NEEDHAM Market manager Kevin Horlock said his side will need to ‘go out all guns blazing’ to reach the final four of this season’s Endeavour Automotive Suffolk Premier Cup.
The Marketmen host Stowmarket Town in the quarter-finals on Tuesday evening (kick-off 7.45pm) in a repeat of last season’s final which Needham won 6-5 on penalties following a 3-3 draw.
While Needham are currently flying high in second place in the Pitching-In Southern League Premier Central Division, Stowmarket are struggling in Isthmian North.
The Old Gold & Blacks, who were without a match on Saturday, are yet to register a league victory in ten attempts and sit bottom of the table.
Jack Wilkinson, who has taken over the captaincy this season, is the only member of the side that started last season’s final who is still at Greens Meadow.
However, Horlock is not counting his chickens as Needham go in search of a fourth consecutive victory in the competition, something that has only been achieved twice before.
Bury Town won the inaugural competition in the 1958-59 season and followed that with three more successive victories, and Sudbury Town lifted the cup four years in a row between 1986-87 and 1989-90.
Horlock said: “Stowmarket are in a transitional period where there has been a big turnover of players, but it is still a local derby, and they will come here and give it everything and we will have to be on it.
“I have said to the lads, and I say it to them all the time, you can’t turn it on and off in football you need to go out all guns blazing and play at the right tempo, so we will do that and hopefully we will get a positive result.
“It’s a competition that we really enjoy being a part of. We always go as strong as we can, and we have obviously been really successful in it in the last three seasons.
“It’s a nice local derby and I would imagine there will be a fairly big crowd here and I am hoping it is a good game of football, but more importantly that we progress further.”
Needham Market (yellow shirts) are pictured above in action versus Woodbridge Town (black & white striped shirts) in the quarter-finals of the Suffolk Premier Cup in March 2022 – a tie they won 2-0 en route to lifting the trophy. Photograph: Paul Voller.
The delayed Veo Suffolk U18 Midweek Cup First Round fixture between Framlingham Town and holders AFC Sudbury is also scheduled for Tuesday evening.
Endeavour Automotive Suffolk Premier Cup Quarter-Final: Needham Market v Stowmarket Town.
Veo Suffolk U18 Midweek Cup First Round: Framlingham Town v AFC Sudbury.