Suffolk Premier Cup preview: Leiston v Lowestoft Town

Leiston (blue shirts) V Maidstone in the Ryman Premier League. Leiston Manager Richard Wilkins (righ

Leiston (blue shirts) V Maidstone in the Ryman Premier League. Leiston Manager Richard Wilkins (right) - Credit: Archant

Leiston boss Richard Wilkins admits tonight’s Suffolk Premier Cup semi-final clash between his side and Lowestoft Town, at Kirkley & Pakefield FC, is a hard one to call.

Wilkins, and Lowestoft management duo, Mick Chapman and Ady Gallagher, have their own league aspirations to deal with – Leiston pressing for promotion from Ryman Premier – Lowestoft looking to seal their place in Conference North.

And with that in mind, it will be interesting to see how the team-sheets look come 7pm tonight.

“We have a few lads who are a doubt,” Wilkins said.

“It’s not about resting players, it’s a semi-final clash for goodness sake. But then again we have some very important league games to come and should I risk a player who is just say 75% fit?

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“Lowestoft will be the same I’m sure. Yes, they want to get to the final like we do, but they very much want to stay in Conference North – and rightly so.”

With Portman Road once again not the venue for the final, Wilkins feels the gloss has somewhat been taken off the Suffolk County finals.

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“It’s lost a bit of gloss with Ipswich Town again not hosting the finals,” Wilkins said.

“It’s a shame Norwich City, who are in almost exactly the same position as Ipswich, can find a way to host the finals.

“For many players, playing at Portman Road is a big thing to look forward to should you win your semi-final.”

Lowestoft, drawn as the away team tonight and therefore playing in all white, as both teams usually play in blue, had a confidence-boosting 2-1 victory at North Ferriby on Saturday.

It moved them up to 14th place in Conference North, but there is still a little way to go to consolidate their place in the League.

Leiston are still pushing for the play-offs in Ryman Premier. A late draw at Grays on Saturday kept things on track – this Saturday they entertain lowly Harrow Borough.

n Needham Market are five points clear at the top of Ryman North after a 3-1 win at Brentwood last night, the Marketmen winning their game in hand.

All three goals came in the second half with Luke Ingram giving the Suffolk side a two-goal lead and top scorer Sam Newson adding a third.

Brentwood grabbed a consolation late on but it was not enough to salvage anything from the game.

Hadleigh United, meanwhile, won 3-1 at Stanway Rangers last night in the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division.

Stanway announced before the game that they had re-signed former Colchester United midfielder Karl Duguid from Welling.

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