Tough finish expected for Marketmen

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DANNY Laws expects his Needham Market side to encounter a much tougher second half of the season now they have established themselves as the team to beat.

The Ryman League Division One North table-toppers are in search of a 13th game unbeaten and 15th straight home win in the next five days.

Tomorrow, the Marketmen travel to struggling Cheshunt (3pm), before entertaining Ware at Bloomfields on Tuesday (7.45pm). On paper, a six-point haul seems a certainty for the Reds, but boss Laws is desperate for his promotion hopefuls to continue their sparkling form without a hint of complacency.

“Things will only get harder from this point on,” said Laws. “We are only just through half of the season and we are no longer an unknown team.

“People know what we are about and they will be more wise to the way we play. It will be tougher without a doubt.”

Needham, who have scored in every league fixture this season, suffered a 4-3 defeat at Ware in November, but hit back in style with immediate 7-1 and 8-0 thrashings over Redbridge and Leyton respectively.

Those two victories kickstarted the club’s current unbeaten streak that has seen them move four points clear at the top with two games in hand over nearest rivals East Thurrock.

“We are playing very well,” said Laws. “We met our targets in January and the target for February is to continue this unbeaten run if we possibly can.

“There is still half of the season left and there remain a lot of points still to collect before we can celebrate anything,” he added.

Left-back Kevin Horlock should return to the squad after two games out with illness, while Sheridan Driver and Christy Finch – on loan until the end of the season from Lowestoft – are also both in contention.