‘Now comes the real test,’ says Needham Market manager Danny Laws

NEEDHAM Market may have enjoyed a mini-revival but manager Danny Laws says: “Now comes the real test.”

The Marketmen have strung together a six-match unbeaten run to get their season back on track, after seeing their aspirations of automatic promotion from Ryman League Division One North come off the rails.

Third-placed Needham now face three matches in the next eight days which Laws feels will test his side, starting at Thamesmead tomorrow, continuing at Grays Athletic on Wednesday and then at home to Harlow next Saturday.

Laws said: “We have had four wins at home and two draws away. We have had a mini revival, but now come two big tests at two of the hardest places we have to go to.

“Thamesmead is a difficult pitch to play on. We ground out a 2-0 win there last season, and their home record is not particularly good, but then we go to Grays who are right up there in the mix and again it is a difficult place to go.

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“These next two games will be a big test for us. We need to win at least one of these two games, then we can start thinking we are worthy of where we are.”

Laws said it was no coincidence that goalkeeper Liam Jones and striker Lee McGlone had played in all six matches during Needham’s revival.

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“We lost five on the trot and (goalkeeper) Andrew Plummer and (striker) Jose Espinoza went out of the door and Liam Jones and Lee McGlone came in the door.

“Let’s not beat about the bush – Thamesmead, Grays and Harlow will be a test for those two players as well.

“We have to meet the challenge. We have reversed the terrible run of December and January – now comes the real test.”

Laws will tomorrow be without Duane Wright, who is suspended after becoming the tenth Needham player to be sent off this season, but is hopeful that James Evans will have overcome a sickness bug to return to the squad.

Striker Tommy Smith is on a holiday which was booked before he re-joined Needham, who have also signed local lad Curtley Williams, the former Ipswich Town utility player who joined the Glenn Hoddle Academy after his release and started this season at AFC Telford.

Elliott Crowe, the promising teenager at SIL side Ransomes, has joined the club’s Academy full time and also been registered with the Ryman League.

“With Kieran Morphew and Ryan Charles, two other promising youngsters, I feel we have got strength-in-depth and we are not looking to add anyone else,” added Laws.

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