Jack Simmons made his debut for Needham after signing from Canvey Island over the festive period with Ollie Snaith making way. Ollie Fenn and Kieran Morphew returned to the squad on the bench after illness and injury respectively.
Needham started reasonably well but the home side gradually took over possession and Blake had a shot blocked, though the linesmans flag was already raised. Leiston pinned Needham back and forced a series of corners. From one of these they took the lead in the 20th minute, as Gareth Heaths kick evaded everyone and ended up in the far corner of the net. The goal stood despite Needhams protests that Danny Gay had been impeded.
Leistons second goal arrived 10 minutes later when Bryon Lawrence shot into the far corner. Mark Morsley reacted by switching back to a 3-5-2 formation, having started 4-4-2, but the onslaught by Leiston continued, with Blake having two shots blocked and Bullard heading against the bar from a corner.
Needham finally forced a corner in the 43rd minute but this came to nothing and shortly afterwards Leiston increased their lead when Gay could only push out Muirs shot, leaving Lawrence with a simple tap in. The half time whistle arrived with the home side fully deserving their 3 goal lead, with Needham failing to have a single shot on goal.
HALF TIME: Leiston 3-0 Needham Market
The visitors started the second half more brightly with Harrison swinging in a free-kick which came to nothing. Needham then won another corner but gave the ball straight to Leiston who broke away dangerously. Muir then had the ball in the net for the hosts but was ruled to be offside.
After 51 minutes Leiston scored a rather fortunate fourth goal when Brothers cross come shot beat the defence and went in off the far post. 7 minutes later things went from bad to worse for Needham with what appeared to be a comedy own goal as a clearance seemed to strike a Needham defender and rebound into the net. However, the Leiston announcer gave the goal to Muir, so perhaps the final touch came off the Leiston striker.
Needham finally had a shot in the 62nd minute as Luke Ingram struck a low drive from 20 yards which beat Marsden in the home goal and found the bottom corner. Although Leiston still looked the more likely to score, especially through Blake who unbelievably ended the game without a goal, the game petered out somewhat, with substitute Ollie Snaith having a shot that was easily gathered by Marsden.
FULL TIME: Leiston 5-1 Needham Market
For the second time this season Needham were comfortably beaten by a Leiston side who were better than them in every aspect of the game. The Leiston supporters were singing can we play you every week at the end, with the Needham supporters grateful this was not the case. However the two teams meet again in the semi-finals of the Suffolk FA Premier Cup in March....