Morsley knows Needham face tough few days starting with trip to ‘intimidating’ Billericay this evening

League leaders Needham Market celebrate a goal against Harlow in a recent game.

League leaders Needham Market celebrate a goal against Harlow in a recent game. - Credit: Mecha Morton

Fresh from a fine win over neighbours AFC Sudbury at Bloomfields on Boxing Day, Ryman Premier Division leaders Needham Market now face two tough away tests.

Mark Morsley’s side travel to Billiercay Town tonight (7.45pm kick-off), before a big derby clash at Leiston on Monday.

So six valuable points are up for grabs for the Marketmen.

“There are so many tough games in this league,” Morsley said.

“They just keep coming. Do we want to play teams up there with us – our peers if you like – or teams further down the table scrapping for points?

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“It really doesn’t make a huge difference, all games are difficult at this level.”

Needham Market end the New Year currently top of the table and a win or draw at Billericay will confirm they begin 2017 at the top.

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While admittedly still having played more games than many around them, the old adage that it is better to have the points than games in hand is starting to ring true.

“Lots of teams around us have had lots of games in hand over us,” Morsley said.

“But it isn’t looking so bad for us now as teams play those games and drop points.

“It is starting to put a bit of pressure on teams in and around us who now need to get the points.

“In saying that, we still have some very big games to come ourselves. We have to go to Havant, Bognor and Dulwich Hamlet. And of course Leiston on Monday will be tough.”

But before the Leiston clash, Needham Market face Billericay at New Road this evening.

The Essex club are under new ownership, with Glenn Tamplin, taking over.

It’s a boost to the club that Morsley is wary of, as well as the likelihood of a noisy Friday night crowd.

“Billericay is always a bit of an intimidating place to go to,” Morsley said.

“They have a new guy at the helm and under lights with plenty of fans behind them, it could be a tough night.

“They will be physical and direct, I’m sure about that and some of the younger players in my squad won’t have played in much quite like it.

“But we are more durable this season. I think we actually played better football last season, but this year – a bit more experienced – we are getting the results now.”

While Morsley knows promotion to Step 2 is still a way off for Needham, it is as close as it has ever been for the ambitious Bloomfields club.

“We want to go up, 150% we do,” Morsley added.

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