Don’t write off title hopes yet says departing goalie

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ANDREW Plummer believes Needham Market boss Danny Laws has been too quick to write off their title hopes.

The goalkeeper said he mutually agreed to terminate his contract at Bloomfields once Laws revealed he was bringing back Liam Jones from Debenham LC, but believes they can still win the league.

It is in stark contrast to the view of their manager, who has already declared their title hopes are over after a disastrous festive period which saw them lose five straight games from December 17 to January 8.

Plummer said: “I would go on the record and say they will be in the mix in the play-offs and with a bit of good fortune I think they can win the play-offs. I do think they have the ammunition to win the league if they can find some consistency, over Christmas that was our problem.”

The goalkeeper started the season as the Marketmen’s number one to fill the void left by Danny Gay’s summer switch to Ryman One North rivals AFC Sudbury, making 37 appearances for the Bloomfields club.

But after a barren run which included the embarrassment of conceding five second-half goals at home to Lesiton, Laws decided to replace Plummer in the starting line-up with former Needham keeper Jones as well as beefing up his attack.

But Plummer, who played for Hadleigh United in the 0-0 draw at Walsham-le-Willows on Saturday to help cover illness, has no hard feelings and is happy to now be solely concentrating on his new job at Ipswich-based financial firm Willis.

He said: “I have just started a new job away from football and the reason I left Needham Market was that football is not my main priority right now.

“Any offer that does come my way I would be prepared to listen to, but like I said, football is not my priority.

“I have come down the levels from playing in the Irish premier league (IFA Carling Premiership) and decided I would call it a day on the football front and switch my focus elsewhere.”

He added: “I would like to put on record everyone associated with Needham Market has been fantastic – it is a great club run extremely well - in Suffolk non-League football probably the best.

“I wish for them to be promoted to the Ryman Premier where everyone at the club behind the scenes deserves to be and I have got every faith they can do that.”

While fans may point to the cruel injury suffered by the league’s leading marksman Sam Newson, keeping him sidelined for six weeks, as the major factor behind slipping from the top spot, Plummer believes it was more than that.

“Sam got injured and it did not help the situation but I would not say it was the sole reason,” he said. “There was a blip where goals went in and things were not working out for us but at the end of the day they are still well in the mix.”