Needham Market will go top of Ryman Premier table with win at Tilbury tonight

Needham Market manager Mark Morsley

Needham Market manager Mark Morsley - Credit: Archant

Needham Market can go back to the top of the Ryman North tonight with victory at mid-table Tilbury.

The Marketmen are in second place, two points behind Harlow, with two games in hand, but were boosted at the weekend by the leaders’ first home defeat of the season, 3-2 against Heybridge Swifts.

While the table-toppers were losing their proud home record, Needham were putting in one of their best performances of the season, according to manager Mark Morsley, his ten men drawing 1-1 at Maldon & Tiptree.

The Needham chief will be hoping for much the same tonight but warned of a tough evening ahead against Tilbury, who have won seven of their last eight home games.

“Tilbury are mid-table but they are on a real good run and I think they have the league’s best home record over the last eight games,” said Morsley.

“It’s going to be a tough game and a long way for my players to go on a Tuesday night, considering the shift they put in for 75 minutes on Saturday with just ten men.

“My players were brilliant on Saturday. We went 1-0 down with ten men and changed to a 3-4-2 system and took the game to Maldon.

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“They were frightened of us, we put in one of our best performances of the season and afterwards their manager Alan Kimble said we were the best team in the league which was kind of him.

“It would be nice to have a similar performance tonight. It will be another test for us but we don’t put much emphasis on where we could finish in the table at the end of the game.”

Meanwhile, Morsley is open to adding to his squad at Bloomfields, but stressed he will not bring players in just to boost numbers.

“We are not looking at anyone in particular,” he added.

“We have not got the biggest squad in the world but if the right player becomes available in an offensive position, we will be interested.

“It’s not about money, but we have a certain way of playing, we are very sharp, fit and a lot of our training is based on keep-ball sessions.

“It is not that easy as a player to come into that environment at that stage of the season.”

Elsewhere tonight, Braintree Town travel to Ebbsfleet in their FA Trophy Third Round replay.

Last week’s game at Cressing Road ended 1-1.

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