Southern Central Prem: 'We need to sort this out', Wilkins... Leiston's huge game... Lowestoft buoyant
PUBLISHED: 12:37 31 January 2020 | UPDATED: 12:37 31 January 2020
Ben Pooley (Pooley_PitchSide)
Under-performing Needham Market have struggled to string a run of victories together all season, hence their position in the lower half of the table, but there are signs that the tide has finally turned at Bloomfields.
The Marketmen, fresh from excellent away wins at bottom club Redditch United (3-0 last Saturday) and at AFC Rushden & Diamonds (2-1 on Tuesday night) have a chance to complete a hat-trick of victories when they entertain 10th-placed Hednesford Town this weekend.
Most of Needham's problems have been at home, and manager Richard Wilkins is keen to rectify this as he aims to guide his team into the top 10 of the Southern League Premier Central.
"Something is not quite right there, in that way we are the fifth best team away, and yet have the fourth or fifth worst home record," rued manager Wilkins.
"We need to sort this out, because many teams have had success with smash-and-grab tactics. But it makes a change to be going for a third win in a row, and we should take confidence from the last two performances.
After losing just two league games in their last ten matches, Glen Driver's Leiston side make the 350-mile round trip to visit Alvechurch this weekend in another big match in the BetVictor Southern League Central Premier (3pm kick off).
Leiston still sit in 18th position going into this weekend's set of fixtures and are eight points ahead of hosts Alvechurch, although the Worcestershire side have three games in hand on Leiston.
"Last week against Rushall was a hard result to take," Driver said.
"A lot of people would have taken a draw after being 2-0 down, but the manner we conceded the two goals was very disappointing.
"Alvechurch will be another tough match and we go there with confidence but we must be at the races. We need to defend well and be clinical in front of goal.
"There's no getting away from the fact that it is a massive match in the season for us."
Lowestoft Town manager Jamie Godbold has admitted his players are "full of confidence" as they build up to a run of eight games this month.
With three wins on the spin, the Blues will be aiming to continue their unbeaten run as they host Nuneaton Borough this weekend.
Revenge will be in their sights after the Trawlerboys suffered a 4-1 defeat at the Warwickshire-based side in August.
Lowestoft remain 16th in the table after hitting 14 goals and conceding only twice in their last three games.
Buoyed by an excellent 3-0 away win at Barwell last Saturday, Goldbold admitted his side have a "point to prove".
"We are full of confidence," he said. "From a league point of view the aim is to challenge the teams above us, rather than looking behind us. It is important for us to get as many points as we can, as we have done in the past three games, to push up the league.
"The supporters have been first class following us, and hopefully they turn out in numbers on Saturday, get behind us and hopefully we can give them something to cheer about."