Ryman North leaders Needham Market refusing to feel the heat

Needham Market manager Mark Morsley (right) and head coach Steve Foley watch on

Needham Market manager Mark Morsley (right) and head coach Steve Foley watch on - Credit: James Ager

The only thing to have possibly made Needham Market’s players sweat over the last few days is the curry they consumed with manager Mark Morsley on Thursday night.

The Marketmen are on the verge of promotion to the Ryman Premier and should stroll to victory at bottom club Burnham Ramblers today, setting up a potential title-decider at home to second-top Harlow Town next Saturday.

While some squads may be feeling the heat at this stage of the season, Morsley and his men are staying relaxed ahead of the run-in and even managed to let their hair down during Thursday’s team-bonding exercise.

“Myself and the squad went for a few curries and beers in Ipswich on Thursday night and we are now looking forward to the run-in,” said Morsley, who is without Kieran Morphew (calf) for today

“Anyone who has played for me knows that I like taking my players out during the season and we had a good laugh.


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“I am very particular about training and I ensure my players have two sessions a week as I think we have a responsibility to the football club.

“But at the right time, it’s good for the lads to let their hair down once in a while and it takes the pressure off them a bit.”

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Today’s opponents are 17 points adrift at the bottom of the table and have already been relegated, having conceded 131 goals in 43 games this season.

That is not the cue for Morsley’s men to take Burnham lightly however, although the Bloomfields boss is fully expecting to be leading the table by a point come next Saturday’s showdown with Harlow in Suffolk.

“We go into the game off the back of quite a tough run of games, having lost at Heybridge and drawn with Dereham and Wroxham,” Morsley added.

“We have left ourselves in a position where we can’t afford to lose and there is no pressure on Burnham, who know they have already been relegated. They can enjoy the game.

“But we should go there and beat them and I expect Harlow to win at Maldon & Tiptree, which would then set it up nicely for next weekend.

“I would be lying if I said I had not given next week’s game a thought but football is a strange game and anything can happen.”

n In Ryman Premier today, play-off-chasing Leiston travel to Bognor Regis, while relegated Bury Town host Harrow Borough and relegation-threatened Witham Town go to Tonbridge Angels.

In Ryman North, AFC Sudbury, assured of a play-off place, go to Waltham Abbey. Play-off-chasing Brightlingsea entertain lowly Cray.

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