Marcus Law believes Leiston will present Kettering Town with their toughest challenge of the season so far at Latimer Park tomorrow (Saturday).
The Poppies return to Evo-Stik League South Premier Division Central duty having picked up their seventh win in a row since the start of the season as they claimed a 4-1 victory at Romford in the first qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup last weekend.
But that 100 per cent start is set to receive a stern examination as the Poppies, who lead the early table, take on a Leiston side who sit in third and who were beaten in the play-off semi-finals in the Bostik League Premier Division last season.
Kettering are set to switch between the FA Cup and the league for the next couple of weeks but Law believes things have been made easier by a lighter schedule in the current campaign.
“It certainly feels better because we aren’t dealing with as many midweek matches early in the season and it means we can focus from weekend to weekend whether it is the league or cup,” the Poppies boss said.
“And we are looking forward to another big game.
“Leiston are a club we don’t know a great deal about and I certainly haven’t come across them in the 15 years or so that I have been managing.
“I am aware of their strengths and what they have done and I think they will give us a challenge that we have not had yet.”
Law is hopeful central defender Declan Towers will be ready to return for the weekend after he missed the FA Cup win as a “precaution” due to him carrying a knock.
The Poppies will still be without Lindon Meikle, who serves the last of a three-match ban, and Dion Kelly-Evans who misses out due to the second game of his suspension.
Kettering, meanwhile, were handed a home tie against Evo-Stik League East Division side AFC Mansfield in the second qualifying round draw of the FA Cup earlier this week.
The clash will be at Latimer Park a week tomorrow and Law insists there is no way his team will be taking their lower-ranked opponents lightly.
“You are always looking for a home draw so we are pleased with that,” he said.
“It’s another potential banana skin.
“They are a club that has set itself up and they are trying to move further up the non-League pyramid.
“They will be youthful and they have had some good results in cup games recently so there is no way we will be taking them lightly.”