Needham ITFC Premier Cup SF Feb 2024 5

Cup win would be 'cherry on the cake'

WINNING the Suffolk Premier Cup would be the ‘cherry on the cake’ for Needham Market.

WINNING this season’s Endeavour Automotive Suffolk Premier Cup would be the ‘cherry on the cake’ for Needham Market.

The Marketmen, who have already clinched promotion, face Felixstowe & Walton United in Tuesday’s final at the OCS Ram Meadow Stadium, home of Bury Town FC, kick-off 7.45pm.




Manager Kevin Horlock and his side will be chasing a fourth successive victory in the competition, albeit the 2020-21 edition was cancelled due to Covid the year after their first win.

Only Bury Town, who won the inaugural competition in the 1958-59 season and then lifted the cup in the following three campaigns, and Sudbury Town (1986-87 until 1989-90) have previously achieved the feat.

Horlock said: “It is a competition we are really proud to be part of and we have won three on the spin and have a chance to make it four. We always go strong in it and try to get to the final and lift the trophy.

“We have had a great season and to win it again would be the cherry on the cake.”

Jamie McGrath netted a hat-trick as Needham defeated Royston Town 3-1 a week ago on Saturday to confirm them as champions of Pitching In Southern League Premier Central.

It means they will become only the second Suffolk side to play Step 2 football next season in either National League North or South.

Horlock said: “This group of lads have created history over the last two seasons in the FA Cup and FA Trophy, three Premier Cup wins and now securing Step 2 football for little old Needham Market.

“What they have achieved is unbelievable and this season will go down in history and will be hard to beat.”

Needham were without a match on Saturday, meaning they have had a whole week to prepare for Tuesday’s final.

Horlock, who went and watched Felixstowe play along with assistant manager Tom Rothery and goalkeeper Marcus Garnham, said: “If you win it’s good for you, but if you don’t win then it’s not good for you!

“We have had a long and hard season with all the travelling we do, and we don’t get many weekends off, so it was nice for the players to have no game and spend time with their families.”

Apart from the injured Jake Dye, Horlock has a full squad to choose from. Long-term injury victim Patrick Brothers is now back in training, but the final may be too soon for him to be involved.




Needham Market striker Seth Chambers, who has scored ten times in this season’s competition, turns away after netting one of his two goals in his side’s 4-2 victory over an Ipswich Town XI in their semi-final at Hadleigh United FC. Photograph: Ben Pooley.

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