Richard Wilkins is hoping that Saturday’s 4-2 home win over Tonbridge Angels is an indication that Needham Market’s fortunes are changing.
By Wilkins’ own admission, the visiting Tonbridge created just as many — if not more — chances than the Marketmen at Bloomfields and they also struck the woodwork during the second half.
And yet it was Needham that opened up a four-goal lead through Luke Ingram, John Sands and an Adam Mills brace, before the away side pulled two back late on.
“They will probably feel a little bit unfortunate and I can understand that given the chances they created,” said Wilkins.
“Although I thought we were worthy winners, we did have to ride our luck a little bit at times.
“They hit the post and missed a couple of really good chances, while at Enfield last week their goalkeeper was deservedly sent off — those sort of things have not been going for us this season.
“It was disappointing to concede a couple of goals late on, but we were on the front foot and the lads put in a good shift.
“Hopefully the game is a sign that we will start getting the run of the ball from now on.”
The victory has moved Wilkins’ men six points clear of the one Bostik League Premier Division relegation place, though they have played more matches than the majority of teams around them.
And ahead of tomorrow’s trip to 10th-placed Leatherhead (3pm), Wilkins has admitted there is still plenty of work to be done in the fight for survival.
“We have picked up seven points from the last nine available but we will not be going overboard,” he added.
“It is tight down at the bottom and there will be plenty of twists and turns.
“We just have to concentrate ourselves and continue getting the wins.
“I am not sure there is a magic points tally — we just have to keep picking up points.”
One player that will not be involved at Leatherhead is Rhys Henry, who made a goalscoring return following his move back to Maldon & Tiptree last weekend. Wilkins said of the midfielder’s mid-season departure: “He has not got the minutes he wanted since joining from Sudbury six weeks ago.
“He is a smashing lad and a good player, but when you have Adam Mills, Luke Ingram and Jack Simmons out wide, it is difficult to get in.
“We wish him well and I am sure he will be great for Maldon.”
Young goalkeeper James Bradbrook is also set for a temporary exit as he has headed to Brightlingsea Regent on loan for the rest of the season.
Sam Nunn, meanwhile, is in contention to feature against Leatherhead after boosting his match fitness with the reserves,