Needham can reach new heights in cup

NEEDHAM Market's rise up the football ladder can reach a new rung tomorrow when they visit Southern League Division One Midlands side Sutton Coldfield Town.

Elvin King

NEEDHAM Market's rise up the football ladder can reach a new rung tomorrow when they visit Southern League Division One Midlands side Sutton Coldfield Town.

Victory will see Danny Laws' side reach the third qualifying round of the FA Cup for the first time having been beaten 3-1 at this stage by Dover Athletic 12 months ago.

Needham are top of the Premier Division of the Ridgeons League with an excellent recent record in the FA Vase. They are best bet of the three Ridgeons sides left in the competition to follow Leiston's fantastic example in reaching the first round proper of the FA Cup last season.


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Sutton Coldfield play in the same league as Suffolk clubs Bury Town and AFC Sudbury as well as another former Ridgeons League outfit - Soham Town Rangers.

They are currently in 16th place with one win, three draws and two defeats beating Tipton Town 2-1 and Westfields 6-0, both from the Midland Alliance, to get this far.

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Having knocked out Sudbury in the previous round, Needham - on paper at any rate - have every chance of further success.

Sutton Coldfield's best run in the FA Cup was in 1980 when they reached the first round before losing at home to Doncaster Rovers 2-0.

Felixstowe and Walton United find themselves without a Ridgeons League match for the second time in three Saturdays, but surprise packets Debenham LC can continue their excellent start at home to King's Lynn Reserves, who have scored just nine times in 11 games, losing eight of them.

Sixth-placed Hadleigh United entertain in-form second-placed CRC at Millfield for what should be an entertaining encounter between teams who have notched 38 goals between them.

Paul Smith takes his Walsham-le-Willows side to Newmarket Town, who this week parted company with manager Karl Johnson. Kevin Grainger has stepped down as the club's chairman to take over. Woodbridge Town are at home to Wisbech Town seeking their third league win of the campaign, with Leiston travelling to Wroxham.

In the First Division, both Ipswich Wanderers and Whitton United are at home with Stowmarket Town at leaders FC Clacton and Brantham Athletic by the seaside at Great Yarmouth.

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