The Marketmen winning in the rain!!!
By Paul Munn
Victory at Bloomfields sets up a road trip to the Dorset coast for a 1st Round Trophy tie with Weymouth...
The second part of the Needham Market and Royston trilogy, the FA Trophy replay took place at a wet and blustery evening at Bloomfields with the victor gaining a place in the Buildbase FA Trophy 1st Round
Needham made one change to their starting XI, with the injury to Callum Sturgess, Joseph Marsden dropped into the left role, with Luke Ingram switching to right wing and Reece Dobson starting in the number 10 shirt. Tariq Issa, who missed the first game took a spot on the bench.
The opening minutes saw both teams get to grips with the conditions. Needham had the advantage of the wind in their favour for the first 45 minutes, whilst Royston's keeper and defence constantly saw some of their clearances fail to make good yardage as the wind took its effect throughout the half.
They did however create the first half chance when the head of Adam Murray met a cross from the left, but they was no power in it to bother Jake Jessup. The aforementioned wind assisted kicks also caused a few problems during the half, with one of the first of them gaining a corner which Gareth Heath sent over and was met by Keiran Morphew who just missed the target.
Needham went forward again with Daniel Morphew finding Luke Ingram on the right. He in turn played in James Baker who passed the ball across to Adam Mills. He fired off a shot which was blocked and cleared by the Royston defence.
Once again in the last couple of weeks Jake Dye was in the wars, when he sustained a cut cheek after a clash with their number 8 Rohdell Gordon. He was patched up and carried on with his duties in his normal efficient manner.
Just over the 10 minute mark another long kick put Adam Mills into the clear. Racing on into the right side of the area the Royston keeper came off his line to try and block the appending danger, but James Baker was up in support and had run into a good position allowing Adam to pull the ball back to him to shoot. Despite the keeper getting back to get a hand to it the ball crept in just inside the far post. 1-0 NMFC.
Royston responded well, putting together a move that resulted in a drive going over the bar. Moments later good link up play saw Jordan Norville-Williams put over a cross that Joseph Marsden had to be on his guard to clear it. A couple of minutes after the same player was up the other end of the pitch delivering a free kick into the Royston box, which the defender put behind. Needham took a quick corner but Royston were able to half clear but Needham could not follow up with an attempt on goal.
It was then the turn of Royston to come forward with Dan Brathwaite providing a ball in for Rohdell Gordon to have an attempt on goal, but Jake Jessup was there to save it. Needham responded with Luke Ingram providing a ball for Reece Dobson to run at the defence, he found some space to get a shot in, but alas it just went wide of the far post. The same player was on hand minutes later to deliver a good cross, which had to be put behind behind before a Needham forward could get to it.
In between this Royston created a couple of half chances. Firstly from a move which allowed Rohdell Gordon to get in a shot which was well blocked and was quickly followed by and effort from the centre forward Murray which was gathered up by Jake Jessup.
With just under 5 minutes to go to the break Gareth Heath received the ball and then played a lovely through ball for Adam Mills to chase on to. and it was Adam that got there first directing the ball passed him and into the net. Royston seemed convinced it had touch his hand and protested strongly, but the officials had made their minds up that the goal was good. 2-0 NMFC.
In the dying minutes of the half Needham had one chance when a move ended with a shot from Joseph Marsden going over the top.
Half Time: Needham Market 2 vs Royston Town 0
The second half started well for Needham when Gareth Heath combined well with James Baker and Adam Mills to set up a shot for the later, unfortunately managed to get in the way of it before it hit the target.
Royston got into their stride with a move involving Jordan Norville-Williams who delivered a cross that came back out to Sam Corcoran who blasted it over the top. The ball went back up the field with Jake Dye. He moved the ball onto Luke Ingram, who in turn picked out Adam Mills, the move progressed with Gareth Heath coming into it, he played the into Joseph Marsden, who had a shooting opportunity but found the Royston Keeper equal to his effort.
