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Needham eye up new striker with Sands sidelined

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INJURED: John Sands. Picture: Ben Pooley
INJURED: John Sands. Picture: Ben Pooley

Needham Market manager Richard Wilkins has revealed he hopes to bring a new striker to the club before the weekend.

The Marketmen have a shortage of players to lead the line with John Sands and Jamie Griffiths both still out with injuries, while Luke Ingram is set to miss a game next week after being sent off in the closing stages of Tuesday’s 2-1 win against Thurrock at Bloomfields.

Wilkins revealed after the win, his first as Needham boss, that he has come close several times to adding more personnel to his squad, only for the deals to fall through at the final hurdle.

“We thought we had one (player signing) last week, it was all agreed, he was happy as Larry, and then he pulled the plug on us on Sunday for reasons unknown,” said Wilkins, whose side host Wingate & Finchley tomorrow (3pm).

“We thought we were going to get someone in on a loan deal and that fell through last minute, so we’ve been a bit unlucky in getting the personnel we want.

“Sometimes you can rush into making decisions, we’re not going to do that. I’ve got about five or six people doing some stuff for me, I’ve given them some names, but we could really do with some more bodies in the building.”

The Marketmen kicked off their third consecutive campaign in the newly-sponsored Bostik League Premier Division, and first under the tutelage of last season’s assistant manager Wilkins, with a 1-1 draw at Burgess Hill Town on Saturday.

Callum Harrison’s 58th-minute opener was cancelled out by Matt Nezval on 76 minutes to ensure the points were shared at the Green Elephant Stadium.

It was Harrison who broke the deadlock again on Tuesday, with the former Colchester United man finishing off a fine one-touch move with an unstoppable strike into the top corner on 37 minutes.

Walsham-le-Willows winger Ryan Gibbs, who has signed on a dual registration with the Marketmen, then doubled their lead six minutes later, before Jordan Clark’s 83rd-minute screamer, coupled with Ingram’s second yellow card, left Needham hanging on.