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Needham Market boss Richard Wilkins admits they may be a mid-table side following King's Lynn Town thrashing on New Year's Day

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Needham Market manager Richard Wilkins pulled no punches after seeing his side suffer New Year’s Day humiliation at the hands of King’s Lynn Town.

The Marketmen were on the receiving end of a 4-1 defeat at Bloomfields in which home goalscorer Adam Mills was sent off on the stroke of half-time.

All of the goals came in the first 45 minutes and by half-time it was all over after Mills picked up his second booking of the game to leave the hosts with just 10 men in the second period.

Wilkins said: “We got blown away in the first half.

There was a red card for Needham's Adam Mills late in the first half. Picture: TIM SMITH (6279412)
There was a red card for Needham's Adam Mills late in the first half. Picture: TIM SMITH (6279412)

“Players didn’t go with runners, there was no shape, we didn’t keep the ball and we gave away some very poor goals.

“Lynn are a quality side and if you give them opportunities like we did then they are going to punish you.

“They are an experienced team but we were very naive today, both individually and collectively, especially through the central midfield area.

“We knew that Craig Parker would make third man runs and we had plans to go with him, but nobody did.”

Wilkins continued: “We are much better than what we showed today.”

Although the Marketmen improved dramatically after the break to restore some pride, Wilkins believes his side may have found their level.

“It’s another time where we’ve played one of the bigger teams in the league and have let ourselves down,” he admitted.

“We have not taken any points off the top sides in the league and I think it proves that we are a mid-table team if I’m honest.

“In the second half we were a lot better but the damage was already done. Lynn probably took their foot off the pedal but that is the way we can play and should have played from the off, but for reasons unknown we didn’t.

“When you lose to a better team you have to hold your hands up and say they were far better than us on the day, which they were.”

Two of Lynn’s goals were scored by familiar face Craig Parker, the attacking midfielder having previously spent two years as a Needham player.

He said: “It’s been a tough Christmas and it was really important that we got the win today.

“After only getting a point at home to Kettering we really needed all three here and I’m glad I could help with a couple of goals, especially against my old club.

“Making late runs into the box is something I’ve tried to do all my life. I knew they’d have their eyes on me coming back, but thankfully I just managed to burst in front of them and score a couple.

“In the first half I thought we played really well. We cut through them quite a few times and could have had a couple more by half-time.

“Needham are a great club and I really enjoyed my time here. They progressed a lot off the field and a lot of the old staff are still here so it is good to come back and do well.”

Tuesday’s hefty defeat has seen Needham drop down to eighth in the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division Central standings, one point adrift of the play-off places, though they have played more games than the majority of sides above them.

Wilkins’ men will aim to bounce back tomorrow when they travel to Suffolk rivals Lowestoft Town (3pm).

The Trawlerboys, who are managed by former AFC Sudbury boss Jamie Godbold, head into the encounter just two places above the relegation zone and with a return of one point from the last nine on offer.

Needham won October’s reverse fixture 1-0, although Lowestoft did get revenge with a penalty shoot-out win in the Suffolk Premier Cup.