MATCH PREVIEW: NEEDHAM MARKET U18 V WALSHAM LE WILLOWS U18 THUR 21.02.19
Thursday 21 FEBRUARY 2019, THURLOW NUNN YOUTH LEAGUE SOUTH DIVISION, BLOOMFIELDS, 7:45PM KO. NEEDHAM MARKET UNDER-18s V WALSHAM LE WILLOWS UNDER-18s:
Tonight at Bloomfields, Needham Market U18s welcome local rivals Walsham Le Willows for Needham’s 12th game of the league campaign, having won 5, drawn 3 and lost 3 leaving the Young Marketmen fifth in the table with 18 points. Walsham meanwhile, this will be their 13th league match of the season, having won 8, drawn 2 and lost 2- taking the Willows to 2nd in the table a point behind leaders Framingham Town who have 27 points, with the 2nd placed side having two games in hand.
Should Needham win however, they will remain in fifth with this their game in hand of fourth placed Hadleigh United, who the Reds lost 5-0 at home to in late 2018, with the current gap between the sides sitting at seven points.
Form wise, Needham have won 3, drawn 1 and lost 1, at home in the league this season with the defeat being at home to Hadleigh. Other recent results for the home side include, a 5-1 victory over Woodbridge Town at home, drawing 2-2 with Whitton United at home (after beating Whitton 4-1 in the previous round of the Suffolk FA U18 Midweek Cup to set up next week’s tie when Needham and Walsham lock horns again at Bloomfields). The Young Marketmen though returned to winning ways, at Whitton in their next outing running out 7-0 winners- which is the Reds’ biggest win of the season. Then came the 0-5 home loss to Hadleigh, before Needham once more got back to winning ways beating Felixstowe & Walton United 2-0 at Bloomfields in their last outing, with Needham’s home record in the league standing at 2 wins, 2 draws and one defeat out off five, scoring 11 and conceding ten.
Walsham on the other hand, have won 3, drawn 1 and lost 1 of their five away outings in the league, scoring 19 whilst only letting in 9. In their last five outings, Walsham have only lost 1, losing 0-3 to Felixstowe at home, whilst winning the other four all at home. Those victories coming against Leiston 3-0, Coplestonians 12-1 (the Willows biggest victory of the campaign), Ipswich Wanderers 4-0 and Woodbridge Town 2-0 in their last outing.
Head to head records suggest that Walsham have the upper hand over Needham, running out victorious in all of the sides’ last five meetings, across the last three seasons, these are as follows:
Walsham 3-1 Needham (league 2018/19 opening day)
Needham 1-3 Walsham (league 2017/18)
Needham 4-6 Walsham (league 2016/17)
Walsham 5-1 Needham (league 2016/17)
Needham 2-3 (AET) Walsham (Suffolk FA U18 Midweek Cup 2016/17)
When comparing the two sides’ League positions over the previous two seasons, Walsham have finished higher in the table on both occasions, in 2016/17 Walsham finished 2nd winning 13, drawing 2 and losing 3 of their 18 outings, just two points behind Champions Woodbridge who accumulated 43 points, whilst Needham ended the season in seventh winning 7, drawing 3 and losing 7 of their 17 matches. Last season meanwhile, it was slightly closer between the side’s final positions in the table, Walsham this time finishing 4th winning 7, drawing 5 and losing 4 of their 16 games, ending the season 16 points behind league winners Leiston. Needham however, finishing in sixth winning 6, drawing 1 and losing 7 of their 14 matches.
The two sides will meet again at Bloomfields next Thursday, this time in the Suffolk CFA Under-18 Midweek Cup Quarter-Final