Final Away Visit As We Take On The Champions

by Peter Scherer

As the 23/24 season comes to a conclusion, Mickleover make the trip to newly crowned Champions Needham Market on Saturday, the last way trip of this term.

Our hosts had been unbeaten at home until Stamford came away 3-0 winners a week last Tuesday. They had already sealed the title when they hosted Royston though, with Jamie McGrath scoring all three goals in their 3-0 win.

We can look back at our time at the top of the table with pride and that we are still in with a shout for promotion, having secured the valuable play-off place, pending our appeal lodged with the league (see official statement below).

Following a hearing on 17th April 2024 the club have received a deduction of 12 points as a result of playing an ineligible player on more than one occasion. The club are in the process of putting together as strong an appeal as we can. 

But with a number of players on the injured list too of late, it’s been a tough few weeks for manager John McGrath.

Former Northern Ireland International midfielder Kevin Horlock has been in charge at Needham Market since February 2020, having stepped up from a coaching role. He previously managed Chatham, Colchester Under 21’s and the Northern Ireland Under 21’s, having finished his playing career at Needham too. He also played for West Ham, Swindon, Manchester City, Ipswich, Doncaster, and Scunthorpe.

First choice keeper Marcus Garnham is in his fifth season at Bloomfields, having signed from Leiston, but his whole career has been spent in East Anglia, having played for Leiston, AFC Sudbury, Lowestoft and Bury Town.

Right back Kyle Hammond came from Leiston in July 2020, after starting out as an Ipswich Town Junior, during which time he was loaned to Maldon & Tiptree.

Dan and Keiran Morphew are twins and both play at centre back. Dan was at Haverhill Rovers and Thetford Town, before joining our visitors from Dereham in 2018. Keiran was the first graduate from their own Academy and made the first of his 250 plus appearances in 2013.

Winger Jacob Lay was a summer 2022 signing from Ipswich Wanderers in the Eastern Counties League, having scored 13 goals for them the previous season as they won the Division One title. He started out at Ipswich Town and has played for Brantham Athletic, Sudbury Town, Braintree, Whitton Utd, Felixstowe & Walton and Dereham, as well as a short spell at Preston North End.

Jamie McGrath was another summer 2022 signing too. He was initially on a dual registration last year with Brantham Athletic and East Bergholt, with a reputation as a prolific scorer, with 56 goals in 34 games in 21/22.  He has been a prolific scorer again this this season.

Teenager Hugh Cullum is another defender to come from the clubs Academy, he debuted in the first team during 21/22 and is an England Under 18 Schoolboy International.

Seth Chambers made his first team debut in February 2022 having come through the clubs Academy too. This is his second full season in the squad and he has found the net on a number of occasions. 

Luke Ingram is the longest serving player, a midfielder in his 11th season having signed from Bury Town, having previously been at AFC Sudbury.

Left midfielder Dylan Williams arrived from St Ives in January 2023. He was a Cambridge Utd Junior, joining St Neots after his release. He moved on to Biggleswade and Lowestoft, before a two and a half year spell at St Ives.

Reece Harris is a midfielder too, he arrived pre-season from Sudbury, having previously been at Welling Utd and East Thurrock.

Attacking midfielder Tevan Allen was signed from Brightlingsea Regent. He started out at Yeovil and has also played for Bury Town, AFC Sudbury and Stowmarket.

Former Ipswich Town junior Tommy Smith was another pre-season arrival. The young full back was at Stowmarket Town last season.

Former Ipswich Town midfielder Byron Lawrence has recently returned to action after more than two years out with a broken leg. He came from Leiston in July 2020, having played for Colchester Utd, Billericay, Dulwich Hamlet and Braintree too.

Fellow midfielder Adam Mills is in his fourth spell at our hosts, having arrived back from Sudbury in January. He has also played for Maldon & Tiptree, Braintree, Leiston and Chelmsford City.

Ollie Fraser is another Academy graduate, a left winger, he has made  couple of recent starts, as well as being selected for England Schools.

Fellow Academy keeper Harrison Podd has also been in the squad of late.

Kick off is the usual 3pm and with Telford at home to Berkhamsted, before visiting Coalville next week, regaining second place is still on the cards.

Share & Spread The Word