Adam Mills returns to lift blues at Marketmen
Manager Richard Wilkins is hoping forward Adam Mills’ return can be the catalyst his Needham Market side need to start firing themselves up the BetVictor Southern Premier Central table.
The Marketmen turn their attention back to league action at Bloomfields tomorrow (3pm) with the visit of fifth-placed Rushall Olympic lying in 14th after 14 matches.
They are looking to quickly put the disappointment of exiting the Buildbase FA Trophy 2-1 at home to Leatherhead last weekend behind them in the wake of some morale-boosting news this week.
The club announced on Wednesday their former academy star Mills has re-signed for the club having left for Braintree Town, who play two steps higher in the pyramid, having found the net on four occasions.
“It is good to have him back,” said boss Wilkins.
“He went at the end of the season to try and play higher-level football, which he achieved.
“I do not think it went as he would have 100 per cent liked but he has come back to us and it is good for us and gives us that balance in the team with a natural wide-man that I think we have been lacking.”
He added: “He creates goals and has got good attributes such as his ability to head the ball.
“He is looking forward to it and hopefully we will see him hitting his straps pretty quickly.
“And hopefully we can now see the team start moving up the league table again.”
Mills, who was the club’s second-highest scorer in his second spell, following playing for AFC Sudbury, has signed an 18-month deal which will keep him tied to his hometown club until the end of next season.
He told the club’s website: “I am really pleased to be back at Needham where it all started for me many years ago when I was part of the Academy.
“I want to thank everyone at Braintree and Needham for making this possible and I now want to get back to helping Needham push up the table to the play-offs”.
There was further good news for the club’s fanbase on the same day as it was revealed vice-captain Keiran Morphew, who is in his eight season with them and closing in on 300 appearances, has signed a new long-term contract.
Wilkins said of the centre-half: “Keiran is a natural leader and top bloke and I am delighted he has agreed this new long-term deal and he is exactly the type of player I want to manage at this club.”
The manager felt his side once again did not get what they deserved as two second-half goals put Leatherhead 2-0 up in their second qualifying round tie.
Ibrahim Olutade fired home a loose ball from inside the penalty area to break the deadlock in the 56th minute. And Travis Gregory ghosted in from the left wing in the 67th minute for the BetVictor Isthmian League Premier Division side.
A late rally from Needham saw them put pressure on Zaki Oualah’s goal and James Baker gave them hope by sweeping home Luke Ingram’s cross in the second of six minutes of added time.
But despite a late sight of goal from inside the area for Callum Page, the Tanners clung on for victory.
“Saturday was disappointing as I did not think we deserved to lose it,” said Wilkins.
“They only had two shots that were going up and wide in the first half and we have had six or seven opportunities.
“In the second half we then make a couple of defensive errors which cost us.
“I do not think we are far away but it is frustrating for me and the fans that we are not getting what we deserve, but that is football.”
l Needham Market Reserves return to action at Debebham LC in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division North tomorrow before another away game, at Felixstowe & Walton United Reserves, on Wednesday.
More by this authorRussell Claydon
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