BOXING DAY PREVIEW: Needham Market forward targets derby-day victory against AFC Sudbury
Needham Market midfielder Luke Ingram is hoping a win in the Suffolk derby against AFC Sudbury this afternoon can provide the catalyst they need going into a tough new year period.
The Marketmen are unbeaten in five Ryman Premier games and proudly sit at the top of the table, ahead of this afternoon’s home game with Jamie Godbold’s side at Bloomfields (1pm kick-off).
After the game with Sudbury, Needham round the year off with an away trip at Billericay, before facing seven league games in 26 days during January which will really test their mettle.
Ingram, who has scored six league and cup goals in as many games, striking up a fruitful partnership with Reece Dobson in the process, said: “These are the games that you want to be involved in and they (Sudbury) have had some good results lately, so we will have to make sure we are at our best.
“It’s a big game but there is no reason why we can’t take another three points ahead of a hard January period.”
That run of games will see Needham face fellow Suffolk promotion contenders, Leiston, at Victory Road, on January 2, as well as further difficult away tests at second-placed Bognor Regis and third-placed Havant & Waterlooville.
Should Needham emerge from the month still on top then they will fancy their chances of maintaining their promotion push at the end of the season, the Marketmen having enjoyed a solid campaign already.
“I am glad we are at the top, but to be honest I don’t think anyone expected us to be that far advanced at this point of the season,” Ingram added.
“Last season I don’t think some of the lads realised how good they were and the team’s confidence took a knock at times.
“Our form this season has given us a great boost and a chance of going on and doing something special.”
Ingram, and strike partner Dobson both scored in midweek as Needham won 2-1 at Ware in the Ryman League Cup.
The Marketmen will host Tonbridge Angels in the last eight, on January 10.