Lucky Number Seven?

by Peter Scherer

With six wins out of six in the league and last week’s FA Cup success, Mickleover are riding high at the top of the league.

We have a really good squad and can swap players around. Apart from a couple of players I don’t expect everyone to play every game, but we now have options, with Rhys Dolan and Will Trueman still to get fit again and Joe Bateman only just back too.

said gaffer John McGrath.

Having just missed out on promotion last year, Leiston haven’t had the best of starts to this season. At home they have beaten Telford taking four points from a possible nine, but beat Stratford away and knocked St.Ives out of the FA Cup last weekend.

We drew 2-2 with them at home last December, having lost 1-3 on the opening day of the season.

Currently 12th in the table joint managers Darren Eadie and Chris Wigger have retained the majority of last seasons squad.

Goalkeeper Sam Donkin was signed from Biggleswade in November 2019, having previously played for Whitehawk and Stamford. He made his 100th appearance for our visitors last season.

Oliver Dawson is the reserve keeper and a product of their own youth scheme, but yet to make his first team debut.

Full back Wyatt Hill was a pre-season 22/23 arrival, having come from Wroxham in June following a spell in US College football.

Club Captain and left back Seb Dunbar came from Stowmarket in July 2021. He was an Ipswich Town Junior and also played for Maldon/Tiptree, Bishop Stortford and Bury Town. It’s his third spell at Leiston.

Centre back Adam Bailey-Dennis has 13 years experience under his belt. He started at Aveley, before moving to Bury Town. His path then took him via  Bromley, Bishop Stortford, Hemel and Chelmsford, before joining our visitors in October 2020.

Midfielder Rossi Jarvis was capped at under 18 and under 19 by England and was a Norwich City junior. He was loaned to Torquay and Rotherham, before joining Luton Town on his release and netted almost 100 appearances as a league player.

Spells at Barnet, Cambridge Utd and Lowestoft followed, before joining Leiston from Dereham Town at the beginning of last season.

Brother Ryan has England caps as an under 16, 17 and 19. He started at Norwich City too and was loaned to Colchester, Leyton Orient, Kilmarnock and Notts County, before joining Orient on his release.

After many more moves he settled back in East Anglia with Lowestoft in 2015. Then after a move to Kings Lynn he returned to Lowestoft, from where Leiston signed him in July 2022. He played in every division of the football league and the Scottish Premier, with well over 300 appearances.

Another midfielder and another former Norwich junior, Zach Dronfield came from Hampton & Richmond in July 2022. He had previously been at Wealdstone.

Joe Marsden is mainly an attacking midfielder who is in his second season with our visitors, since arriving from Needham Market. He was previously at Lowestoft Town and came back to Leiston in June 2021 after three years away, and passed his 100th club appearance milestone last season too.

Left back Ollie Saunders came from Braintree in November 2019. He started as a Norwich junior too, before moving on to Grimsby Town. He is captained the side of late in Dunbar’s absence.

Midfielder Jake Spooner arrived at the beginning of last season from Harleston Town and has played for Beccles Town too.

Jamaican International striker Jamar Loza has scored four of Leiston’s 11 league goals this season, but missed last weekends cup win. A former Norwich City youngster, he had loans at Coventry City, Orent, Southend, Yeovil Town and Stevenage, before being released in 2016, with 30 league appearances under his belt spread over all four divisions.

His next club was Maidstone, before being loaned to Woking. Billericay, Chelmsford, Kings Lynn, Barnet and Cheshunt followed, before he arrived at Leiston pre-season.

Centre back Chris Casement has represented Northern Ireland at Under 19,19,20,21 and Full International level. A massively experienced player who started at Ipswich and made 242 Premiership appearances and played in the Championship, League two and Champions League.

He was loaned to Millwall, Hamilton Academicals and Wycombe Wanderers, before a permanent move to Dundee. After a loan at Linfield in Northern Ireland, he joined them on a permanent basis. He also played for Portadown before returning to East Anglia with Stowmarket, from where he joined our visitors pre-season.

Midfielder Ross Crane played for Colchester Utd and AFC Sudbury, before being picked up by Ipswich Town. Loans at Concord Rangers and Bury Town followed, before a loan at Needham Market became permanent. He is another pre-season signing for Leiston.

Winger Kieran Higgs was playing for Hungate Rovers when Norwich City spotted him. After a loan at Solihull Moors he was released and joined Lowestoft, who loaned him to St.Ives. He came to Leiston last month.

Jack Manly s a young midfielder currently on loan from Ipswich until the end of the season.

Fellow midfielder Camerom Rayworth and strikers Joe McNeil and Charlie Atkin are home produced players, who have come through the ranks. Rayworth recently made his league debut.

Right back Eddie Jackson is a former Norwich City Junior and been one of the ever present players this season.

Kick off 3pm at the Don Amott Arena, BE THERE!!

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