NEEDHAM Market manager Kevin Horlock said his team won’t be sitting back and trying to protect their two-goal lead in the second leg of the Turners Hyundai Suffolk Premier Cup Final.
The Marketmen hold a 3-1 advantage heading into Tuesday night’s second leg of the delayed 2019-20 final against Lowestoft Town at Crown Meadow, kick-off 7.30pm.
But Horlock has his sights set on winning the second leg, even though he expects Lowestoft to throw everything at his side as they try to overhaul the deficit.
Horlock said: “The fact we have a two-goal lead makes no difference to me. We will approach this game like any other and try to win it.
“While it is nice to have a bit of a buffer we won’t be sitting back and trying to protect that.
“It is a big occasion for both clubs. Lowestoft have won this competition many times more than us, so this is big for us.
“If you want to be the best non-league team in Suffolk this is the cup you need to win.
“It will be great for our younger players to be involved in a cup final and we can expect it to be a little bit hostile as Lowestoft will throw everything at us because they have to score a couple of goals at least.”
Byron Lawrence is cup-tied while Josh Pollard, who was a used substitute in the first leg, is a major doubt after injuring a shoulder in the warm-up ahead of last week’s tie at Bloomfields.
Lowestoft have suffered an injury blow of their own, with Adam Tann picking up a knock in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at home to Rushall Olympic in the Pitching In Southern League Premier Central Division.
The Trawlerboys, who are already without fellow defenders Jack Wilkinson and Travis Cole, will now be missing Tann, who was outstanding at both ends of the pitch in the first leg.
Not only did he score Lowestoft’s goal but also had a header cleared off the line and another superbly tipped onto the crossbar by Needham Market goalkeeper Marcus Garnham.
Lowestoft Town manager Jamie Godbold admitted: “He will be a big loss to us with his experience both on and off the pitch, although he will still be involved in the dressing room in his role as first-team coach.
“With his form and his goalscoring acts of late (Tann also scored Lowestoft’s goal on Saturday) he will be a big miss for us.”
Godbold said an intriguing second leg could be in store under the lights at Crown Meadow.
“The last time I was involved in a two-legged tie was the FA Vase semi-final with Lowestoft against Whitley Bay several years ago.
“We won the first leg 4-0 and then we were 3-0 down inside 20 minutes in the second leg, although that’s how it stayed and we went through.
“I can’t imagine Needham will change their style of play and try to protect their lead, but if we can get an early goal, or a goal at any stage of the game, it could be an intriguing tie.”
Adam Tann (blue shirt, right) is pictured above trying to force home the rebound after his header was tipped onto the crossbar, but the ball is cleared by Needham Market defender Keiran Morphew (red shirt, partially hidden) to prevent a Lowestoft equaliser. Photograph: Paul Voller
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