Needham Market enjoyed a sparkling 5-1 home victory over struggling Harlow Town on Tuesday but now face a free Saturday and Tuesday, following two games being postponed, writes Russell Claydon.
Manager Richard Wilkins has been left hugely frustrated at the situation, having only found out on Wednesday evening that Tuesday’s scheduled Bostik League Premier Division home game with 20th place Burgess Hill Town has been postponed, like Saturday’s game at Margate, due to a re-arranged cup match.
“It is an absolute killer for us,” he said. “We have just had a really good result and performance against Harlow and they may be struggling with form and injuries and it might well be a bit of jiggery pokery.
“It is hugely frustrating. The Margate game (a re-arranged FA Trophy fixture) was something that was nothing to do with us that now means we have to go there on a Tuesday in January (9th), which is not ideal, but everything was done for Tuesday. It means we are without a game for 10 days, which is far from ideal.”
After Saturday’s crazy 5-4 defeat (Diaz Wright 17’, Callum Harrison 32’, Dan Morphew pen 71’, Jamie Griffiths 85’), with the decisive goal coming in injury-time at Tonbridge Angels, Needham bounced back with their own five-goal haul securing three points on Tuesday.
Dan Morphew’s first minute opener set the tone before Gareth Heath (19) and Luke Ingram (37) responded to Jideofo Maduaho’s quick reply.
Griffiths (63) and Harrison (70) capped a fine performance at Bloomfields that leaves the Marketmen 18th and nine points above the relegation zone now.
Wilkins said: “We were very unlucky Saturday to not get at least a point and I told them to play the same way Tuesday. As I have been saying, it is going to click, and it did. We played some lovely football and scored some really good goals against a side that recently beat Dulwich and pushed Billericay on Saturday.
“It was up there as our best win.”
Meanwhile, forward Rhys Henry has rejoined the club for a fourth spell.
n Basement side Needham Market Reserves were thrashed 7-1 in the battle of the academies at AFC Sudbury Reserves in the Thurlow Nunn League First Dvision on Friday evening.
Steve Foley’s young side host Halstead Town tomorrow (3pm) before travelling to Braintree Town Reserves a week today (7.45pm).