Needham Market not fazed by facing away tie at Tilbury

DANNY Laws is not fazed by his Needham Market side facing an away tie in tonight’s Ryman League Division One North play-off semi-final.

Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at home to Brentwood Town saw Needham finish in fourth place and with it a visit to Tilbury for the one-off tie, kick-off 7.45pm.

Tilbury finished third after a 4-3 win at Thamesmead on Saturday, thanks to a Rikki Cable hat-trick.

Laws said: “To be honest, we always just wanted to get into the play-offs. To finish fourth overall is about right – I have no complaints with that – and from a personal point of view it keeps my record intact of not finishing outside the top four. “It is the sixth season I have achieved that, so I would have been disappointed had we finished fifth.

“Our objective was just to get into the play-offs and take whatever comes our way. Last season we finished runners-up and were unbeaten in 21 matches at home, and then lost in the play-off semi-final.

“It showed that the correlation of finishing second and getting a home draw does not equal success.”

Laws said he was really pleased with his team’s performance at Chatham Town the previous week which saw Needham qualify for the play-offs.

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“We have done as well away from home as we have at home in recent weeks, and maybe that will focus our minds even more.

“I am not going to let Saturday’s result concern me. It was a very open game and it could have been 6-5.

“We could have gone down with a whimper, but we got one back and gave it a real go in the last 20 minutes, which we won 1-0, and I want us to carry on from there on Tuesday night.”

Laws said of tonight’s opponents: “Tilbury have had a great season and have been very consistent, but out of all the teams in the top five they are the only ones we have not lost to this season, so we can go there with confidence.

“Another big factor is that everyone is injury-free, so we will have a full squad to choose from.”

Leiston will be hoping to beat the weather and Potters Bar Town to clinch the Division One North title tonight.

Their final match of the season was postponed on Saturday and again 24 hours later due to a waterlogged pitch at Victory Road.

Mark Morsley’s side know a win tonight will see them leapfrog Enfield Town and be confirmed as champions.

Anything less and they will finish runners-up and then entertain Grays Athletic in the play-off semi-final, which is likely to be played on Thursday.

If tonight’s match falls foul of the weather for a third time it will be re-scheduled for Thursday night, creating possible further fixture chaos as the play-off final is scheduled for Sunday.

Leiston Vets lifted the Suffolk FA Veterans’ Cup on Sunday after Simon Herbert’s winner defeating Whitton United 3-2 after extra time at Framlingham Town.

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