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Needham Market top goalscorer Joe Marsden is fully focused on bid to gatecrash Southern League play-offs ahead of Halesown Town's visit

Needham Market’s Joe Marsden is within sight of his best-ever goals tally, despite alternating between defence and midfield, but he would happily surrender that for a run of points.

The 25-year-old has been revelling in more game time since leaving Leiston in the summer and sits at the top of the Marketmen’s goal charts with 18 (15 league) after scoring twice in the 3-2 defeat at Evo-Stik League Premier Division Central leaders Kettering Town on Saturday.

His best return came at Wroxham where he managed 25, with the utility player having also being used in a substantial amount of games at full-back that season.

Football - Kettering Vs Needham .Joe Marsden celebrates his second goal of the day ..Photographer Ben Pooley. (7021701)
Football - Kettering Vs Needham .Joe Marsden celebrates his second goal of the day ..Photographer Ben Pooley. (7021701)

But although he would like to see if he can break new territory at a higher level this term, it comes very much secondary to the team’s pursuit of a play-off place.

“I have always backed myself and to be on 18 playing out wide and full-back throughout the season is really pleasing, but if we are not winning games the goals do not mean as much,” he said.

“I’d much rather us get three points than me score two goals and us not get any.”

That was the situation on Saturday where only an injury-time goal prevented Needham coming away from the leaders with a point for their efforts.

Aaron O’Connor had given the Poppies the lead before Marsden’s curling effort on the stroke of half-time.

O’Connor fired in his second in the 72nd minute for the dominant hosts.

Marsden’s penalty soon after looked to have rescued the Suffolk visitors a point, but the Poppies scored a third in injury time through Lindon Meikle.

After Biggleswade Town moved back into 5th on Tuesday, it leaves Needham 7th and four points off the play-offs, having played a game more, ahead of hosting second-bottom Halesowen Town tomorrow (3pm). Their visitors ended a five-game winless run on Saturday.

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