Battling 10 Man Marketmen hold out for 2-2 Draw
By MARK EASLEA
Honours even @ The Met and a replay needed this Tuesday at Bloomfields
The Marketmen were unchanged from last Saturday’s game at home against Rushall Olympic and with £9,000 up for grabs in this 2nd Qualifying Round of the FA Cup there were high expectations that we would eventually break our duck against old Isthmian League rivals Met Police away at Ember Court.
Needham kicked off and started brightly mounting three good attacks in the first couple of minutes, the last of these winning the first corner of the game which was headed just over the bar by Jamie Griffiths.
Met Police then responded with their first attack of the game but their final shot did not pose a problem for Jake Jessup in the Needham goal.
Some great play out wide by Jamie Griffiths led to the second Needham corner which was cleared by the stretched Met Police defence.
After 17 mins Luke Ingram again got the ball out wide and ran at his opposing full back and into the Met Police penalty area only to be brought down by Guiness-Walker. After some delay the referee finally awarded the penalty which was duly put away by Dan Morphew to put the Marketmen 1-0 up.
6 mins later Needham had an even stronger shout for a second penalty when Jerry Kamanzi was clearly pushed in the box but the shouts went unheeded by the officials and a minute or so later the Met turned the game on its head scrambling home a corner to equalize on 24 mins.
With Needham having been well on top for the first 20 mins the Met had now gained the initiative and on 31 mins Reece Dobson was the first to get himself booked for a rash tackle.
The next good Needham move saw a cross from Jake Dye headed just over by Adam Mills with the Met responding with a good attack which ended with a fierce shot being deflected for a corner which was cleared out to Luke Ingram who again made a great run down the right wing before delivering a cross which was met by Jamie Griffiths whose deflected shot won yet another corner, again taken by Callum Sturgess, which this time reached Keiran Morphew who volleyed just over the bar from 8 yards out.
On 36 mins Reece Dobson was replaced by Tariq Issa.
The final chance of the half for Needham resulted from a quick break out of defence with the ball reaching Jamie Griffiths who ran some distance before crossing to Gareth Heath with the ball finally richochetting out for a corner.
The final move of the game then saw a quick attack down the left by the Met which ended with a cross to the far post which just eluded their No 7. Soon afterwards Mr Heron brought what had been an entertaining and exciting first half to a close with the score at 1-1.
The first chance of the second half fell to Tariq Issa who got into the Met penalty area but lost control before he could get a shot on target. A few minutes later a great Needham move ended with a cross from Luke Ingram and a volley past the post from Adam Mills and in the next attack Tariq Issa again got into the Met Police area before putting his shot just wide.
Needham regained the lead on 59 mins when a great ball inside the full back was taken on by Adam Mills whose shot was blocked by the Met keeper but was then forced home by the Needham No 11.
It was all Needham now and another run and cross into the box by Mills only just eluded Issa two yards out.
On 57 mins the Met made their first substitution of the match with Tom Nyama replacing Jonathan Wright.
On 68 mins Keiran Morphew, who had been outstanding at the back for the visitors, was sent off for what was interpreted by the referee as dangerous play with Luke Ingram also receiving a yellow card for his protestations.
With Needham down to 10 men and Luke Ingram now playing at centre half the Met reclaimed the ascendancy and equalized on 74 mins with a well struck shot past Jake Jessup into the bottom left hand corner.
On 83 mins the Met replaced Josh Webb with Max Blackmore and on 88 mins replaced Oliver Knight with Alex Fisher but the last clear chance fell to Needham when, after Jamie Griffiths had won a free kick just outside the Met area, Gareth Heath’s excellent free kick to the far post picked out Luke Ingram whose shot went just the wrong side of the opposite post.
Solid defending by the Needham defence saw out the 5 mins of extra time with the score remaining at 2-2.
A battling performance by the Marketmen particularly over the final 25 mins when they were down to 10 men and confidence was high at the end that the job can be finished in the replay back at Bloomfields on Tuesday evening by which time we will know the outcome of Monday’s draw for the next round.
The Match Reporter’s choice of MOTM was Luke Ingram for both his attacking play in the first half and his defensive play in the last 25 mins of the match.
Met Police : Thomas Williams; Josh Webb, Nesta Guiness-Walker, Charlie Wassamer, Mekail McLaughlin, Lewis Birch; Oliver Knight,
Ethan Chislett; Jack Mazzone, John Gilbert, Jonathan Wright.
Subs: Jeremy Arthur, Alex Fisher, Max Blackmore, Tom Nyama, Jack Beadle, Jonathan Hippolyte, Borja Loeches
Needham Market : Jake Jessup; Jake Dye, Callum Sturgess, Jerry Kamanzi, Keiran Morphew, Dan Morphew; Luke Ingram, Gareth Heath,
Reece Dobson, Jamie Griffiths, Adam Mills.
Subs: Tariq Issa, George Exworth, Joe Marsden, Conor McLaughlin, Tyler Rose, Bradley Cook