Matchday Preview: Needham Market (home)

Needham Market are not coming to Huish Park for their FA Trophy fourth round with a plan to lie down for Yeovil Town.

The Marketmen, who lie in 13th place in the Southern League Premier Central Division, two steps below their hosts in the  pyramid, put out National League side Wealdstone in the last round with a 2-1 win on their own patch last month.

That result came about due to them taking the game to their higher division rivals, winning the ball high up the pitch rather than sitting back and hitting them on the break.

Manager and former Manchester City and Swindon Town midfielder Kevin Horlock said: “If we can we are a team that needs to be on the front foot. We’ve got some very good attacking players so you have to use them.

“I’m not one for sitting back too much because if you concede – especially early on – where do you go from there?

“I don’t want to give away too much, but we’ll be looking to play in a similar way to the Wealdstone game.

“I don’t want us to just sit there, play for the draw and penalties. That’s not in me and it’s not in my players either.”

You have to go back to the start of December to find this weekend’s visitors last defeat when they lost 3-1 at home to Stourbridge.

Since then they have picked up three wins and two draws in their following five matches including coming from 2-0 down at half-time to beat fifth-placed Alvechurch on Tuesday night.

Before disposing of Wealdstone in Round Three, Needham Market has made it through a qualifying round and then beaten Margate and Welwyn Garden City to progress to this stage of the competition.

However, the only game they played away from home was the qualifying round tie at St Ives Town.

You can hear more about what to expect from Needham Market – including why their players may be on a sugar high at Huish Park – in the chat with YouTuber and fan, Leo Fraser-Bell, in the latest edition of our podcast – listen here.


FROM THE MANAGER

Needham Market manager Kevin Horlock is coming up to his second anniversary in the top job having spent eight months in charge of the club’s academy before that.

The ex-Northern Ireland international is hoping that some of the products of the academy can show what they are capable of – as they did against Wealdstone in the last round.

He said: “We got the positive result against Wealdstone and that is bound to have done a lot for belief.

“I said as soon as I came back to Needham that we’ve got a lot of players that can play at that level (National League), I’m sure of it.

“Some could do it now, others will be able to do it at a later date as they progress and get more experience. That’s not me feeding them rubbish, I really believe these lads are good enough.

“You’ve got to shoot for the stars. We sold the likes of (midfielder) Callum Page to Ipswich recently so the young lads know there is a pathway here.

“They showed what they’ve got against Wealdstone and there’s another opportunity for them to show it again.

“Yes it’s away from home this time and the journey makes it a bit tougher, but we won’t be looking for or making excuses. It’s a big game and one we’re really looking forward to.


TEAM NEWS

Needham Market will give late fitness tests to left-back Callum Sturgess (calf) and defender Kyle Hammond (ankle) before the match.

Boss Horlock is hopeful central midfielder Tom Fitzgerald will have recovered from a groin strain to feature, but winger Tom Maycock is cup tied having featured for AFC Sudbury in the competition already.


FOOT IN BOTH CAMPS

Unsurprisingly, there’s not many player connections between us and Needham Market – in fact, we can only find one.

Simon Betts, not a player who will go down in Yeovil Town legend for anything particularly positive, was signed by Colin Addison midway through the 2000-2001 season and left midway through the following campaign after some below par performances, to put it mildly.

In 2005-06 he went on to play for Needham Market and went on to be a manager in the local leagues in East Anglia.

 


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