Needham Market manager Danny Laws to target automatic promotion next season

DANNY Laws is to target automatic promotion next season after Needham Market lost in the play-offs for the second year in succession.

Needham went down 1-0 at Enfield Town in yesterday’s Ryman League Division One North play-off final at Enfield Town to miss out on promotion to the Premier Division next season.

A bitterly disappointed Laws said: “I want this club to be playing in the next tier of non-league football, and we have come close two years running.

“After speaking to Bury Town manager Richard Wilkins, whose side have also lost in the play-offs two years in a row, this proves to me if you want to win promotion you have to win the league, and I feel we can come back stronger next season.”

Laws, whose side reached the final courtesy of a gruelling extra-time 4-3 victory at Tilbury on Friday night, made no excuses for his side’s defeat after Walio Matata’s 17th minute header separated the sides at the Queen Elizabeth II ground.

“The play-offs are very unpredictable, but over the course of the 90 minutes the better team won. They created a lot of chances in the first half.

“Our ball retention up front was not good enough and their wide play was stronger than ours, which was why they threatened our goal more and all credit to them.

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“But I am proud of my team. They deserve immense credit for the way we have come back from a lot of downs this season. We have had to re-group and show bouncebackability to get into the play-offs, which is an achievement in itself after we had to rebuild not only after last season but half-way through this season.

“Are we as good as last year? I think the league has got stronger this season and we were not as strong, but the only reason for that, in my opinion, is that we lost Craig Parker, who I consider to be the best non-league footballer in East Anglia.”

Needham had claims for a penalty waved away by the referee in the first-half after Deakan Napier was bundled over in the area by goalkeeper Noel Imber.

Laws said: “The referee said he was unsighted and so he could not give it. I thought it was a penalty. I have seen plenty of penalties like that given and the goalkeeper sent off.”

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