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Needham Market to travel to Curzon Ashton for National League North opener before visits of Southport and Scunthorpe to Bloomfields





Needham Market's first ever season at Step 2 of the non-league pyramid will kick off with a trip to Curzon Ashton – based in Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester – on Saturday, August 10 (3pm), writes Drew Kendall & Russell Claydon.

The Nash, as they are known, finished seventh in the Vanarama National League North last season.

Kevin Horlock's newly-promoted side will then host two former Football League clubs in the space of four days as Southport – members from 1921-1978 – provide the first Step 2 opponents in a league match at Bloomfields on Saturday, August 17 (3pm).

Needham Market will start the season with an away game before hosting Southport in their first Step 2 game at Bloomfields Picture: Mecha Morton
Needham Market will start the season with an away game before hosting Southport in their first Step 2 game at Bloomfields Picture: Mecha Morton

It will then be quickly followed by the visit of a more recent EFL side, and last season's North runners-up, Scunthorpe United (who ended a 72-year stay in the Football League in 2022) on Tuesday, August 20.

The opening month continues with a trip to Radcliffe on Saturday, August 24, before welcoming Alfreton Town to Suffolk two days later, on Bank Holiday Monday, while the Reds will end the month away to Warrington Town on Saturday, August 31.

The festive period sees Needham host Darlington on Saturday, December 21, before a trip to fellow East Anglian side King’s Lynn Town on Boxing Day.

The Marketmen – who have recently announced three new signings as well as the rest of their retained list – kick-off 2025 against another familiar opponent from previous seasons in the Southern League, in Peterborough Sports at home on New Year's Day.

followed by another successive home fixture on Saturday, January 4 against opening day opponents Curzon Ashton.

The final month of the season sees the Pitching In Southern League Premier Central champions travel to Spennymoor Town on Saturday, April 5, before hosting another familiar old league opponent in Rushall Olympic on Saturday, April 12.

Good Friday, on April 18, sees Needham travel to Peterborough Sports, ahead of hosting King’s Lynn Town on Easter Monday on April 21.

Horlock's side are set to conclude the season away to Darlington on Saturday, April 26.

Needham kicked off their pre-season campaign with a 1-0 home defeat to higher-league Braintree Town at Bloomfields last night with three trialists coming off the bench.

They are next in action next Tuesday with a trip to Step 4 Felixstowe & Walton United (7.45pm).

Needham’s 2024/25 Vanarama National League North fixtures (Saturday/bank holiday fixtures 3pm, with Tuesday games 7:45pm, unless stated):

August:

Sat 10 Curzon Ashton (A)

Sat 17 SOUTHPORT (H)

Tue 20 SCUNTHORPE UNITED (H)

Sat 24 Radcliffe (A)

Mon 26 ALFRETON TOWN (H)

Sat 31 Warrington Town (A)

September:

Tue 3 Hereford (A)

Sat 7 FARSLEY CELTIC (H)

Sat 14 Emirates FA Cup 2QR

Sat 21 Oxford City (A)

Sat 28 Emirates FA Cup 3QR

October:

Sat 5 SOUTH SHIELDS (H)

Sat 12 Chorley (A)

Sat 19 KIDDERMINSTER HARRIERS (H)

Tue 22 BRACKLEY TOWN (H)

Sat 26 Buxton (A)

November:

Sat 2 SPENNYMOOR TOWN (H)

Tue 5 Rushall Olympic (A)

Sat 9 CHESTER (H)

Sat 16 Isuzu FA Trophy 2RP

Sat 23 Marine (A)

Tue 26 Leamington (A)

Sat 30 SCARBOROUGH ATHLETIC (H)

December:

Sat 7 Isuzu FA Trophy 3RP

Sat 14 Southport (A)

Sat 21 DARLINGTON (H)

Thu 26 Kings Lynn Town (A)

January 2025:

Wed 1 PETERBOROUGH SPORTS (H)

Sat 4 CURZON ASHTON (H)

Sat 11 Brackley Town (A)

Sat 18 RADCLIFFE (H)

Sat 25 Alfreton Town (A)

Tue 28 Scunthorpe United (A)

February:

Sat 1 WARRINGTON TOWN (H)

Sat 8 Farsley Celtic (A)

Tue 11 HEREFORD (H)

Sat 15 OXFORD CITY (H)

Sat 22 South Shields (A)

Tue 25 LEAMINGTON (H)

March:

Sat 1 Chester (A)

Sat 8 MARINE (H)

Tue 11 Scarborough Athletic (A)

Sat 15 CHORLEY (H)

Sat 22 Kidderminster Harriers (A)

Sat 29 BUXTON (H)

April:

Sat 5 Spennymoor Town (A)

Sat 12 RUSHALL OLYMPIC (H)

Fri 18 Peterborough Sports (A)

Mon 21 KINGS LYNN TOWN (H)

Sat 26 Darlington (A)