A legend returned to Bloomfields, but left defeated
By Paul Munn
NMFC vs Colchester u23 - 28th July @ Bloomfields
After some hasty re-arranging during the week, due to the original opposition unable to fulfill the fixture, it was left to the NMFC legend Kevin Horlock to bring his Colchester United U23 team to Bloomfields for the inaugural 1st team game on the 3G pitch.
The Needham squad included all of our summer signings and re-signings. Jake Jessop taking over the goalkeeping duties from the retired Danny Gay, Joe Marsden started on the right wing, JJ Wilson started in central defence, Callum Sturgess took up the left back slot and Jerry Kamanzi re-establishing his central midfield role.
The game commenced and it was NMFC who had the first chance with a long range shot from Gareth Heath crashing the underside of the crossbar, with the officials ruling that the ball did not cross the line despite appeals from the players and crowd alike. Unfortunately goal line technology has not reached this level yet.
Minutes later Adam Mills was sent down the left by a great ball out of defence, alas despite some good work and a decent cross no finish could be applied. Same can be said for a 25 yard free kick that saw the ball crash high into fencing behind the goal.
It was not one way traffic by any means with Colchester United U23's creating a few decent efforts that tested our goalkeeper and defence. Mentioning one in particular, when a slip on the left let in their winger deliver a good cross which was met by one of the forwards which resulted in a fine save from Jake Jessop and they were not far away from the resulting corner either.
NMFC continued to play well, looking comfortable in midfield and producing some good build up play. An example was Callum Sturgess linking with Adam Mills to produce another good cross which again could not be capitalised on.
It was then the turn of Joe Marsden to produce some good play to send Luke Ingram off down the right, Luke then got the better of the defender to whip in a cross which saw a clever flick by Adam Mills, send the ball passed their keeper. 1-0 NMFC (25 mins).
Colchester United U23 responded well and Jake Jessop was called into action after a quick break out of defence.
NMFC also broke out well and when Adam Mills found Jamie Griffiths on the left, who in turn delivered a great cross, and unfortunately for Luke Ingram he was inches away from making it 2-0. Later on JJ Wilson also broke out from defence and went on a good run, but alas could not find the necessary ball to produce something more.
In the final minutes of the half both sides had free kicks 30 yards out but both resulted in being someway off the target.
HALF TIME: Needham Market 1 v Colchester United U23s 0
The second half started poorly for NMFC, with Colchester United U23 from the kick-off putting together a slick passing move which ended with a simple finish, to bring the scores level barely 30 seconds into the half. 1-1 (46 mins).
NMFC regrouped and responded well putting together their own passing moves. From one of these moves Jerry Kamanzi finished off the move with a good shot, but alas the goalkeeper was equal to it and the resulting corner could produce a goal.
As NMFC pressed Gareth Heath tried a couple of long range efforts which were adequately dealt with by the keeper. NMFC continued to pass and run with the ball well and it was a good run by Jake Dye down the right that brought rewards, when he fed a ball into the box for Joe Marsden to slot home to restore the lead. 2-1 NMFC (68 mins).
The lead could have been extended soon after if a good long ball had found Luke Ingram.
Both sides then made changes and both teams continued to produce some good play, leading to some half chances which the defences cooped with well.
More changes were made and it was Colchester United U23s that now had more of the ball, but despite their pressure they could not find a way though. The best of their efforts came from a cross from the left which was met by a Colchester head but was deflected for a corner. The resulting corner also saw a near miss when the forwards just failed to connect with the good delivery.
NMFC having weathering these started to respond, with some good possession. Following a move down the right NMFC gained a throw in which found its way inside the box to give Jerry Kamanzi, a chance, his first attempt was blocked, but his second attempt was lobbed over the keeper for another NMFC goal. 3-1 NMFC (80 mins).
Soon afterwards NMFC could have had another one when an in-swinging corner came back of the crossbar and in the ensuing play saw a shot blocked by the Colchester defence.
As the games approached it's closing stages Colchester had a move on the right which saw their number 10 take the ball inside the box and curl it passed Jake to pull one back. 3-2 NMFC (90 mins).
This was not the end of the scoring though, with the final whistle imminent a low cross from the right hand side was tucked away by the substitute Dobson to cap off a good all round team performance. 4-2 NMFC (90+4 mins).
Thanks to Colchester and the legend Kevin Horlock for making the afternoon's entertainment enjoyable, albeit he leaves Bloomfields in defeat......
All is looking well at Bloomfields for the season ahead.....
FULL TIME: Needham Market 4 v Colchester United U23s 2