Needham Market will look to kick off 2013 with a rare home victory and put behind them their Bloomfields troubles.
The Marketmen may have an away record only bettered by runaway Ryman One North leaders Maldon and Tiptree, but they have not won at home in the league since March 24.
Former Eastern Counties League rivals Soham Town Rangers are set to be the first visitors to Bloomfields in 2013, with Needham welcoming them on Wednesday, January 2 (7.45pm).
“It’s been frustrating not winning at home, but hopefully the turn of year will bring a turn of luck,” said Needham manager Danny Laws. “We’ve gone a long time in 2012 without winning at home.”
Before their clash with play-off-chasing Soham, Needham head to Potters Bar Town — another side hunting a place in the top five — tomorrow (3pm).
New boy Jordan Pavett begins a three-match suspension, but Liam Barrett (broken finger) and Duane Wright (ill) look set to return after missing Boxing Day’s goalless draw with AFC Sudbury.
In front of a crowd of 322 at The MEL Group Stadium, Needham were frustrated by a Sudbury side finally starting to find their feet after an appalling start to the season.
But Laws — who was impressed with Pavett, as well as fellow recent signings Rhys Henry and Pat Bexfield — believes positive signs are there from his young squad.
“I thought we played very well,” he said. “We’ve now got to try and string a few results together.”
Needham are 12th, eight points off the play-offs.