Ryman Premier: Morsley would take no pleasure in confirming AFC Sudbury’s relegation today

Needham Market manager Mark Morsley

Needham Market manager Mark Morsley - Credit: Archant

Needham Market boss Mark Morsley knows there is no room for sentiment today as his promotion-chasing team look to put the final nail in AFC Sudbury’s coffin at the King’s Marsh Stadium (3pm).

AFC Sudbury boss Jamie Godbold.

AFC Sudbury boss Jamie Godbold. - Credit: Archant

The Marketmen kept their Ryman League Premier Division play-off hopes alive with a hard-fought 2-1 home victory over Harrow Borough on Saturday, while Sudbury’s relegation straight back to Division One North was all but confirmed by a narrow 1-0 defeat at Tonbridge Angels.

“I don’t want to see Sudbury go down; it’s a good club and I had a lot of great years there, but we have a job to do,” said Morsley.

“I like Jamie (Godbold) very much. There is a lot of solidarity between us managers, particularly in Suffolk because there’s a few of us who have been around for a while. It’s such a difficult job and that’s why I always bang the drum for my fellow managers.

“When you go through a tough time as a manager you need support from your club, supporters and the media. I was in that position this time last year when we were battling relegation, so I know what Jamie is going through.”

Sudbury midfielder Craig Parker, who started out at Needham, said: “Not taking our chances when being on top has been the tale of our season really.

“I had a great time at Needham before I moved to Chelmsford – it’s a great club. They were battling relegation last year, survived, kicked on and now they are pushing for the play-offs. Whatever happens, we have to look at them for inspiration.

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“When we came up we only had a few players with experience at this level or higher and it has been a massive learning curve for a few of the lads, especially the younger ones.”

Just one point separates five teams battling for the remaining two play-off spots left up for grabs – Leiston, Enfield and Wingate & Finchley are all on 72, while Tonbridge and Needham are on 71. Harlow (67) and Billericay (66) just about remain in the hunt.

A blockbuster finish is in store. Needham finish the league season with a home game against Billericay on Saturday, while Leiston – who lost 4-2 at Kingstonian on Saturday – host Suffolk rivals Lowestoft today, then finish up at top-five rivals Enfield.

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