Needham Market 1
East Thurrock United 3
Needham Market boss Mark Morsley blasted his side’s ‘Sunday League’ defending following their 3-1 defeat to East Thurrock United.
The Marketmen slipped to a third consecutive defeat at Bloomfields on Tuesday night, which left them still rooted in the Ryman League Premier Division relegation zone.
And ahead of hosting promotion-chasing Tonbridge Angels tomorrow (3pm), Morsley insists his side must improve in order to beat the drop in their first season at step three.
“We were not good enough in both boxes,” Morsley said after Tuesday’s defeat. “We conceded two poor goals.
“We’ve been the better footballing team again. We’ve played some good football and passed the ball well, but it was naive defending for the first goal. Sunday League defending for the first goal.
“The second goal someone has not done their job. The guy has won a header and the man marking the number 10 has not tracked him.
“It’s basic defending and it’s not good enough. The third goal we were committing bodies forward. We were back in the game at 2-1 and were trying to get an equaliser.”
On Tuesday night the Needham boss made one change to the side which started in the 2-0 FA Trophy first qualifying round defeat to Canvey Island, with Ollie Fenn coming into the midfield in place of injured captain Kem Izzet.
After conceding early goals in their last two games, the Marketmen made a bright start with Luke Ingram a menace to the visiting defence in the opening exchanges.
Despite their good start Needham went behind on 25 minutes, as Lewis Smith weaved his way past several players before his shot crashed off the post.
The rebound went across goal and reached Sammy Knott at the other post, who fired home from close range to give East Thurrock the lead.
Smith then turned provider in the 58th minute when his free-kick was nodded down by Tom Wraight, into the path of substitute Ashley Miller who had space to fire home.
Needham searched for a way back into the game as Jay Davies saw his 61st minute free-kick tipped over the bar by Lukas Lidakevicius in the United goal.
The Marketmen did pull a goal back on 87 minutes when substitute Sam Newson prodded home the loose ball after Jordan Patrick’s shot had been spilt by Lidakevicius.
However any hope they had of completing the comeback were extinguished three minutes later, as Wraight raced through on goal and rounded Danny Gay to seal a 3-1 win for the visitors.
n Needham Market have arranged a friendly against Ipswich Town’s Under-21s on Wednesday (7.30pm), with tickets priced at £5 for adults and £1 for children.
Needham Market Gay 6, Brown 6, Coakley 6 (Pelling 83, 6), Fenn (c) 6 (Newson 73, 7), Miller 6, Whight 6, Ingram 7, HARRISON 7, Brothers 7, Davies 6, Mills (Patrick 68, 6). Subs not used: Thomas, Morphew. Attendance 152.