Needham Market are up for the FA Cup! And taking on old foes!

PUBLISHED: 12:37 20 September 2018 | UPDATED: 12:37 20 September 2018

Joe Marsden, on the ball, could feature against Met Police tonight after a recent groin injury. Picture: BEN POOLEY

Joe Marsden, on the ball, could feature against Met Police tonight after a recent groin injury. Picture: BEN POOLEY

Archant

Having to cope with new teams in a new league Needham Market boss, Richard Wilkins, is relatively happy to be meeting up with a previous foe in Saturday’s second qualifying round FA Cup tie at Met Police.

Both teams are now in the Southern League Premier (Step 3), but while Needham are in the Central division, Met Police have moved into the South.

Both were in in the Bostik Premier last season.

A tricky test still for Wilkins and the Marketmen and with £9,000 up for grabs to the winner, a match both sides will want to win.

“We can’t grumble about the draw,” Wilkins said.

“At least we know a bit about Met Police. Where they play, I think their coach from last season is still there. We have had a watch of them too, so we know a bit about them and they know a bit about us.

“I’ll be comfortable if we came away with a draw, that would be ok. But obviously we go there to win.”

Needham beat Barton Rovers comfortably enough in the last round, but are five games without a win in the league.

Wilkins thinks his side just need a bit more composure on the ball and to be a bit more patient.

“We won our first two league games 4-0 and 8-1 and I think everyone wants us to be continually attacking,” he added.

“But sometimes you just need to settle and we need to do that more, with more composure.

“We must give the ball away too easily.”

For Needham, Joe Marsden is set to return after missing out last week, while Reece Dobson is expected to recover from a knock. JJ Wilson is still a week or two away from full fitness.

The FA have upped the prize money in the FA Cup this season, something that has pleased Wilkins, although he would like to see it go further.

“I think it’s great that the money has gone up and not before time,” he said

“I know in the earlier rounds even the losing team gets something, but I would like to see that continue throughout the tournament, two thirds to the winner, a third to the losers.

“You could go through a few rounds, get a long away trip in front of 150 people, lose the game and be out of pocket. That’s not great.”

MEANWHILE Needham are staging an evening with Frank Bruno MBE. It’s on Friday, October 19, at the Ipswich Hotel, Copdock. Tickets are £600 for a table of 10. Contact Mark Easlea for details.... m.easlea@sky.com

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