Mark Morsley is looking for a change in fortune when his Needham Market side host Canvey Island in the FA Trophy tomorrow (3pm).
The Marketmen saw their recent upturn in results come to an end on Tuesday night, after Teddy Nesbitt scored a hat-trick to help Billericay Town run out 3-1 winners.
With Needham taking a break from their struggles in the Ryman League Premier Division this weekend, Morsley believes the pressure will be off his players for the first qualifying round tie.
“It’s not a league game it’s a cup game,” said Morsley, whose side host East Thurrock United in the league on Tuesday (7.45pm). “We can perhaps relax, play a little bit, and give them a good game.
“They’ll come here thick and fast. They’re a footballing team and we’ll give it a go.
“It’s a great competition and we’ll want to take something positive from it into Tuesday’s game.”
Needham have already equalled their best run in the FA Trophy before a ball has even been kicked this weekend, with the Marketmen having also reached the first qualifying round on two other occasions while playing in the league below.
Saturday’s visitors to Bloomfields have been in fine form, with a narrow 2-1 defeat at Dulwich Hamlet last weekend bringing an end to their seven match winning run.
While the Gulls have propelled themselves into the top echellons of the Premier Division table this month, Needham have found themselves struggling at the other end so far this season.
The Marketmen (22nd) are six points adrift of safety and have just the one league win to their name in their maiden campaign at step three.
Tuesday’s 3-1 home reverse to Billericay was their 11th defeat in all competitions, one less than Morsley’s men lost in the whole of their title-winning season in 2014-15.
The step up to the Ryman League’s top flight has been a difficult one so far for Needham, but the signs are there that they are close to turning their form around.
The Marketmen battled for almost an hour trying to find an equaliser against Billericay in the week, coming close on several occasions to cancelling out their 2-1 lead.
“It’s always the same, you see it in football one team get chance after chance after chance,” Morsley said.
“That team doesn’t score and the other team break away and score. I’m bitterly disappointed as I just felt we were going to win on Tuesday.
“We’ve bounced back after going 2-0 down and come back into the game. We got it back to 2-1 and if we score one of our chances and make it 2-2, I think we go on and win.
“I know it’s a cliché but you don’t get the luck when you’re at this end of the table. Things don’t break for you.”
Needham will be boosted by the return of Colchester United loanee Callum Harrison tomorrow, after he served his one match suspension on Tuesday night.
Jordan Patrick could return from injury and take a place on the Marketmen’s bench, while Keiran Morphew looks doubtful and Ian Miller could be called back to play for Braintree Town.