Three points vital for Needham’s play-off bid

CRUNCH TIME: Needham Market assistant manager Richard Wilkins says the Marketmen need a victory tomorrow to keep their play-off hopes alive
CRUNCH TIME: Needham Market assistant manager Richard Wilkins says the Marketmen need a victory tomorrow to keep their play-off hopes alive
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Richard Wilkins admits Needham Market need to pick up three points this weekend –or risk seeing their play-off hopes being over for the season, writes Alex Moss.

The Marketmen (6th) dropped out of the top five of the Ryman League Premier Division for the first time in more than 180 days following Saturday’s 4-1 defeat away at mid-table Staines Town.

And ahead of a trip to 16th-place Metropolitan Police tomorrow (3pm), the Needham assistant boss has highlighted how important it will be for his side to get back to winning ways in order to keep their play-off hopes alive.

“It’s getting very cramped up there,” said Wilkins about the top end of the Premier Division table, which sees the gap between third and 10th sit at just four points heading into this weekend.

“It’s the first time in many months that we find ourselves outside the top five, on goal difference, and we must now go there (to Metropolitan Police) and put in a performance.

“More importantly, we need to pick up three points. We’re at the business end of the season now and it could leave us with a mountain to climb if we don’t get the three points on Saturday.”

The Marketmen have enjoyed an excellent second campaign in the Ryman League’s top flight, and have defied expectations at Bloomfields by being among the teams challenging for promotion.

But their bid to finish in the play-offs has stuttered in recent weeks, as with just five points from their last six league games they find themselves down in 20th place in the form table.

“We’ve had a rocky road over the last eight games and we’ve not been picking up points,” Wilkins said.

“It’s fine lines us for us at the moment. We’re hoping our luck will turn now.”

There were no ins and outs on transfer deadline day for Needham last week, but they should be boosted by the return of right back Jake Dye, who is fit to come back into the squad this weekend.