Needham Market look to kick-start their season in Stanway FA Cup clash

Needham manager Mark Morsley issues instructions to his side

Needham manager Mark Morsley issues instructions to his side - Credit: James Ager

Needham Market boss Mark Morsley has been in these types of situations before.

The Marketmen were thumped 6-0 away at Wingate & Finchley in the Ryman Premier Division on Tuesday evening.

This afternoon, bereft of confidence, they host an in-form Stanway Rovers side, keen to heap more misery on the Marketmen.

“Stanway Rovers (who play in the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division, two steps below Needham) will be looking at this game and fancying their chances,” admitted Morsley.

“And so would I, if I was Angelo Harrop (the Stanway boss).

“If they played us last season, we would have murdered them, but they have every chance on Saturday and they’ll be more than up for it.

“I’ve bombed some of their players out from clubs before, and some have played for Needham but not quite made it.”

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Needham have had a tough start to life in the Ryman Premier, with no wins, four draws and five defeats to their name.

Morsley admits that Tuesday’s heavy defeat was the worst so far.

“I think it was the watershed moment where we all realised that we have got a lot to do,” he said.

“We have given the bulk of last season’s squad a good chance at this level, and they’ve struggled.

“We are looking for experienced players to come into the building and give us a bit of help.

“We have got a week-and-a-half away from league action to address that, and to get a couple of wins on the board (Needham play Heybridge Swifts in the Alan Turvey Trophy on Tuesday evening).

“I want us to win on Saturday. I want to put a smile on the chairman’s face, and hopefully our ability and fitness can get us through.”

Elsewhere in the FA Cup first round of qualifying today, AFC Sudbury host Ryman Premier Division Hendon in what promises to be an enthralling tie.

Bury Town meanwhile, will look to continue their excellent run with a home win over Cockfosters FC, who play in the Step 5 Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division.

Heybridge Swifts, who parted company with boss Cliff Akurang in midweek, host Uxbridge, while Witham Town go to Thurrock.

Elsewhere, Saffron Walden Town travel to Hanwell Town and Kirkley & Pakefield take on Beaconsfield SYCOB.

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