Leiston close in on great achievement
LEISTON are one win away from a 'massive achievement' for the club.
Only Sudbury Town’s first team and Reserve side in 1986-87 have previously reached the finals of the Suffolk Premier Cup and Suffolk Senior Cup in the same season.
Leiston Reserves are already through to this season’s CNet Training Suffolk Senior Cup Final, after beating East Bergholt United 3-1 on penalties following a 2-2 draw.
Leiston’s first team can make it a double for the club if they can overcome Stowmarket Town in Wednesday’s Turners Hyundai Suffolk Premier Cup Semi-Final at Needham Market FC, kick-off 7.45pm.
Darren Eadie, who is joint first-team manager along with brother-in-law Chris Wigger, said: “When we came into the club we wanted to link the two teams together and have a pathway into the first team.
“The two teams were previously almost being run as two separate sides, but this season we have had five, six or seven step up from the Reserves into the first team which bodes well for the future.
“It is a fantastic achievement for Ryan (Honeyman) and his Reserve side to get to the final, so the pressure is now on us to achieve what they have done!
“To have both teams reach their respective finals would be a massive achievement for the club and would show how far we have come in the short space of time we have been here.”
Saturday’s 3-0 loss at home to Coalville Town in the Pitching In Southern League Premier Central effectively ended Leiston’s push for a play-off place this season.
Eadie continued: “We go into Wednesday’s tie with our whole season riding on it. Although we have had a good season you want something to show for it at the end of it.
“We are under no illusions as to the task facing us. We are full of confidence and belief that we can reach the final, even though I see their squad as being the squad of a Step 3 side and it will be like a Step 3 game.
“We know how difficult it will be for us as they will want to prove they can play at Step 3 level, which is where they will be hoping to be playing next season.”
Eadie added that although Leiston had a ‘couple of niggles’ following Saturday’s match but he expects Leiston to have a full-strength squad to select from.
Current captain Seb Dunbar (No.3) is pictured above receiving his medal after Leiston defeated Felixstowe & Walton United 3-2 the last time the club reached the Suffolk Premier Cup Final in the 2018-19 season. On the far left of the photograph is then Leiston skipper Tom Bullard, who is now captain of this season’s semi-final opponents Stowmarket Town.
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