Needham Market deserve to be in lofty Ryman Premier position, says midfielder

Ambitious Morphew (right) competes for the ball

Ambitious Morphew (right) competes for the ball - Credit: Archant

Promotion is the target as Needham Market gear up to face in-form Wingate & Finchley this weekend.

Second-top and five points off the summit with 14 games to go, promotion to the National League set-up is a genuine possibility.

However, Saturday’s visitors to Bloomfields, managed by former Braintree Town assistant Keith Rowland, have been in tremendous form, winning six of their last seven league games to move up to eighth in the table.

The Marketmen are 11 points clear of their opponents though and midfield man Keiran Morphew, who spent time on trial at Ipswich Town last season, believes their current lofty position is no fluke.

“We work hard and we deserve it. Without a doubt the play-offs are the minimum requirement now, but obviously we want automatic promotion,” said Morphew.

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“For a while, when we were second, we weren’t sure of ourselves and perhaps were not confident enough, that is not the case anymore.”

Needham’s recent league form has been inconsistent, as they have collected seven from a possible 15 points. Coupled with a devastating late 4-3 defeat at Worthing last weekend, some people may think the wheels have come off.

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“It was tough to take, it’s not the worst we’ve played all season, we’ve scored three goals away from home and still lost the game,” Morphew added.

“The dressing room was pretty angry, but we’ve had a long chat in training and we’re all relaxed.”

Ahead of a mouth-watering end to the season, Morphew said: “Every team up there is really good, but Bognor Regis Town and Havant & Waterlooville are strong sides.

“Obviously Leiston have given us a bit of a drubbing both times we’ve played them. You’ve got Blakey (Matt Blake) at Leiston and everything he touches ends up in the back of the net. There are loads of good players in the league.”

Just 12 years ago, the Bloomfields Road outfit were turning out in Division one of the Eastern Counties League and Morphew said: “I would love for Needham to be an established Conference side.

“It’s a massive achievement considering where the club has come from.”

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