Needham Market look to silence the Crows in FA Trophy

Needham Market's Joe Marsden, left, battling with Leiston's Seb Dunbar, should feature at Royston to

Needham Market's Joe Marsden, left, battling with Leiston's Seb Dunbar, should feature at Royston today after resting a groin injury. Picture: BEN POOLEY - Credit: Archant

Needham Market, fresh from back-to-back league wins over Stratford Town and at St Neots, go into today’s FA Trophy fixture at Royston Town brimming with confidence, even though their hosts are above them in the table.

Manager Richard Wilkins rates this third round qualifying tie as “a massively important game for the club,” in terms of prestige and finance.

Former Football League clubs such as York City, Kidderminster Harriers and Torquay United all enter the competition at this stage, and for the Marketmen it is a chance to draw one of the big guns if they can see off Royston, preferably at the first time of asking at Garden Walk.

“Royston are quite a direct team and they’ve got some big six-foot-plus lads,” explained Wilkins.

“I think one of their centre-halves is 6ft 3ins or 6ft 4ins, as is their lad up front, so we have got to handle that directness. We’ve got to make sure that if we don’t win the first ball, then we at least win the second ball and play our football. Hopefully, we can go there and get a result.

“It’s a massively important game for the club, and it’s one that we want to win.

“We haven’t played them this season, but I know a little bit about them, so hopefully that should help us. At least we have got a club at the same level as us.

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“It would have been nice to have been drawn at home, but the cup draws have not been kind to us this season. It’s been unbelievable!

“But we will go there full of confidence, and we will hopefully do ourselves proud.

“Royston are going well (fifth in the table), but we have nothing to lose. They had a surprise result in midweek, losing 2-0 at home to Lowestoft – because Royston had been on a decent run recently.

“Yet just because a team has had a surprise result in midweek, doesn’t mean that they can’t bounce straight back on Saturday.

“It would be nice to be in the draw for Monday, if not win it then bring them back to Bloomfields for the replay.”

The experienced Joe Marsden was an unused substitute during Tuesday’s 3-0 win at St Neots, but he should feature today.

“Joe has a bit of a groin injury, but it’s not that bad,” revealed Wilkins. “He could have started on Tuesday, but he might have aggravated the injury. Tariq (Issa) played in the hole behind Bakes (James Baker), and did well. But Joe will be OK for Saturday.”

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