CLASS OF 2010: Needham Market

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RIDGEONS League champions Needham Market hope to be holding the Ryman League Division One North title come the end of 2011 after enjoying a memorable 2010.

Manager Danny Laws guided his side to the Ridgeons League title, as well as the Ridgeons League Cup and the quarter-finals of the FA Vase, and has seen them smash 50 goals in their first 14 Ryman League games.

The Marketmen, who were a Suffolk and Ipwsich League Division Eight side just 25 years ago, head to Maldon & Tiptree tomorrow (3pm) knowing a New Year’s Day victory would keep their hopes of another dream year very much alive.

Laws said: “It’s been a great year for us. The Ridgeons League title and then taking that form into the Ryman League have been the highlights.

“We are only a third of the way through the season, which means it’s still early days for us, but those 14 games have been successful.”

For Laws and his players to remain the favourites for the Ryman League Division One North title, they must tackle 10 matches between January 1 and February 1, seven of which are on the road.

Needham’s boss siad: “This is a big month for us, there is no hiding from it.

“I don’t want anyone to hide from it — not me, not the players and not the supporters. It’s a big ask and we must respond.”

For the first match in that run, third-placed Needham head to Maldon & Tiptree — one place and one point ahead of their hosts, but with six matches in hand.

Pip Boyland and new signing Sheridan Driver could be involved after injury, while James Evans is set to take the place of Conor McCloskey (family commitments) on the right wing.

With Sam Newson and Nathan Stone due to finally complete their two-match suspensions, Christy Finch — whose loan from Lowestoft Town is due to finish in the middle of January — is likely to partner Rhys Henry — who started the season at tomorrow’s hosts — in attack.