NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: It’s time to get nasty, says March Town boss Mel Mattless

Jack Brand scored March's second in their 3-2 defeat to Needham Market Reserves last weekend. Photo:

Jack Brand scored March's second in their 3-2 defeat to Needham Market Reserves last weekend. Photo: IAN CARTER - Credit: Archant

Manager Mel Mattless has called on his March Town players to develop a nasty streak.

Mattless saw the Hares fall to a 3-2 defeat at Thurlow Nunn League First Division bottom side Needham Market Reserves last Saturday. It was a hugely disappointing outcome in a game he felt his side often dominated.

Ben Matthews’ second goal in as many games gave March the lead, but they found themselves 2-1 down before levelling on the stroke of half-time through Jack Brand.

March, who were without suspended skipper Max Mattless and midfielder Michael Chow, bossed the second period but were stung by a rare breakaway from the young hosts with 10 minutes to go.

“It was the same old story as far as we are concerned,” admitted Mattless. “We played well for long periods of the game but we didn’t take enough of the chances we created.

“Having that said, scoring two goals on the road should get us a result – especially against a struggling side.

“Needham Market were full of young lads and we weren’t nasty enough in the footballing sense. We needed to get in their faces and stop them playing more than we did and that’s a lesson we need to learn.

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“The players were told a few home truths after the game and I’m not sure they liked hearing them.

“It’s not ideal losing to the team sitting bottom of the league – even more so when we have two top teams to face in the next two games.”

The first of tough pre-Christmas tests for March is tomorrow when they entertain third-placed Whitton at the GER, 3pm.

And Mattless is hopeful his side can get back into the habit of performing well against leading sides on home turf.

He added: “We were beaten 2-0 at Whitton earlier in the season and the scoreline flattered us in all honesty. They are a big and aggressive side and we’ll need to stand up to that.

“We had a run of four defeats in a row recently and we can’t afford to fall into another rut now. Playing the likes of Whitton is a challenge we should relish.

“We got some good results at home against top teams last season and I’ll remind the lads of that before the game.

“We’re a good side when teams allow us to play, but we’ve got to get better at the ugly side of the game.”

A trip to table-toppers Woodbridge follows on December 23.