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Lakenheath hope to end drought on 3G pitches against Needham Market Reserves




Lakenheath boss Ben Cowling hopes his side ‘don’t get lulled into a false sense of security’ in upcoming games on 3G pitches, writes Callum Crabtree.

In successive weeks, Heath will play Needham Market Reserves and AFC Sudbury Reserves on artificial pitches, and Cowling has spoken about their recent torrid record on the surface.

“Last season we lost all three of our games on 3G pitches so you could say it’s not our favourite surface,” he said. “We want to play attractive football but in the right areas and not get lulled into a false sense of security.

Football action from Diss Town v Lakenheath..Lakenheath manager Ben Cowling..Mark Bullimore Photography 2019. (26154083)
Football action from Diss Town v Lakenheath..Lakenheath manager Ben Cowling..Mark Bullimore Photography 2019. (26154083)

“Needham have great young players so we wont be taking them for granted; especially on that surface.

Cowling’s men are in red-hot form, with only one loss in eight games after Saturday’s 4-2 victory over Framlingham Town.

A brace from top scorer Shaun Avis, and goals from Samuel Hawley and Rhys Mazey, spearheaded a second-half turnaround for Lakenheath.

However, Cowling admitted that his side were lucky not to be out of the game after being 1-0 down at half-time.

“We weren’t at the races at the start of the game. They worked harder and had more energy and (Tom) Coombe kept us in the game with some great saves. I said to the boys we had to up our tempo in the second half and we got our rewards,” he said.

Lakenheath currently sit third in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division North, and could move up to second if they can win their games in hand. Cowling reiterated that the focus is to finish higher than last year’s fifth-place finish, which would see the Heath promoted.

“The chairman has said he wants us to improve not just on the field, but off the field. If we get higher than fifth we’ll go up as the top four get promoted,” he added.

“We’re in a good position at the moment but there are half a dozen teams around us with the same ambitions as us so we have to finish the season strongly.”

Lakenheath travel to Bloomfields on Saturday, and with results going their way, could leapfrog Downham Town into second (3pm).


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