Needham Market boss looks forward to huge home clash

BIG GAME! Mark Morsley is prepping his Needham side for Saturday's crunch clash. ANL-150802-215645009
BIG GAME! Mark Morsley is prepping his Needham side for Saturday's crunch clash. ANL-150802-215645009
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SUFFOLK FA PREMIER CUP

QUARTER-FINAL

Walsham-le-Willows 0

Needham Market 2

Needham Market manager Mark Morsley admits Saturday’s match at home to Brentwood Town is a ‘huge game’ for his team.

A haul of 10 points from their last four games have lifted Needham to 20th position in the Ryman League Premier Division table - one point and one place above Brentwood.

Morsley said: “It is a huge game for us. We are above them in the table by just one point, so it is important we get something out of the game.”

The manager saw his side’s run of three straight wins ended in last Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Farnborough, but it stretched their run to four league games without defeat.

He reflected: “We should have won it, no doubt about it.

“On the flip side, their home form has not been bad and we didn’t lose the game, which was important.

“We did well enough to win it, and their goal was a poor penalty which we gave away.

“We were excellent for the first 15 minutes and did the same as we had done in our previous three games, so there were a lot of plusses.”

Needham reached the semi-finals of this season’s Suffolk FA Premier Cup sponsored by Omni Freight Services Ltd, courtesy of a 2-0 win at Walsham-le-Willows on Wednesday evening.

Jay Davies fired the visitors ahead from the penalty spot in the 15th minute after Joji Kawaguchi fouled Adam Mills.

After a low-key first half Walsham came close to equalising after 57 minutes following the best move of the match.

Ryan Clarke played the ball inside to Lee Sim, whose well-weighted pass was hit first time by Andrew Wood, but his shot smacked against the crossbar.

Walsham pressed but Needham held firm and after Davies’ dipping 25-yard effort came back off the bar.

The visitors clinched victory when Ollie Mann scored his first goal for the club in the 90th minute after breaking from his own penalty area.

Morsley said: “It was a difficult pitch to pass the ball and play football, but in spells we played quite well, although they did really well and made it difficult for us.

“They got amongst us in the second half and, fair play to them, they kept going right until the end.

“Joe Whight had to make a really good block late on and our players put their bodies on the line and we were good defensively.

“I made a promise to our supporters to try to win this competition for them this season.”

Walsham-le-Willows: Brand, Kawaguchi, Peters, Morton, N Clarke, Driscoll, Sim (Jolland 78), Curry, Webb, Wood (Dongray 78), R Clarke (Call 73); Unused: Bryant.

Needham Market: Gay, Brown, Coakley, Fenn, Morphew, Whight, Ingram, Harrison, Mann, Davies (Izzet 80), Mills (Patrick 64); Unused: Newson, Thomas, Munson.

Referee: Ollie Morris-Sanders.

Attendance: 77.