Premier Cup Final Needham Mkt Stowmarket April 2023 4

Needham targeting four wins in a row

NEEDHAM Market are already targeting a fourth successive Suffolk Premier Cup win.

NEEDHAM Market manager Kevin Horlock is already targeting a fourth successive Endeavour Automotive Suffolk Premier Cup win.

Horlock’s side defeated Stowmarket Town 6-5 on penalties following a 3-3 draw in Friday night’s final at Bury Town’s Atalian Servest Stadium.

Goals from Callum Page, Dan Morphew and Dylan Williams for Needham and two from Jack Ainsley and one from Joe Jefford for Stowmarket saw the final end all square after 90 minutes.

Asked if the club will look to make it four in a row next season, Horlock replied: “100 per cent. I never look down on this trophy – it is massive for us. It is a good occasion, and we will always go as strong as we can.

“Yes, we will give youngsters a chance in terms of your Taylors (Clark), your Seths (Chambers) and Ollie Frasers coming through. They can be exposed to this, but we are gunning every year to win this.”

Reflecting on the final, which ebbed and flowed in front of 977 spectators who created a good atmosphere, Horlock said: “It was certainly a lot better than last year’s, which was a little bit tedious.

“We knew what we were up against. It was massive for them – our local rivals who are a league below and no-one gave them a chance.

“We knew we had to be at our best, and we probably weren’t in all honesty, but they pose a threat as their front three get at you and obviously you have got Ed Upson in behind them.

“The goals from our point of view were disappointing, if I am honest, but they were all good finishes from them.”

Horlock said winning the cup was more important than the manner of their shoot-out victory: “We got over the line in the end – we had to win tonight.

“It doesn’t matter how – in six months’ time no-one will look back and say you only won on penalties, it is about getting it won.”

He expressed his sympathy for Stowmarket Town goalkeeper James Bradbook after his penalty miss proved decisive in the shoot-out.

“I feel a bit sorry for Bradders. I know him well as he came through our Academy and he’s a great lad. I did say to him he looked like he had been watching me take penalties!

“He just got caught in two minds and obviously that’s what can happen, so I do feel for him, but someone has unfortunately got to be the villain.”
 Premier Cup Final Needham Mkt Stowmarket April 2023 5

Joe Jefford (old gold & black striped shirt, No.5) heads home to equalise for Stowmarket Town after 17 minutes of the final. Main Photograph: Dylan Williams (red shirt, No.8) sweeps home Needham Market's third goal despite the efforts of Tom Bullard to block his shot. Photographs: Paul Voller

While it was enjoyable for the neutrals to watch, Horlock said: “You can’t enjoy it when you are actually involved in it. I can understand it must have been a great game to watch as we went one up, they went 2-1, then we went 3-2 up.

“It was a good cup final played, I must say, on a decent pitch as well and I imagine everyone has enjoyed the game, but Needham fans have enjoyed it more as we are taking the trophy back with us.

“It’s all about winning things and having silverware. Obviously not many teams can say that, so to win it and get silverware is massive for our football club.

“That’s five times we have now won it in our history and three years on the spin. We are always going to try and win this trophy.”

Stowmarket Town manager Chris Casement said: “It was a great game for the neutral. Both teams went at it and unfortunately tonight we came out on the wrong end on penalties which sometimes you can’t do much about.

“The penalties were of a really high level from both teams and it was always going to be one team giving the other the advantage and Needham took advantage of that and fair play to them.

“They started really, really well and went one up and could have possibly gone two up, but we weathered the storm and JJ (Joe Jefford) then scored from a set play and we got stronger and found belief.

“The second-half started like that as well when they scored straightaway and then we had to dig in and we scored through Jack (Ainsley) before it petered out at the end when both sets of players were pretty tired.”

Related News

View All