RYMAN LEAGUE TRANSFER NEWS: Osei leaves leaders Needham while Wilkins says season target remains unchanged
Needham Market assistant manager Richard Wilkins has said a lack of starting opportunities led to Emmanuel Osei transfering to lower-league Cheshunt.
The striker, who has previously played for the likes of Leiston and Lowestoft Town, signed a one-year contract upon his arrival at Bloomfields in the summer.
However, after scoring three goals in 24 appearances for the Ryman League Premier Division leaders, Osei has now had his deal mutually terminated — allowing him to join the Division One North side with immediate effect.
Wilkins told the Bury Free Press: “I think the boy wants to play at the minute.
“Luke Ingram and Reece Dobson are doing well up top and Sandsy (John Sands) is coming on and getting fitter.
“He (Osei) has done well for us whenever he has come on and he has played a lot of our cup games.
Our Target is still to get to 50 points
“There was no issue with it (his departure). I think Cheshunt made an enquiry and Mark (Morsley, manager) spoke to Manny and he was interested and went.
He added: “Where he lives, in Enfield, make it a bit of a trip if you are not playing.
“He will do well for them as he is a good player.”
Needham rose to the top of the Ryman League Premier Division table on Tuesday with Reece Dobson scoring both goals in the 2-1 win over Harlow Town on Tuesday night.
And Wilkins believes it is the Marketmen’s ability to bounce back from setbacks that has seen them go within a win, at home to Hendon (20th) on Saturday (3pm), of guaranteeing topping the tree at Christmas.
“In mind we have been beaten badly three times this season, but we have always come back with a vengeance to get more points,” said the Needham number two.
“It is important whenever you lose in football you bounce right back in the next game, and we do that.
“There are teams that have games in hand on us but it is nice to have the points on the board and it is nice to be sitting where we are.
“We have Hendon on Saturday but they got beaten 4-0 by Grays, who were bottom, so it shows the kind of results you can get at this time of year.”
But has Needham’s lofty league position, with half of their campaign exactly now played, led to the management team changing their target of survival? And bettering last season’s debut season at step three of the non-league ladder, in which they finished 20th? No.
“Our target is still to get to 50 points,” said Wilkins, whose side are already on 43.
“We will not be relegated with 50 points and, hopefully, once we get that we can see where it takes us.”
The Marketmen have no fresh injury or availability concerns following Tuesday’s win, with Wilkins revealing influential defender or midfielder Kieran Morphew will train tonight for the first time since breaking his leg three months ago.
Reflecting on Tuesday’s performance, Wilkins said: “It was a big win for us.
“We got beaten heavily by Harlow (5-1) earlier in the season where we allowed them to boss us but on Tuesday everyone stuck to the game plan and we thoroughly deserved it and, in my opinion, could have won by one or two more.”
* See Friday’s Bury Free Press print edition for match reaction from two-goal hero Reece Dobson, as well as Liam Apicella’s player ratings.