Needham Market Preview and Darren’s thoughts

We’ve all been avoiding black cats this week so barring an overnight typhoon we will have a game to watch tomorrow as Needham Market make the long trek down from Suffolk for one of the most important games of the season for the Rooks.  Whilst our form in 2016 has been good, with two wins and a draw, we’ve had to sit back and watch others play games when we’ve not been able to.  Fortunately, the gap between ourselves at Needham Market in 20th place hasn’t grown in recent weeks, meaning 3 points today will start to put the pressure on the teams above us.

Needham Market’s recent form must be a concern for their fans with five defeats in their last six, their only win being against Leatherhead after a very promising run of form in November and early December that saw them rise out of the relegation zone with six wins from seven games.  Michael Brothers has been their main goal threat with ten strikes so far this season, whilst Sam Newson has been back among the goals after injury.  Their record on the road this season hasn’t been great with four wins from their sixteen away trips, scoring an average of 1.1 goals per game, conceding 1.75.  Two of their wins have come away to the top two in Dulwich Hamlet and East Thurrock United.  The most common result away from home is 1-1 which has occured in almost one in every five games.

Our only ever meeting against The Marketmen came in October when a Michael Brothers second half strike was the difference between the two sides.

GS GA 1

Darren’s thoughts ahead of tomorrow’s game:-

“It’s been a frustrating period for us over the past few weeks. When you win a couple of games, all you want to do is move onto the next game as quickly as possible, but the rain washed out our games with Dulwich (for the second time) and Billericay at the weekend. Rest assured, we didn’t just go home and watch Jeff Stelling. The players trained for two hours on Saturday and we’ve trained twice in the week, so they’re more than prepared for today’s match.

It was really pleasing to see Jimmy Muitt back training with us the other night. He’s still in rehab and we certainly won’t be pushing him, but he’s a player I think a lot of and who I want to keep at Lewes. He badly injured his knee before I came to the club, so having him back amongst the squad is almost like a new signing for me. George Landais’s recovery is coming along too, and we should get the results of his scan next week.

Jimmy’s return will give us even more competition for places in the side. I asked a number of the first team lads to play for Steve Eke’s Development Squad on Monday night, and I watched them from the stands. Their attitude was spot on, and that’s what I want to see at this club: players who are willing to give their all and fight for their place. Steve and our under-18s manager, Alex, deserve a lot of credit for embedding that attitude into their players and moving them up through the ranks, too.

We also parted company with a player this week. James Fraser has left the club, and I wish him all the best at Burgess Hill.”

Kick off at The Pan is 3pm.

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Author: stuartnoel

Nearly prize winning author of Passport to Football, Budget Airline Football and European Football - A Fans Guide.