Horlock is Needham's Mr Clean

NEEDHAM Market chairman David Bugg today praised the contribution made by former Ipswich Town professional Kevin Horlock to the Ridgeons League club's FA Vase run.

Elvin King

NEEDHAM Market chairman David Bugg today praised the contribution made by former Ipswich Town professional Kevin Horlock to the Ridgeons League club's FA Vase run.

“He has given us so much,” said Bugg. “And he even took the kit home one week for his wife to wash.

“Kevin has mucked in and proved a real bonus both on and off the pitch.”


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Horlock will be a key figure when Needham entertain fellow Ridgeons side Dereham in their re-arranged fifth round tie at Bloomfields tomorrow (kick-off 3pm).

The prize for the winners is not only �2,000 from the FA but a home quarter-final against Chalfont St Peter or Christchurch.

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Much work has been done on the pitch this week and Bugg is confident the game will go ahead this time. He said: “It is looking in good shape with all the standing water from last week taken off.

“These games are 50/50 and it will be another nerve wracking afternoon. Our replay win at holders AFC Fylde was the best performance by a side I have ever witnessed and manager Danny Laws and his assistant Kevin Horlock will ensure there will be no complacency tomorrow.

“We had a sticky start to the season, but Danny has turned things around, and I would say we are playing as well as we did at any time last season.”

In 2007/08 Needham reached the semi-finals of the Vase before losing to Kirkham and Wesham (now AFC Fylde) and were pipped or the league title by Soham.

They are more mid-table this term, and will be looking to benefit from five consecutive home Vase draws.

Laws is aware of the importance of being at home. He said: “Our supporters have been very vocal during our Vase runs, and they really played a big part at Fylde. Tomorrow we will be looking for some more of that right from the very start.”

It looks like being the biggest Bloomfields gate of the season with many expected to travel down from Norfolk.

Needham have a fully fit squad to select from and Laws added: “I don't feel it's an advantage playing a team in your own league because it will probably make it a far tighter affair.

“Dereham are having a very good season and it doesn't surprise me that they have progressed this far.”

Needham are five places behind Dereham in eighth place, but they are favourites for tomorrow's match following their recent run of form.

Prior to a recent 2-1 defeat to second-place Kirkley & Pakefield, Laws' resurgent side had won six league games on the trot.

“All these runs have to come to an end,” said Laws. “We got beat on our own patch but hopefully we have picked up on some of the reasons for that and can put them right tomorrow.”

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IPSWICH Wanderers have moved closer to the foot of the Ridgeons League, First Division following the deduction of six points for fielding an ineligible player in home wins against Downham Town and March Town last November.

Records of the matches have been expunged, and they will be replayed with Wanderers responsible for the travelling expenses of their opponents.

Now just four points ahead of bottom-placed Fakenham, Wanderers face a tough task at Halstead tomorrow. Promotion-seeking Hadleigh will fancy their chances at home to Long Melford while Brantham Athletic are also in the hunt for a Premier League place and travel to Chris Symes' Cornard.

Debenham LC play at Thetford tonight and Stowmarket Town travel to Godmanchester tomorrow.

In the Premier Division, Christian Appleford has his first match in charge of Woodbridge Town at Wroxham and Leiston boss Carl Chenery will be out for three points against Paul Chick's Norwich United to keep pressure on leaders Lowestoft, who are involved in the FA Vase.

Glen Driver's Felixstowe and Walton United visit troubled Wivenhoe.

FELIXSTOWE United are keyed up to make an impact in the Metaltec SIL Omnico Cup.

They play at Coplestonians tomorrow (kick-off 2pm) looking for a place in the semi-finals having beaten neighbouring junior side Trimley Red Devils in the previous round.

Larry Elliston's side has been overshadowed somewhat by the club's second eleven who had the notable distinction of winning the SIL Intermediate A section last season.

“There is no doubt that our priority is to retain our place in senior football,” said Felixstowe United chairman Roger Hall.

“We have a young squad, who come mainly from the Felixstowe area, and are looking to push onwards and upwards.

“We have been starved of success in cup competitions and it would be great to reach the semi-finals.

“In the last round we had everything to lose and little to gain against Trimley, but we came through with a 1-0 win and the pressure will not be so great tomorrow.

“But Coplestonians are a talented side as some of the recent results have proved, and we know that we are in for a difficult 90 minutes.”

Hall had praise for manager Elliston, who has previously been with Walton United, Ipswich Athletic and Ransomes Sports.

“His commitment has been brilliant and he spends so much time working for the club. With our facilities at Trimley Social Club we have the means to go higher in the game, but it will cost money and this is for the future. But we are looking for advancement.”

Elliston's 20-year-old son Louis is first team captain while Liam Hunn, 20, and Shaun Pugh, 23, are a couple of players who have also stood out this campaign.

Former Ipswich Town defender Kevin Steggles takes United for training sessions and attends as many matches as he can. “Kevin is a great help,” said Hall.

St Edmunds are the only junior club left in the competition and they have a tough task against favourites and holders Grundisburgh, while Crane Sports take on Leiston St Margarets and Westerfield have home advantage against Ransomes.

Ipswich Athletic, who have Ben Seaman in their side after his move from Woodbridge Town, have moved up the Senior Division table and will go second with a result at Woodbridge Athletic.

Following recent defeats by Crane Sports and Bacton United Reserves, Trimley Red Devils are the only unbeaten side in the SIL. Ipswich Postals are the only team in the SIL without a win.

Willis have withdrawn their reserve team from the league. Records of their Intermediate B matches have been expunged and the league table updated.

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Metaltec SIL recent transfers: Tom Barker (Haughley to Bacton), Darren Barnes (Coplestonians to Willis), Lee Capocci (Old Newton to Achilles), Nathan Chaplin (AFC Crowley to Haughley), Ben Crane (Bramford to Coddenham), Mark Dye (BT Trimley to Albion Mills), Craig Farrow (Trimley Red Devils to BT Trimley), Westley Gunnell (Old Newton to Elmswell), Daniel Hyam (Parkside to Capel Plough), Neville Jackson (Coplestonians to Sproughton), Josh Little (Ransomes to Bramford), Adrian Norman (BT Trimley to Albion Mills), Dean Offord (Willis to BROB), Ricardo Phillips (Coplestonians to BT Trimley), Leighton Smyth (Old Newton to Coplestonians), Sean Tynan (Framlingham to Stowupland Falcons).

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