Manager: Cup tie is ‘not important’

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Needham Market’s hectic fixture list means Wednesday’s Suffolk Premier Cup semi-final holds no importance to manager Mark Morsley.

The Marketmen, who last reached the Portman Road showpiece in 2011, face Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division high-flyers Felixstowe and Walton United at Leiston’s Victory Road ground (7.45pm).

But having faced Brentwood Town on Saturday and Heybridge Swifts on Tuesday, and with matches scheduled against VCD Athletic last night and Thurrock tomorrow (3pm), Morsley’s sole focus is on guiding his side into the Ryman League Division One North play-offs.

“The cup semi-final is of no importance whatsoever as far as I’m concerned,” he said. “I will pick a side to try and win the game, but I won’t be risking players with important league games on the Saturday either side.”

Sam Newson broke the deadlock against Heybridge in the 24th minute on Tuesday with a snap volley that arced over visiting goalkeeper Ashley Harrison from just outside the penalty area.

Ian Westlake and Newson were denied by goal-line blocks in quick succession, but former Marketman Jamie Guy glanced the Swifts level on the stroke of half-time.

Needham should have had two penalties when Ryan Crisp and Chris Hogg appeared to be felled on separate occasions during the second half.

However, the hosts’ third penalty appeal finally brought a positive response from the referee when Ollie Fenn — used as a makeshift striker in the closing stages — was pulled back by Chris Moore and Izzet sent Harrison the wrong way from the spot.

“The one we got was possibly less of a penalty than the previous two,” added Morsley.

Needham: Plummer 6, Morphew 6, Coakley 6, Westlake 6, Hogg 7, FENN 7, Cowley 6, Izzet 6, Newson 7 (Hammond 60, 6), Crisp 6 (Nunn 78, 6), Ingram 6. Subs not used: Driver, Munson, Charles.

Attendance: 141.

n Needham came from behind to beat Brentwood Town 3-1 on Saturday thanks to goals from Luke Ingram, Ian Westlake and Dave Cowley.

n Needham Market Reserves — who beat Debenham LC 2-1 on Saturday thanks to goals from Harrison Ford and Adam Mills — travel to Stowmarket Town tomorrow (3pm) before hosting Great Yarmouth Town on Tuesday (7.45pm), both in the Thurlow Nunn First Division.