Boost for Marketmen as Hubbard decides to stay

STAYING PUT: James Hubbard, who rejected a move to Billericay Town this week
STAYING PUT: James Hubbard, who rejected a move to Billericay Town this week

NEEDHAM Market manager Danny Laws has been handed a major boost ahead of tomorrow’s FA Cup first qualifying round trip to Concord Rangers (3pm) with the news that striker James Hubbard has rejected a move to Billeracay Town.

The towering marksman, who was a summer signing from Woodbridge Town, became the subject of a seven-day approach from the Blue Square Bet South outfit last week after an impressive start to the new season, which has seen him net five times in four games, including a hat-trick in the previous round in a 6-2 victory over Gorleston.

However, after talks with the Marketmen management, Laws revealed Hubbard has decided to stay with the club, much to the manager’s delight.

“We had an approach for James from Billericay, but thankfully he has decided to stay, which is fantastic news,” he said.

“He has started well this season and obviously that has drawn attention from other clubs.

“Obviously every player wants to play at the highest level possible, but James has settled well and he knows his development at this point is best suited with staying at the club.

“In a way it is a compliment for us that big clubs are coming calling for our players because it shows they and we are doing something right.

“However, it is great that James will be staying and we are delighted he made that decision.”

Needham go into tomorrow’s encounter in strong form having maintained their unbeaten start to the season with a 2-0 victory away to Chatham Town on Saturday courtesy of goals from Kieron Leabon and Nathan Clarke.

Laws is well aware that his side will start the tie as underdogs against the Ryman League Premier Division Beachboys, but remains confident of an upset to secure not only progression through to the next round, but a £3,000 windfall that comes with it.

“We have started the season well, but we know tomorrow’s match will be a tough one with a different edge to it,” he said.

“However, we will go into it high confidence after the Chatham performance and who says we can’t go there and get a win.

“It is great to still be involved in the competition and it is also fantastic for the fans to be able to watch us in such a fantastic tournament.

“Obviously there is also the financial rewards for getting through and for a club of our size that extra incentive is extremely important.

“The bottom line is we think we have a really good chance of getting through this round and we will be aiming to go as far as possible and put ourselves well and truly on the map.”