Mark Morsley eyeing new recruits following Needham Market’s poor start to Ryman Premier season

Needham Market manager Mark Morsley

Needham Market manager Mark Morsley

Needham Market manager Mark Morsley has promised to make changes to his struggling squad, as the Marketmen go in search of their first win of the season, at Wingate & Finchley, tonight.

Last season’s Ryman North champions have endured a tricky start in their first-ever season at Ryman Premier level, losing four and drawing four of their opening eight games.

Morsley’s men face another tough task tonight at fourth-placed Wingate and the former Leiston boss goes into the game having lost his first-choice centre-backs, Chris Hogg and Sam Nunn.

Hogg has left the club, having taken up a full-time role at Ipswich Town, while Nunn joined Lowestoft Town prior to the Marketmen’s 2-0 defeat at Merstham, on Saturday.

Morsley is confident the versatile Ollie Fenn will be a seamless replacement for at least one of that duo, but conceded he needs reinforcements, having so far stayed loyal to the majority of players that won the title last season.


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“Players will be coming in and players will go,” said Morsley.

“We have had eight games now and parts of the pitch need strengthening.

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“We have given a number of players a number of games at this level now and I am afraid they have not developed as quickly as we would have liked.

“We are looking at bringing in two or three players in the next couple of weeks. I am talking to a striker at the moment and we need another midfielder as well.

“We are showing similar flaws in every game and I really felt confident after the draw with Leiston – I thought we would kick on.”

Morsley may also look to reinforce his defence following the departures of Hogg and Nunn, but in Fenn, he believes he can now field the club’s best centre-half at the Needham rearguard.

“Chris (Hogg) has a full-time coaching position at Ipswich Town but, to be fair, I am not particularly perturbed as while Chris was very good, Ollie Fenn, I think, is our best centre-half,” said Morsley.

“He is such a good player in two or three positions but I now have the opportunity to play him at centre-back,

“We also have Jake Dye, who has come on leaps and bounds in the academy this season, and is likely to play at right-back on Tuesday night.”

Tonight’s opponents comprehensively saw off Needham in the reverse fixture at Bloomfields, the visitors winning 3-1, that day, and Morsley is predicting another tough encounter.

“It will be very tough and we were well beaten at home,” explained the Needham boss.

“They (Wingate & Finchley) are three years down the road from us in terms of where we want to be as a football club.

“They won promotion three seasons ago, stayed up in their first season and have progressed since.”

Elsewhere, in the Ryman North Division tonight, Brightlingsea Regent go to Dereham Town and Heybridge Swifts host Great Wakering Rovers.

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