Needham boss bemoans a lack of tempo from team

KNOCKED OUT: John Sands shields the ball during Needham's semi-final loss on penalties. Picture: Paul Tebbutt
KNOCKED OUT: John Sands shields the ball during Needham's semi-final loss on penalties. Picture: Paul Tebbutt

Needham Market manager Richard Wilkins conceded his side did not play with enough tempo during their Omni Freight Suffolk Premier Cup semi-final exit at the hands of Bury Town on Wednesday evening.

The Marketmen created some good chances on the 3G at AFC Sudbury, but all of them went begging.

The tie went to penalties and after the first eight had been scored, Needham’s Ryan Gibbs missed and Bury winger Ryan Jolland slotted in to send his side through to a Portman Road final.

“They have had some chances but we missed some sitters,” said Wilkins, whose side won the competition under the management of Mark Morsley last year.

“We should have been out of sight with some of those chances.

“It was one of those situations where we did not really make their goalkeeper work.

“We dominated the possession but did not make enough use of that.

“Our tempo was a bit slow. When you have got a team that drops back, which is fine, you have to play with a decent tempo.

“There was plenty of opportunities for us to break quickly and instead we have gone across the pitch and allowed them to get back in.

“Penalties are a lottery and Ryan was confident enough to take one — I will never criticise anyone for that.”

Wilkins’ men (18th) will switch their focus back to Bostik League Premier Division matters tomorrow when they travel to title hopefuls Billericay Town (3pm).

The Essex side are fourth but are just three points behind table-topping Folkstone Invicta with seven games in hand.

That is followed on Wednesday by another trip, this time to eighth-placed Leatherhead (7.45pm).

• In the Bostik League North Division, Mildenhall Town will be hoping to return to action tomorrow for the first time since February 24 away at champions elect AFC Hornchurch (3pm).

Dean Greygoose’s side had been due to travel to Brentwood last weekend but that was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch.

Instead, Mildenhall will make that particular trip on Thursday, March 22, while another postponed game — at home against Romford — will now be played on Tuesday, March 27 (both 7.45pm).

The Hall have been in good form of late, losing only one of their last six matches.