Bury, Needham prepare to host league leaders

ON THE MOVE: Ollie Fenn has joined Bury on loan from Needham Market
ON THE MOVE: Ollie Fenn has joined Bury on loan from Needham Market
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Needham Market and Bury Town chiefs are hoping bumper crowds turn out to roar them on to victory when they both face table-topping opposition tomorrow (3pm).

Needham Market and Bury Town chiefs are hoping bumper crowds turn out to roar them on to victory when they both face table-topping opposition tomorrow (3pm).

The Marketmen entertain Ryman League Premier Division leaders Bognor Regis Town at Bloomfields this weekend, desperate to get their play-off bid back on track after slipping to consecutive defeats.

Meanwhile, Bury are aiming to end a six-match losing run when they host Ryman League Division One North frontrunners Maldon & Tiptree at Ram Meadow tomorrow.

Needham head into their clash without the services of midfielder Ollie Fenn, who has this week joined Bury on a one-month loan.

Last weekend’s 2-0 defeat away at Dulwich Hamlet saw them drop a place to third and six points behind top spot having played a game more than tomorrow’s opponents, with assistant boss Richard Wilkins warning they must avoid a third straight defeat.

“We’ve lost two on the spin, which we’ve only done once before in the league this season,” Wilkins said.

“We need to be on it on Saturday and make sure we pick up something from the game. I said to the boys at the weekend it is important in every game now that we pick up something.

“We can’t afford to be losing games, especially three games in a row.”

The Marketmen have been the surprise package of the Premier Division this season as, after avoiding relegation in the final weeks of last season, they have occupied a top five spot ever since September.

Bloomfields has turned into something of a fortress for Mark Morsley’s side who boast the second best home record in the division.

“The fans are enjoying it and it’s nice to be where we are,” Wilkins said.

“The crowd can play a big part (on Saturday). The crowd have been great this year and they have seen some exciting games.

“Last Saturday the lads played in front of nearly 2,000 people at Dulwich and they certainly weren’t overawed by it.”

While Needham are firmly in the race to finish in the Premier Division play-offs this season, Bury have some work to do if they are to secure a top five berth in Division One North.

A 4-0 defeat at Thurrock on Saturday was the sixth game running that Ben Chenery’s side have been left pointless, leaving them in 11th place and 13 points adrift of the play-offs with just 12 games left.

But while the enormity of the task may prove to be too big for the Blues this season, manager Chenery is still expecting his side to put in two improved performances over the next few days.

“We’ll take it game by game and point by point and enjoy our football,” said Chenery, who takes his side to Aveley (10th) on Monday (7.45pm).

“Everybody focuses on results, and rightly so, but if the performance levels are there then the results will follow.

“I’m hoping we can make a statement in these next two games and put in two good performances.”

On the signing of Needham’s Fenn, who is set to be included in tomorrow’s squad and could make his debut, Chenery said: “He’s an experienced head who will be a good addition for us.

“It freshens things up and I’d like to thank Mark Morsley at Needham for helping to make the deal happen.”