Injuries mounting up for the Marketmen ahead of Met clash

CLOSE ATTENTION: Needham defender Joe Whight (right) attempts to win back the ball during his sides thrashing at Harlow. Picture: Alison Jenkins/Harlow Star
CLOSE ATTENTION: Needham defender Joe Whight (right) attempts to win back the ball during his sides thrashing at Harlow. Picture: Alison Jenkins/Harlow Star
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Richard Wilkins is expecting a ‘tough couple of weeks’ for Needham Market , who have up to five players set to be missing through injury.

The Marketmen, currently sixth in the Ryman League Premier Division table, have enjoyed a positive start to their second ever season at Step Three.

But ahead of Metropolitan Police visiting Bloomfields tomorrow (3pm), assistant boss Wilkins admits the injuries are beginning to pile up.

“It’s tough at the moment,” he said. “People have got to stand up and be counted.

“It’s going to be a tough couple of weeks. We’ve got five or six injuries to players which are all long term.

“None of them are going to be out for a week, Billy Clark has broken his fibula and Keiran Morphew is having x-rays on his ankle. His leg was in plaster after the Harlow game on Tuesday night.

“Kem Izzet is out for two weeks, Ollie Fenn is out for two weeks and we’re looking at another two weeks for Sam Nunn as well.

“We’re always looking to improve the squad and bring players in to do that if we can, but we do need to bolster the central midfield position.”

Following their 5-1 thrashing of Grays Athletic on Tuesday last week, the Marketmen have faced trips to Leatherhead and Harlow Town in the last seven days.

On Saturday, John Sands came off the bench to net a late equaliser for Needham against Leatherhead, who were being managed for the first time at home by former Ipswich Town midfielder Jimmy Bullard.

Sands was then brought on earlier than expected when the Marketmen travelled to Harlow on Tuesday, as the striker came on after 14 minutes for the injured Morphew.

Harlow ran out comfortable 5-1 winners, with Darryl Coakley’s wayward cross finding the net on the stroke of half-time to reduce their arrears to 3-1 at the break.

But the Essex side, who Needham pipped to the Ryman League Division One North title in 2014/15, scored twice in the second half to complete an emphatic victory.

Of the five goals they conceded on the night, Wilkins cited individual errors were the cause of all of them and conceded his side had been ‘bullied’ by their newly-promoted opponents.

“We were bullied on Tuesday night,” he said. “We’ve been pretty solid defensively for the last three or four games but you can’t legislate for individual errors.

“All in all it was a disappointing night. Met Police is a game we really need to win on Saturday.

“We wanted six or seven points from Leatherhead, Harlow and this Saturday but we’re not able to do that now.

“We need to bounce back and get a win on Saturday.”