Leiston defender Ollie Brown says Blues will be boosted by Matt Blake’s decision to stay
(C)James Bass 2017
Flying Leiston full-back Ollie Brown says the Blues will be buoyed by Matt Blake’s decision to stay at the club.
The 40-goal striker resisted the lure of a big wage rise at ambitious Billericay Town in the week, choosing to remain at Victory Road until the summer when, he hopes, a higher league club will come knocking.
Blake will carry on his blossoming partnership with Niko Muir tomorrow, as Worthing visit the coastal club in a crucial Ryman Premier League clash.
Leiston are fourth from top in the table, two points clear of sixth-placed Wingate & Finchley – with three games in hand. They are also breathing down third-top Needham’s necks, having three games on the Marketmen too.
“It’s a massive boost for us as Matt has been great all season,” said Brown.
“He has brought a cutting edge, but he is a great guy as well and it’s good that he is staying for the rest of the season. Hopefully he will stay beyond that too.”
Blake has been in fine form all season but has struck up a fruitful partnership with ex-Hendon man Muir, who has netted nine times since joining in December.
“They compliment each other very well,” added former Needham Market man Brown.
“Matt likes to play off the shoulder, while Niko likes dropping deep to link up the play and he has also scored a few goals to be fair to him. I think he has 18 goals and counting, including some for Hendon, and between them they are a good blend.”
The Blues chase their third straight league win today, following a run of six losses in nine.
“We have gone back to basics and that has helped us regain some confidence,” explained the attack-minded Brown, a star attraction at Leiston this season.
“We are still playing some good stuff but for the first time in a long while, in the wins against Folkestone and Harlow, we have been able to grind out results, whereas four or five weeks ago we would have probably capitulated.”
After that poor run of form, the Blues recovered, drawing against leaders Bognor, and defeating top-five rivals, Tonbridge Angels.
“I think it helped playing teams we needed to raise our games against, as complacency can creep in when you’re playing sides you are expected to beat.”