Prolific Sam Newson ties down a new deal at Needham Market, while Ace youngster Howell joins Ipswich Town

Needham Market's Sam Newson, who has just sealed a new deal at the Suffolk club

Needham Market's Sam Newson, who has just sealed a new deal at the Suffolk club - Credit: Archant

Needham Market manager Mark Morsley has tied down top-scorer Sam Newson on a new, long-term contract.

Young winger Ace Howell, who has penned a move to Ipswich Town's academy

Young winger Ace Howell, who has penned a move to Ipswich Town's academy - Credit: Archant

The striker has hit 20 goals in 31 games this season and contributed to Needham’s rise to second in Ryman League Division One North – the Marketmen are three points off leaders Harlow but crucially, have three games in hand.

Ahead of tonight’s game at seventh-placed Dereham Town, Morsley said Newson was one of several key players to have agreed to stay at Bloomfields for the foreseeable future.

“Sam has done really well this season and has agreed another year’s extension,” said Morsley, whose side have won their last six league games.

“He will now stay with us until the end of the 2016-17 season and it was very important that we got this done.

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“We have got pretty much all the players on two-year contracts that start after this season – Sam Nunn has extended his deal, while I ripped up Keiran Morphew’s contract again last week and gave him a three-year deal.

“It’s all part of the plan moving forward and about having a squad of players I believe in.”

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Tonight’s game in Norfolk will be Needham’s first on the road for seven weeks since the game at Cheshunt, which started the Marketmen’s current six-game winning streak.

“We have got a really solid squad and I have not had to make many changes in terms of personnel or my system recently,” said Morsley.

“The big test will be the next two months, while Dereham tonight will not be a ‘gimme’ and Matt Henman has worked wonders there.”

The Marketmen will be without defender, Chris Hogg, who was injured in the home win against Thurrock, while teenage forward Ace Howell has left the club after being offered terms at Ipswich Town’s academy until the end of the season.

Howell, who will join the Blues’ under-18 squad, was on Town’s books as a youngster before being released, but has impressed head coach Steve Foley, who also works at Town’s academy.

“It’s a fantastic story,” explained Morsley.

“We had to clip his wings a few weeks ago but he has stepped up to the plate. The boy can play, he has two good feet and has great pace.

“At that age group, I don’t think Ipswich have anything like that. He is direct and what football fan does not like seeing a player run at teams?

He added: “It’s a great reflection of the work (academy head coach) Kevin Horlock and the rest of the academy staff do here, while our relationship with Ipswich Town is going from strength to strength.

“With our second academy opening in Brantham in the summer, we are perhaps the closest thing to a professional academy in East Anglia.”

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