Needham hope to cut their losses

NEEDHAM Market are hoping to cut their losses when they play Ipswich Town in the quarter-final of the Club Colours Suffolk Premier Cup at Bloomfields tonight.

By Elvin King

NEEDHAM Market are hoping to cut their losses when they play Ipswich Town in the quarter-final of the Club Colours Suffolk Pre-mier Cup at Bloom-fields tonight.

The match, which kicks-off at 7.45pm, was called off last Wednesday because the Rid-geons League club's pitch was waterlogged.

Needham chairman David Bugg said today: “We were in line to make £6,000 or £7,000 if the game had gone ahead.

“Ipswich were fielding a strong side and there were no other games on in the area.

“Indications were that we would have had a four-figure crowd and it would have been a lucrative night for us.

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“Hopefully we can still attract a sizeable attendance tonight.”

Not surprisingly, Bugg welcomes Ipswich Town's return to the competition that has already seen them draw a crowd of 700-plus to Dellwood Avenue for a first round encounter against Felixstowe and Walton United

“It is a real boost to football in the county that Ipswich decided to re-enter the Premier Cup,” added Bugg.

The winners of tonight's game play Ipswich Wanderers at Humber Doucy Lane in the semi-final.

This would bring the first all-Ipswich competitive derby if Richard Hall's Blues win tonight, and it will also produce an interesting contest if Needham spring a surprise.

Bugg was chairman of Wanderers last season, while joint manager Chris Tracey was a key defender in 2005/06 at Humber Doucy Lane.

Tracey, who still plays, and Danny Laws, who coached full time at Norwich City last season, were brought in as joint managers during the summer after previous Needham manager Mark Morsley left to take charge of AFC Sudbury.

“We are over the moon with their appointment although we have had a dip in form recently,” said Bugg.

“At lunchtime last Wednesday everything was fine and the weather forecast was good. Then the heavens opened and there was so much water on the pitch.”

Leiston play Newmarket in the other Premier Cup semi-final, with the former's manager Jason Dozzell eyeing a return to Portman Road for the final having starred for Ipswich Town after making his debut while still at Chantry School.

With Ipswich playing a Coca-Cola Championship match at Derby County tomorrow their side is not as strong as it would have been last week when Owen Garvan was set to play.

Welsh international Gavin Williams will continue his progress back to full fitness, while Scott Barron, Sammy Moore, Chris Casement, Darryl Knights and Sito Castro have all had first team experience.

Needham, who beat Ryman League AFC Sudbury in the previous round, are expected to select from the same squad of players.

Spectators are advised to arrive early with admission £5 for adults and £2 for concessions.

Tonight's teams

Needham (from): L Jones, Sim, Banham, Tracey, Barber, Agricole, A Jones, Bailey, Buckle, Fleming, Evans, Thorogood, Snell, Deacon, Thrower, Smith.

Ipswich: Plummer, Synnott, Barron, Moore, Casement, Smith, Upson, G Williams, Leabon, Knights, Sito. Subs: Rhodes, Reason, Fenn, Robinson, C Williams.

What do you think of Ipswich Town's participation in this season's Suffolk Premier Cup? Write to Sports Desk, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail starsport@eveningstar.co.uk

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