For a number of seasons now Leiston FC have been knocking on the door for promotion out of the Ridgeons League for pastures new, be it the Ryman League or the Zamaretto League. The club certainly appears geared for the next step up the pyramid, proven by their stunning 2008/09 FA Cup run which saw the Blues make the 1st Round proper for the first time in their history. Similarly, this year the East Suffolk side came within a whisker of a plum home tie with Port Vale in the 1st Round, falling to Dartford in the 4th qualifying round.
Leiston are currently managed by Mark Morsley, a man who has overseen similarly ambitious projects at Brantham Athletic and Needham Market in recent years. The club has benefited financially from their recent national cup runs, strengthening the squad with some genuine experience in the shape of Shane Wardley, Stuart Boardley and Lee Norfolk – all of whom have plied their trade in the Football League.
The season looks set to be another incredibly hectic one for Morsley’s men, whose FA Cup excursions have seen them slip a whopping NINE games behind the likes of Wroxham and Kirkly & Pakefield who are situated towards the top of the pile. Leiston have encountered similar problems over the last couple of years where the backlog of fixtures simply proved too much for a squad of amateurs to handle – particularly in 2008/09 – slipping out of the title race, the year in which Lowestoft romped to the title with 100 points.
The Blues host lowly Brantham Athletic this evening in the first of eight league matches that they will play throughout November. Leiston currently sit in fifth place, some 19 points behind pace-setters Dereham Town, and the next month will be a severe test of character for all concerned at Victory Road.