IT CAN’T afford to be a case of ‘After the Lord Mayor’s Show’ for Needham Market.
So says manager Kevin Horlock whose side are away to Woodbridge Town in the quarter-finals of the Turners Hyundai Suffolk Premier Cup on Tuesday night.
Needham head to Notcutts Park just three days after their exit from the quarter-finals of the Buildbase FA Trophy in the biggest match in the club’s history.
The Marketmen lost 3-0 to National League leaders Stockport County at Bloomfields on Saturday in front of 1,526 spectators to end their dreams of reaching the showpiece final at Wembley Stadium.
Horlock, who said it was a lesson at times for his side as they bowed out of the competition, said they could not allow it to be a case of After the Lord Mayor’s Show against opponents who play two leagues below them.
“No, it can’t be. We are obviously out of the FA Trophy now and it looks like the play-offs are out of reach so we want to win the Premier Cup.
“The competition is always massive for us – we are the holders, so we want to retain it.
“My job as the manager is now to get them fired up. There will possibly be a few changes and we may rotate some of the players,” said Horlock.
Tom Rothery, Horlock’s assistant manager, was at The New Croft last Wednesday to see the Woodpeckers knock-out hosts Haverhill Rovers 4-2 on penalties following a 3-3 draw.
Horlock said: “We do it with all the teams we play, whether we get footage or if they are more local we will go and watch them. He came back and said Woodbridge were the better team.
“We will go there like we do for any game, whether it is the league, FA Trophy or whatever, and we will be prepared and know what to expect.”
Woodbridge won 1-0 at home to Swaffham in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division on Saturday, with 17-year-old Ethan Broom scoring the winners after coming on as a substitute.
He had come off the bench last Wednesday to head home the equaliser with seven minutes remaining of normal time to take the tie to a penalty shoot-out.
The match is one of two quarter-final ties taking place on Tuesday evening as Lakenheath host higher-league Stowmarket Town at The Nest.
Lakenheath, who won 3-1 at fellow Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division side Hadleigh United in their first-ever match in the Suffolk Premier Cup in the previous round, drew 0-0 at Thetford Town on Saturday.
Meanwhile, a Willie Clemons goal after 46 minutes was sufficient for Stowmarket to defeat Grays Athletic 1-0 to stay one point behind Isthmian North leaders Canvey Island but with a game in hand.
Needham Market players (red shirts, left to right) Kyle Hammond, Callum Sturgess and Patrick Brothers are pictured above in action in their Buildbase FA Trophy quarter-Final tie against Stockport County at Bloomfields on Saturday.
Turners Hyundai Suffolk Premier Cup Quarter-Finals: Lakenheath v Stowmarket Town, Woodbridge Town v Needham Market.