Dereham Town set to do battle with ‘league’s best’ Needham Market

Ryan Hawkins was on target for Dereham Town against Needham Market. Picture: IAN BURT

Ryan Hawkins was on target for Dereham Town against Needham Market. Picture: IAN BURT - Credit: IAN BURT

Dereham Town boss Matt Henman expects his players to raise their game for the visit of title-challenging Needham Market.

Dereham Town boss Matt Henman expects his players to raise their game for the visit of title-challenging Needham Market.

The Magpies, seventh, and looking poised for a play-off push, are 20 points behind their second-placed Ryman North opponents – who Henman is full of admiration for.

The Dereham manager said: 'Needham are the best team in the league for me. I think they deserve to win it and I'd like them to because of the way they've built their club up over the last few years. But hopefully we can beat them tonight. We had two good games against them last year, losing narrowly both times, and we've shown we can reach higher levels when we play the better teams.'

Henman, who welcomes back Jay Eastoe-Smith, Olly Willis and Louis Mason into his squad this evening – lost 2-0 at Brightlingsea Regent on Saturday while Market thumped Barkingside 4-1 to make it six league wins on the bounce.