Marketmen boosted by arrival of Issa from U’s

Tariq Issa, in action for Colchester United against Ipswich Town in an FA Youth Cup tie, has signed

Tariq Issa, in action for Colchester United against Ipswich Town in an FA Youth Cup tie, has signed on loan for Needham Market. Picture: PHIL MORLEY - Credit: Archant

Needham Market are set to give a debut to new recruit Tariq Issa, signed on loan from Colchester United this week, for tomorrow’s match away at Alvechurch.

Front-runner Issa, 20, has often been on the periphery of the U’s senior squad under boss John McGreal, but is yet to really establish himself in the League Two set-up.

Attack-minded Issa, a product of the U’s Academy, which has produced players of the calibre of Sammie Szmodics, Alex Gilbey, Frankie Kent and Tom Lapslie in recent years, will be looking to make a big impression at Bloomfields.

To date, he has only made three senior appearances for the U’s, the second of these marking his Football League debut as a substitute against Luton Town, a year ago.

He can operate as a winger, or in a more central role.

Meanwhile, the Marketmen will be looking to get back on the winning trail at Alvechurch, after taking just two points from their last three outings.

Richard Wilkins’ men began the season with two wins, the second of them an 8-1 thrashing of Hitchin Town, but since then they have lost at home to Barwell and drawn at St Ives and against Leiston.

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Alvechurch recorded their first win of the campaign with a 3-0 home success over North-East Worcestershire rivals Redditch on Monday.

“There are things to work on, like our corners and set pieces, which weren’t good against Leiston,” explained Wilkins.

“And we had a horrible last Saturday at St Ives (1-1 draw). They brought the pitch in about five metres, so it was like playing on an airfield or rather an air runway! It was awful.

“That was a real eye-opener. I’d never seen anything like it. But the width was just about legal, so you can’t complain about it. Even though they went down to 10 men, it made no difference because the pitch was so narrow.

“But Monday was a good advert for non-league football, against Leiston.

“Overall, I think we are two points down on where we should be. Barwell did a good job on us but we should have got two more points at St Ives.

“Heathy (Gareth Heath) did well to last with his thigh strain, Joe (Marsden) has a tight groin, and Callum Sturgess took a whack to his shoulder, so there will be a few fitness tests for those three.”

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