Wanderers doomed if they lose to Needham

DEFEAT for Ipswich Wanderers at home to Needham Market could confirm their relegation from the Premier Division of the Ridgeons League.And the omens are not good as championship-chasing Needham's last visit to Humber Doucy Lane saw them win 10-1 in the FA Cup earlier this season.

Elvin King

DEFEAT for Ipswich Wanderers at home to Needham Market could confirm their relegation from the Premier Division of the Ridgeons League.

And the omens are not good as championship-chasing Needham's last visit to Humber Doucy Lane saw them win 10-1 in the FA Cup earlier this season.

And the corresponding league meeting at Bloomfields resulted in an 8-1 victory for Danny Laws' FA Vase semi-finalists.

If Wanderers lose and Swaffham beat Harwich then goal difference would dictate that the Ipswich-based side are, for all intents and purposes, doomed.

But Wanderers manager Steve Buckle is staying positive - and he also confirmed that he will stay on next season if his team does go down.

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“We will be giving it our best shot tomorrow, and we then play my former club Felixstowe and Walton United next midweek,” said Buckle.

“But realistically it is looking bleak for us.

“Our recent results have been poor and I have been left scratching my head as to why we can play so well at top side Soham and then so poorly against sides around us in the table.”

Wanderers have dropped to the foot of the table as both Histon Reserves, boosted in midweek matches by first team players, and Newmarket Town have put together some good results recently.

Louis Newman was in charge when Wanderers suffered those two heavy defeats by Needham, after a 2007 close season when Wanderers lost virtually all their players.

“Hopefully my players will stay with us next season,” added Buckle. “But with a large number of First Division teams in and around the Ipswich area the competition for players will be intense. Much will depend on budgets.

“But my priority right now is to take points off Needham although I know that my pal Danny Laws (Needham manager), is just as desperate for three points as we are.”

Buckle's son Matthew is expected to be in the Needham squad, who have lost their favourites tag to win the title after their midweek draw at Norwich United.

Needham are now nine points behind Soham with three games in hand. Soham have a better goal difference with the teams meeting each other early next month.

Needham have a big date next Tuesday when they play Leiston in the final of the Suffolk Premier Cup at Portman Road.

Ely City's 1-0 victory at Debenham Leisure Centre on Tuesday secured them the runners-up berth in the First Division - and promotion along with champions Tiptree.

Debenham can move into the top three - three teams go up - if they win their matches in hand, and they are at home to Saffron Walden tomorrow.

Fourth-placed Hadleigh United can rise a place by winning at March. Steve Jay's side have only collected three points from their last four matches.

Patrick Fleming could return for Hadleigh after eight weeks out with a knee injury following a run-out for the reserves last week.

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