GALLERY: Ryman North Needham Market win opening game of season

Needham Market v Great Wakering Rovers. Needham player is Luke Ingram.

Needham Market v Great Wakering Rovers. Needham player is Luke Ingram. - Credit: Gregg Brown

Needham Market boss Mark Morsley has challenged his side to become more clinical after his side’s narrow 1-0 victory against Great Wakering Rovers on Saturday.

Makeshift right-back Luke Ingram spared the blushes of his team-mates when scoring straight from a corner with 10 minutes left.

The Marketmen were guilty of squandering a litany of great chances before then, prompting a warning from Morsley.

He said: “We need to be more lethal but I think that will come. We have the players and we scored good goals in pre-season. We will have to do more work but there are more goals in us.

“Their goalkeeper pulled of some magnificent saves, and I told the strikers at half-time to make it harder for him, saying the shots need to go in the corner or be a bit lower.

“But it’s a big problem if you are not creating chances, and we created a lot of chances in the first half.”

He said his side deserved the win, but added: “I was a bit frustrated we didn’t pass the ball around as well as we can do. In the 93rd minute we put seven passes together and that took the pressure off.

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“We got them on the back foot in the opening five or 10 minutes but they played their way out and got bodies forward. They hit the crossbar which was more about our bad marking I think. Giving away that type of space in the box is scandalous.

“But even though we didn’t play as well as we could have, it was an exciting game – the pace was good and the players took part in an entertaining game.

“My teams always are exciting to watch. My only gripe was we didn’t keep the possession, therefore it got a bit niggly. We need to be a bit more calmer and better in possession. But overall I was pleased.”

Meanwhile, Ingram said his team-mates are now beginning to gel after Morsley carried out major surgery on the side last summer, signing 17 players. But Daniel Cunningham is the only major recruit so far this summer.

Ingram said: “It was hard last year because no-one really knew each other. We knew we had good players but we didn’t really click.

“But this year, we are going to dinner together after training, and you can see the difference.

“Our team spirit will carry us through the season, and will help us out in tough moments, and I think we will definitely finish higher than last season.”

Reflecting on his goal, he added: “I probably haven’t scored straight from a corner since seven-a-side football when I was really young!

“I never really get to take them, but this season they have let me have a go – and it has already proved successful.”

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