we know football is not like that.

“We are not conceding goals at the moment and we look a threat going forward, but it will be about us and what we do on the day and not about them.”

Morsley will be without striker Danny Smy, who is suspended, but otherwise should have a full squad to choose from. Simon Head twisted an ankle in the closing stages of Tuesday’s 2-0 league win at home to Felixstowe & Walton United, but Morsley expects him to be fit.

Morsley, who said he would be informing his players tonight who is in the side tomorrow as he always does the night before a game, is pleased with the position the club are in as the season enters its most crucial phase.

“We are five points clear in the league and have a game in hand over second-placed Dereham, who we still have to play twice. Our first game against them was postponed because of the weather and we now play them in our fourth last game and final game of the season.

“The remainder of the season is going to test me as a manager. Leiston have been in a good position before and failed - it is up to me to try an ensure that we don’t do so this time.”

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