Needham in fine form ahead of top-of-the-table clash

INJURY DOUBTS: Needham captain Kem Izzet (pictured) and Ryan Crisp both picked up knocks during Tuesday's 2-0 win at Waltham Abbey
INJURY DOUBTS: Needham captain Kem Izzet (pictured) and Ryan Crisp both picked up knocks during Tuesday's 2-0 win at Waltham Abbey
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Needham Market manager Mark Morsley praised his players after consecutive wins saw them return to the top of the table this week.

The Marketmen are preparing for a trip to second-placed Harlow Town tomorrow (3pm), off the back of victories against Burnham Ramblers (5-0) and Waltham Abbey (2-0).

And Morsley was delighted with his team after they put the previous 2-0 defeat at Aveley behind them to move into first place in the Ryman League Division One North table.

“Saturday was important after Aveley,” said the Needham boss, whose side were comfortable winners thanks to goals from Luke Ingram, Sam Newson, Kem Izzet, Ollie Fenn and Ryan Crisp.

Reflecting on Tuesday’s win at Waltham, Morlsey added: “Tuesday was excellent — it was a tough game against a good side who were top of the table earlier in the season.

“There were a lot of people from Harlow at the game who saw the performance we put on.

“Harlow have a 3G surface, which will be different to what we played on at Waltham, but I’m confident in my players’ ability.”

Needham hold a two-point lead over the Hawks ahead of this weekend’s meeting between the two title rivals, although Harlow do have a game in hand on Morsley’s men.

“There is clearly very little between the two teams so far this season,” said the Needham boss. “I’d say there is slightly more pressure on them because they are at home.

“But the term ‘six-pointer’ doesn’t really count in November. If there is a winner on Saturday then it will only hand them a slight advantage.”

Needham will assess captain Kem Izzet and Ryan Crisp before tomorrow’s trip to Barrows Farm, after the pair both picked up knocks in Tuesday’s win at Waltham.

Morsley could hand a start to new signing, and former Marketman, Rhys Henry this weekend, after the striker completed a move back to Needham from Division One North rivals Leiston earlier this week.

“Rhys played for me at Leiston for two years and will go straight into the squad on Saturday,” said Morsley, whose side return to Bloomfields to host Redbridge on Tuesday.

n Needham Market Reserves return to action after a two-week break with back-to-back Thurlow Nunn League First Division home matches.

Kevin Horlock’s side host Cornard United tomorrow (3pm) before entertaining Haverhill Borough at Bloomfields on Wednesday (7.45pm).

n Needham Market held their second sportsman’s evening at Hintlesham Golf Club last month.

More than 100 people enjoyed a three course meal and entertainment from John Motson, Ricky George and comedian Mike Maguire.

The night raised more than £2,500 towards club funds.