Marketmen look to academy to ease injury crisis

INJURY DOUBT: Needham's top goalscorer Sam Newson is doubtful for tomorrow's home clash with Wroxham
INJURY DOUBT: Needham's top goalscorer Sam Newson is doubtful for tomorrow's home clash with Wroxham
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Needham Market boss Mark Morsley expects to look to the club’s academy for players, following a recent upturn in injuries in his first team squad.

Ahead of a tricky home clash with third-placed Wroxham tomorrow (3pm), the Marketmen have several injury concerns.

Defensive duo Chris Hogg and Adam Mills are both out, while Sam Newson, Michael Brothers and Ollie Brown are all doubtful.

“When you’ve got a team like Wroxham coming down it’s not what you need,” said Morsley, whose side hold a one point lead at the top of Ryman League Division One North.

“We’ve made one or two enquiries elsewhere but players don’t want to move at this time of the season. So we’ll have to look into the academy for players this weekend.”

The Marketmen secured back-to-back wins on Saturday, with two goals from Michael Brothers helping Needham beat Thurrock 2-0 at Bloomfields.

The hosts struck twice in the last eight minutes of the first-half to go ahead, and despite seeing Sam Nunn sent-off for a second yellow card after the restart, claimed their second straight victory.

“It was an excellent win, but at a cost,” said the Needham manager. “(Chris) Hogg tore his medial collateral ligament and will be out for six to eight weeks.”

Morsley hailed the recent return of Brothers, who scored his first goals since rejoining from Division One North rivals Brightlingsea.

“He played very well holding the line in a slightly different formation” said Morsley.

After getting back to winning ways in the last few weeks, the Needham boss expressed how vital it was to quickly find the winning formula again.

“It was important to get these wins under our belt,” said Morsley. “It’s a tough league and anyone can beat anyone.”

Morsley’s point was highlighted on Tuesday, as title rivals Harlow Town let a two-goal lead slip to lose 3-2 at mid-table Thamesmead Town.

“Harlow are a very good team and a big club, but maybe the pressure told a bit,” said the Needham manager. “It’s good for us as we have that clear gap at the top, which we still want to be there in April.”

n Needham Market Reserves aim to put last week’s 9-1 thrashing at Long Melford behind them, when they travel to AFC Sudbury Reserves tomorrow (3pm).

Kevin Horlock’s side (16th) — who are without a win in their last six outings in all competitions — scored a consolation through Kyran Field.