DERBY DAY - Ryman North table-toppers Needham Market travel to Suffolk rivals AFC Sudbury hoping to maintain their 100 percent record

Derby Day action from a previous Sudbury - Needham encounter

Derby Day action from a previous Sudbury - Needham encounter - Credit: James Ager

Table-toppers Needham Market travel to Suffolk and Ryman North rivals AFC Sudbury today (kick-off 3pm), hoping to maintain their 100 percent record.

The Marketmen have started this season in blistering fashion, winning all five of their League games so far leaving them at the top of the Ryman North pile as things stand.

Sudbury, in contrast, sit in tenth position - seven points behind the Marketmen with two wins, two draws, and one defeat to their name.

This eagerly-anticipated Suffolk derby therefore offers much more than local pride to proceedings - should Needham win they would be ten points better off than Sudbury, but if the Yellows were to triumph they would be within touching distance of the Marketmen.

Needham boss Mark Morsley is anticipating a real battle for his side.


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He said: “It is a big game to have early on in the season, but it’s one I’m looking forward to.

“I had a couple of successful years there as manager and I always like going there, it’s a great football club ran by great people.

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“It’s also a difficult place to go. Would I take a point? Yes, I probably would.”

Morsley’s men may have got off to an emphatic start but the much-travelled manager isn’t getting carried away.

“We’ve played some great football so far and the start of a football game, let alone the start of a football season is massively important,” added Morlsey.

“To stand a real chance of promotion you have to stay up with the leading pack - and that’s something we didn’t do last season - we were all over the place picking up points here and there with too many draws.

“It’ll only be a matter of time before our 100 percent or unbeaten record goes but we’re in a good place right now.”

Morsley has previously made no secret about his side’s burning ambition for promotion this season - and expects Sudbury to be right up there with his side.

“Sudbury might not have had the start they wanted but they’ll definitely be up there at the end of the season,” added Morsley.

“I think that, not a million miles from us last season, they could be suffering from too many changes at the moment.

“The boy Jake Reed is an absolute fantastic signing, and once the players get to know each other’s games, they’ll be a force.

“It can only take one game for a side to click and give another side a hiding - I just hope it’s not us on Monday!”

Of his own side’s recent form and season’s chances, Morsley continued: “We’ve been brilliant so far.

“I think what’s helped us is that with only one incoming player to the building, everyone is settled and knows what they’re doing.

“We built those foundations up last year, and so far, the players have responded playing some really good passing football.

“Darryl Coakley’s goal on Saturday was at the end of a 17-pass move and epitomised what brand and style of football we’re playing.”

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