Smith optimistic over Leiston cup clash

LEISTON assistant manager Ian Smith is 'quietly confident' ahead of his side's massive FA Cup clash against Lewes tomorrow.The fourth round qualifying match at Victory Road is the biggest game in the Suffolk club's 127-year history as a win would put the rural side from the Ridgeons League in the first round hat for the first time.

Stuart Watson

LEISTON assistant manager Ian Smith is 'quietly confident' ahead of his side's massive FA Cup clash against Lewes tomorrow.

The fourth round qualifying match at Victory Road is the biggest game in the Suffolk club's 127-year history as a win would put the rural side from the Ridgeons League in the first round hat for the first time.

However, it will take a giant-killing feat to get them there as East Sussex opponents Lewes play four steps above their hosts in the Blue Square Premier, still known to most as the Conference.


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Assistant boss Smith prefers to focus on the form book of the two sides rather than their positions in the football pyramid though.

Lewes are currently bottom-of-the-table, having lost nine of their opening 16 league games, and were recently dumped out of the Setanta Shield after an embarrassing home defeat to struggling Blue Square South side Bognor Regis Town.

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In contrast, Leiston are in red hot form, having scored 38 goals over 11 games and winning all but one of those matches.

“They are four leagues above us and, on paper, it is going to be a very, very tough game,” admitted Smith.

“But the confidence we have got, perhaps compared to the lack of confidence they have - it may just make a difference.

“Psychologically we will be putting one or two thoughts in our players' heads just to make them realise that we have got a good chance of going through if things go our way.

“We've sent them away from their last game with a few positive thoughts. We beat Coalville Town in the last round and they had beaten Stafford Rangers in the previous round who were fifth in the Blue Square South at the time so we are quietly confident.”

Smith joined Leiston last November after answering the call of long-term friend Carl Chenery - who himself had taken over from Jason Dozzell as manager the month previous - to become his number two.

The 34-year-old - who spent nearly 14 years as a player at Lowestoft - played virtually every game for Leiston in their strong finish to the season, however, with Chenery making numerous top quality signings in the summer, Smith decided to concentrate on his coaching duties.

“I don't mind taking a back seat playing wise,” said Smith. “We were lucky enough to get in some very good players in pre-season and as a result we are scoring goals from all over pitch.

“We told the midfielders that wanted 40 goals from them over the season and we are already well on our way towards that. Some of the defenders are even scoring as well.”

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