Once more Royston had the chance to come forward and did so on two separate occasions. The first chance saw the left back put in a decent knock for number 9 Adam Murray to strike, but sent his effort wide of the post. They then had a quick break allowing Murray to be the provider for Sam Corcoran, whose rasping shot just went wide.
The tie was boiling up nicely towards a thrilling climax with some good attacking play on both sides. Adam Mills and Gareth Heath combined well once more to set up Luke Ingram with a chance to cross, he did so but the defender was able to knock it behind for a corner. It was the same outcome when the visitors took the ball up the other end. Their resulting corner was knocked over by Sam Corcoran and met by the Rohdell Gordon who saw his effort miss the target.
Back came Needham with a Luke Ingram run, he played the ball in looking for a team mate, a visiting boot blocked it and fortunately it came back to him, this time he fired in a shot only to see it go wide of the post.
Approaching the midway point of the half Royston made a bold move to try to rescue the tie. They took off their right back and replaced him with an attacking midfielder Tom Newman to go with 3 at the back. It nearly paid off moments later when Jake Jessup was called upon to clear a dangerous cross from the oncoming attackers. Moments later when they did manage to get to a cross before the defence they could not direct it on target. The sub himself then joined in the attack with and good run and ending with a fierce shot cannoning back of the post with the keeper beaten. The Marketmen defence reacted quickly to foil any attempt from the rebound.
Prior to Royston hitting the post, Needham had put together a decent move with Reece Dobson feeding Adam Mills out wide. He picked out a good cross to find Gareth Heath, who let fly goalwards, but once more a Royston defender got something in the way of it.
They also did the same a few minutes later, blocking a Needham free kick. Although Samuel Squire got to the rebounded ball first he could not direct his shot on target and it sailed wide of the goal.
Minutes later there was a shot on target, albeit it was at the Needham goal. Royston passed their way forward and had set up a shot for Rohdell Gordon, he let fly but it was brilliantly pushed away by that man in great form Jake Jessup.
The visitors desperately needed goal and thought they had one when there was an almighty scramble in the Needham area following a corner. The Marketmen remained strong and eventually got the ball out of play to safety. This prompted another strong protest from the Royston player's who believed that the ball had crossed the line. Despite putting all their points across, both the referee and his assistant concluded that the ball did not go over the line.
Needham went back up the field with Adam Mills, taking it on and then finding Joseph Marsden, who in turn got a shot off, which was deflected behind for a corner. Which unfortunately Needham could not produced anything from.
Entering the final minutes of the contest Needham put some fresh legs on, in the guise of Jamie Griffiths, to replace James Baker, who had put another good shift in.
A couple of minutes later another good long ball forward by Needham saw another contest between Adam Mills and the Royston keeper Jow Welch. It was again Adam who got to the ball first, but the whistle went as was adjudged to have handled the ball. This lead to a card, unfortunately for him he had already received one earlier, so this one was red and off he went for an early bath.
Royston continued with the pressure increasing desperate to find a way back in to this. Needham had to keep their wits about them as the visitors sent in successive crosses. They dealt with them admirably; the first was pushed out by Jake Jessup, the ball was driven back in and this time a forward got a head to it, but sent the ball over the bar. Moments later Jake Jessup literally saved the best to the last, with a fantastic one handed save to deny Royston a glimmer of hope.
The visitors ended the game on the attack but could not find a way through, as the Needham rear guard and the impressive Jake Jessup stood firm to give the Marketmen the victory.
Great performance all round and a great reward for the club. Not only with the financial one, but progressing to the 1st Round Proper for the first time in the Club's history.
Full Time: Needham Market 2 vs Royston Town 0
Needham Market: Jessup, Dye, Marsden, Squire, Morphew (K), Morphew (K), Ingram, Heath, Baker (Griffiths), Dobson, Mills
Royston Town: Welch, Dawson, Norville-Williams, Corcoran, Corlett, Brathwaite, Castiglione (Newman), Gordon, Murray, Potton, Bola