First win for new Needham Market boss Kevin Horlock on the road at Coalville Town
Kevin Horlock won his first match as the new manager of Needham Market, with a 1-0 victory away at Coalville Town in the BetVictor Southern League Premier Central on Tuesday night.
The former Manchester City and Ipswich Town midfielder-turned-manager described Tuesday’s outing as ‘the complete away performance’ with his ‘only grumble’ that the side should have ‘put it to bed a little bit earlier’.
After falling to a 1-0 defeat away to Barwell in the league on Saturday, conceding in the 88th minute, they turned the tables in their second of two back-to-back away games with a 91st-minute strike from Callum Page to steal all three points on the road.
Page’s performance saw him named Player of the Match in a game that saw Needham (14th) pepper their hosts’ goal in the second half, after missing a penalty in the 13th minute.
Page was brought down in the box but Joe Marsden saw his spot kick saved by a goalkeeper diving the right way.
Marcus Garnham earned his paycheck in the first half with a number of top drawer saves denying Coalville (7th) before Adam Mills, Billy Hunt, Craig Parker, Marsden and Page worked well together to create numerous chances in the second half.
But, with no score as the game hit the 90th minute, the tie looked destined to end goalless, before Page netted from a tight angle in front of goal from a Parker assist.
Horlock said: “I thought it was almost the complete away performance, my only grumble would be we could’ve put it to bed a little bit earlier.
“Let’s not kid ourselves, they’re a good outfit and strong, but we coped with that really well.
“We could’ve been negative, we could’ve said let’s take a point especially after Saturday’s result, but we’re brave with it and we left players on there that could win football matches, and Pagey’s (Callum Page) popped up and done that.”
The victory sets them up well ahead of tomorrow’s league visit – weather permitting – from Suffolk rivals Lowestoft Town (3pm), before travelling to top-of-the-table Premier South counterparts Chesham United on Tuesday night (7.45pm) for the CSS League Cup semi-final.
Lowestoft dumped Needham out of the FA Cup via a 4-0 thrashing in September before the Marketmen got their own back with a 2-0 win in the reverse fixture of the league on October 19.
Needham will then be vying for a first ever Step 3 cup final away to Buckinghamshire side Chesham.
The Marketmen have a tough task ahead of them against a side that have won 19 league fixtures this season – from 29 played – compared to Needham’s 11 wins.
But Horlock has faith in his squad. He said: “I’ve inherited a really good squad here so I’m really lucky to be in this position where I’ve came in and the squad’s a good one.
“We’ve got hungry players with quality that we’re slightly underachieving and I’ve told the lads that so I want to create an environment now where we push each other.”
Horlock, responding to defeat away to Barwell last Saturday, added: “It was a tough game, in tough conditions for both teams.
“It’s really disappointing to obviously concede in any game so late on.
“A bit of a sucker punch, probably merited a 0-0 today, and it wasn’t to be.
“It’s early days, it’s not going to happen overnight, but slowly and surely we will play the way I want to, especially over the coming weeks.
“Hopefully that means winning games of football and coming to places like this and seeing games out.”
* Follow @HannahDolman1 on Twitter or visit the Bury Free Press website for our live match blog on Saturday as Needham are set to host Lowestoft (weather-permitting).
More by this authorHannah Dolman