Jay Davies departs Needham Market as Morsley demands side win ugly at Lewes

Jay Davies

Jay Davies - Credit: Archant

Needham Market manager Mark Morsley says it’s time for his side to win ugly, ahead of their crunch clash at rock-bottom Lewes on Saturday.

Needham have lost six of their last seven league games, following a run that previously yielded six victories from seven matches that moved them away from the drop zone.

They will also have to do without playmaker Jay Davies – the summer signing with five goals in 19 games this season – who has moved to Australia.

The Rooks, meanwhile, are 13 points adrift of safety but have lost just two of their last seven games, picking up 11 points in the process.

“I suppose if you wanted to call any game a six-pointer, this would be it,” said Morsley.

“Lewes are in the relegation zone and we have had a downturn in form since the start of the new year.

“It’s an important game for both teams but winning will not keep us up and losing will not get us relegated.

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“We are still learning our craft in this league and have to learn quick, but the run we had in December gave us a chance of staying up.

“We have got to start winning ugly and our victories during that period, in the main, came from ugly performances.

“We beat Leatherhead recently and that was not our best performance, but we dug in, while our game against Tonbridge Angels last season is another that springs to mind.”

Davies’ departure has come as a big blow to Morsley, who allowed fellow forward Sam Newson (Maldon & Tiptree) to leave earlier in the season and has seen other attacking options, Adam Mills (Maldon & Tiptree) and Callum Harrison (return to Colchester United after completing his loan), depart.

“We have lost Jay Davies who has had a change in his personal life and moved to Australia – that came out of the blue,” explained Morsley.

“Bringing Jay in allowed me to change our system and I would probably say that his arrival resulted in Sam Newson moving on.

“We are a bit light in that area now and while I have three or four lads in the academy who I am confident about in terms of playing in the first team, I am not certain that now is the right time to bring them in.

“What I would say is it gives those players that have perhaps been on the fringe, a chance to come in and cement a place.”

One player Morsley would not object to moving on is the versatile Keiran Morphew, who played for Ipswich Town’s under-21s in their 1-0 victory over QPR, at Playford Road, on Monday.

The 22-year-old, who has been playing right-back under Morsley, impressed at centre-back, and will spend next week training with the Town first team.

“He was top-drawer, absolutely outstanding and a credit to himself, his family and Needham Market Football Club,” said the Marketmen boss.

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