NEEDHAM MARKET: Boxing Day match preview
Needham Market head into Boxing Day’s derby at Leiston without joint-top goalscorer Adam Mills, who has been put on the transfer list.
The Marketmen visit their Suffolk rivals on Saturday (1pm) looking to bounce back from the disappointing 3-2 home defeat to Enfield Town.
However they will be without the services of academy product Mills, who has been deemed surplus to requirements at Bloomfields, despite scoring eight goals in 26 appearances so far this season.
The teenager scored vital goals in the early weeks of the season to help Mark Morsley’s side draw against both VCD Athletic and Leiston, with his last goal coming in the 2-0 triumph at Hendon on November 14.
Needham boss Morsley has cited a recent lack of game time behind the reason for Mills being placed on the transfer list.
“Adam’s done well this season but at the moment he’s not getting enough football,” he explained. “Jordan Patrick (JP) has been playing on the left side for the last few games and has started to show his potential.
“JP is with us on a two-year contract and right now we want to commit ourselves to him.
“Adam is a young player with great potential, but short term we would like to get a fee for him.
“As one of our academy boys we have a vested interest in him and want him to reach the potential he has.
“There could be a possibility that he goes out on loan to a Ryman League or a Thurlow Nunn League club, but right now we are looking for a fee.”
It comes weeks after Needham announced they were putting all-time leading goalscorer Sam Newson on the transfer list, due to a change in formation also affording the striker less game time.
Newson, who helped fire the Marketmen up to their highest level of football in the club’s history last season, winning the Ryman League Division One North title, has since moved back down a division to spearhead Maldon and Tiptree’s frontline.
After seeing their eight-match unbeaten run in all competitions come to an end against Enfield two weeks ago, Morsley is determined to see his side return to the heights of their recent victories at Dulwich Hamlet and Staines Town.
“I want us to get back to where we were before the Enfield game,” said the former Leiston boss, who is likely to be without Joe Whight, Keiran Morphew and Regan Pelling (all injured) when he returns to his former club on Saturday.
“We let ourselves down against Enfield, so we need to get back our continuity of passing the ball and how we played before that defeat.”
Meanwhile, Morsley moved to allay fears of the Bloomfields pitch would see further postponements due to the drainage issues, which saw Saturday’s scheduled Ryman League Premier Division fixture with VCD Athletic put back, despite their being little rain in the build-up to the game.
“We were unfortunate that the drain was blocked so there was a part of the pitch in front of the dugouts which couldn’t clear up in time,” he said. “There’s no game on the pitch now until Canvey Island on January 2, so we’ve got time now to work on the pitch.”