Frustrated, but satisfied, boss Mark Morsley will rally his Needham Market troops again this weekend
Needham Market 2 Harlow Town 2
Needham Market boss Mark Morsley cut a frustrated but satisfied figure at full-time on Saturday.
Two-one up with less than a minute of normal time left, the Suffolk side had one hand on the Ryman North title, and promotion, before Craig Pope deflated their hopes with a timely equaliser that leaves Needham’s aspirations hanging in the balance.
“It’s disappointing,” sighed Morsley.
“To come so close is gutting but we haven’t lost have we?
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“That’s the bottom line, and it’s still in our hands.
“I’m not too devastated. We would have liked to have won it, and we were minutes away, but there you go!
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“We’ll prepare and go again next week (Needham travel to Chatham on the final day of the season needing to match or better Harlow’s result to win the title), we’re still top, and we’ve got to go to Chatham and win.
“They got a point (on Saturday) so they’re safe (from relegation) and they won’t be battling for their lives, but they won’t want to lose either.”
Needham could have quite honestly lost or won in a breathtaking finale on Saturday, with Morsley admitting his heart was in his mouth on several occasions.
One such moment saw substitute Darryl Coakley blaze over from just six yards.
“What a shame that chance had to fall to my full-back,” Morsley continued.
“Why couldn’t that have fell to Sam Newson or Ian Westlake?
“But I suspect for the neutral that this was a great game of football.
“It must have been so entertaining to watch, yet so tense.
“I thought we were brilliant in the first half, we got it right, and we didn’t really want half-time to come, but fair play to Harlow.”
A total of 972 spectators were at Bloomfields for the game, with Morsley adding: “It’s phenomenal isn’t it?
“My job as the manager of the football club is to have days like this on a regular basis.
“We’ve got to go up the leagues but the hardest step is getting into the Ryman Premier as you can see from today.
“If there was ever a season where two sides should have gone up then it should be this one, we’re two great sides who both have more than 100 points each.”