Needham Market’s Richard Wilkins believes they will have nothing to fear when Leiston visit in a Suffolk derby on Monday (3pm), writes Russell Claydon.
The Marketmen’s assistant manager left as Leiston manager by mutual consent in May after guiding them to their best ever finish (eighth) in the Ryman League Premier Division last season.
The Blues had mounted a strong challenge to lead the division though before eventually falling short of the play-offs.
Four wins from four sees them top the early table this season, but Wilkins is confident his new unbeaten side (won one and drawn two) can halt their progress when the sides meet on Monday.
“The way I left was a little bit strange and you look forward to pitting your wits against them,” he said.
“There are one or two from when I was there which gives me an insight.
“I fancy us at home. I have heard reports they have scored some late goals and sometimes lady luck is on your side.
“They are a good team but I am confident we can get a result.”
It will not just be Wilkins going up against his former club, with manager Mark Morsley having also had a spell in charge at Victory Road and forwards John Sands and Michael Brothers and goalkeeper Danny Gay among those to have turned out for the Blues.
Needham will travel to current sixth place Folkestone Invicta tomorrow (3pm) looking to build on a pleasing 2-1 win at Kingstonian on Saturday, which saw Jack Curtis pull them level in the second half before Reece Dobson came off the bench to score an 80th minute winner.
On Tuesday night, the Marketmen saw their home game with Canvey Island abandoned after the floodlights failed with Morsley’s side trailing 2-1 at half-time.
“It was one of those things,” said Wilkins. “We waited a good hour and it was only when we were showering they came back on.”