Mouth-watering clash as Needham Market host King’s Lynn Town

Needham Market's Jeremiah Kamanzi, relishing a return to the starting line-up. Picture: BEN POOLEY

Needham Market's Jeremiah Kamanzi, relishing a return to the starting line-up. Picture: BEN POOLEY - Credit: Archant

Needham Market boss Richard Wilkins wants his side to start taking points off the top sides, beginning with today’s visit of fellow high-fliers King’s Lynn Town (kick-off 1pm).

The Marketmen are one of five teams locked together on 35 points, all in the chasing pack behind the runaway front two of Stourbridge and Kettering.

Wilkins’ men are currently in sixth place, in the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Central, but are level on points with third-placed King’s Lynn, plus AFC Rushden & Diamonds, Biggleswade Town and Stratford Town.

“We need to start picking up points against the teams above us,” explained Wilkins.

“We lost to Kettering, Stourbridge and Biggleswade earlier in the season. We have not done well against those sort of teams, and we need to do better if we are not to fall short of where we want to be.

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“It’s a top-six game and I’m really looking forward to it, playing against a very good team in King’s Lynn.

“It’s a very tight table at the moment. We can’t be getting carried away, but we have a fully-fit squad, which is so important. That’s probably the reason why we have done so well lately, because everyone is fit and it makes for some tough selection decisions.

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“We have different plans for every game, so players have to take their chance, which is just what Jerry (Jeremiah) Kamanzi has done. He has mostly been on the bench, but has started two of the last three games and done well,” added Wilkins.

Needham have won six of their last nine games, and only suffered a couple of defeats during that time, although they were desperately disappointed to lose 2-1 at Suffolk rivals Leiston on Boxing Day, before bouncing back with a 2-1 win at Hitchin Town on Saturday.

Wikins continued: “King’s Lynn are unbeaten in 15 (league) games, but we are not in bad form either. We were bitterly disappointed to lose at Leiston, because we felt that we were the better team throughout. We got caught out with unmarked players in the box from corners.

“Hitchin was a good result, on a difficult pitch. We took time to settle but Gareth Heath scored a wonder goal, following six passes.”

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