Needham Market hope to replicate Ryman League North form in FA Cup

Kieren Morphew, right

Kieren Morphew, right - Credit: Archant

Buoyed by his side’s excellent 3-1 comeback victory over AFC Sudbury on Bank Holiday Monday, Needham Market boss Mark Morsley has plenty of reason to feel positive as the Marketmen enter the preliminary stages of the FA Cup this afternoon.

Morsley’s men host fellow Ryman North outfit Soham Town Rangers in the early rounds of the money-spinning and prestigious competition, hoping to build on Monday’s resounding victory over their Suffolk rivals.

A goal down and a man down at half-time, the Marketmen rallied with a superb turnaround against AFC Sudbury to maintain their 100% record this season – and their position as the early Ryman League North table-toppers.

Such spirit, and level of performance has therefore left boss Morsley beaming with delight.

“I thought we were outstanding at Sudbury,” said Morsley this week.

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“The way we played and the way we managed to get back into the game in the manner we did was phenomenal.

“We’re not fazed by anything – and I’m not saying that in a big-headed way – I’m saying it with the belief that the team has got.

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“That second half was probably the best I’ve seen us play this season – along with against Tilbury in the first-half where I also thought we were very good.”

Following Kem Izzet’s bizarre first-half red card against the Yellows, it could have been easy for Needham to fold in the second period, as Morsley explained.

“I said to the lads at half-time ‘you’ve got three excuses now – you’re down to 10 men, they’ve scored a lucky goal, and the ref’s playing for them’.

“If you want to go home and lose you’ve got those three excuses – or you turn up now. What do you want to do?

“The unity in that dressing room at that point was unbelievable.

“The football became our 11th man – we kept it and I thought we tore them apart, I really did.”

Luke Ingram, Ian Westlake, and Sam Newson scored the goals to swing the result in favour of the Marketmen as Sudbury’s frustrations boiled over with three sendings-off for ill-discipline.

One player that kept his young head above the rest was young central midfielder Keiran Morphew – whose outstanding performance impressed the 343-strong crowd as well as his manager.

“Morphew was different gravy,” added the Needham manager.

“He does the job of two men – we play teams with three in the middle of the park and he just takes them on by his own.

“The boy is really in a rich vein of form, but he’s magnanimous, he’s not big-time, he loves the football club, he loves the coaching staff.”

Morsley has no new fresh injuries ahead of today’s game, but talented attacking duo Ace Howell and George Clarke are expected to again be involved in the squad following their excellent recent form.

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