Long Journey and Pointless!!
3 1/2 journey to Margate and a third successive defeat
Needham made the long trip to Margate without Keiran Morphew, who was suffering from flu, so striker John Sands was asked to fill in at centre back. Jack Simmons replaced Adam Mills in the starting line up.
Margate started well but Needham had the first attempt on goal when Jamie Griffiths' shot was saved by Sam Sargeant, who joined Margate last week on loan from Leyton Orient. Sargeant's next action was to flap at a cross from Jake Dye and he was fortunate that the ball didn't fall into his net.
Margate took the lead on 20 minutes after the Needham defence failed to deal with a cross and the ball was returned into the 6 yard box where the unmarked Jordan Chiedozie headed home. The home side should have doubled their lead after 38 minutes, when a cross found Frannie Collin in front of goal but he shot over the bar.
This signalled an onslaught from Needham for the rest of the half, with five good chances going begging. Firstly, Jamie Griffiths' shot just missed the angle of post and bar, then Luke Ingram's shot was held by Sargeant at the second attempt. The best chance fell to Darryl Coakley when he blasted over from close range after Ingram's cross had been headed down to him. Gareth Heath's free-kick was held by Sargeant, before Callum Harrison shot straight at the 'keeper.
HALF TIME: MARGATE 1 - 0 NEEDHAM MARKET
Sargeant kept Margate in front with two superb saves early in the second half. Firstly, Coakley's long range shot was heading for the top corner before Sargeant palmed it away at full stretch; then Griffiths' flick looked a certain goal until the 'keeper turned it over the bar with his fingertips.
Needham were made to pay for not taking their chances with two poor goals in quick succession. In the 62nd minute, the ball was given away on the edge of the box and Chiedozie beat Gay from the edge of the box. Two minutes later, Darryl Coakley slipped, allowing a cross to come in from the right, which gave Chiedozie the simplest of finishes to complete his hat-trick.
In the 70th minute, Luke Ingram went down under a challenge in the area and the referee awarded a penalty, which Dan Morphew blasted into the top corner. Needham brought on Rhys Henry for Callum Harrison and Keiran Turner for Jack Simmons, which allowed John Sands to move up front for the final 15 minutes.
The Margate fans felt Needham's penalty was soft, but even they agreed the visitors should have had a second penalty when Rhys Henry was brought down as he ran into the area, but referee Graeme Ions had obviously decided that one penalty was enough for the evening.
FULL TIME: MARGATE 3 - 1 NEEDHAM MARKET
The 'unlucky 13' Needham supporters who made the trip saw a decent performance, but the old story of failing to convert chances and giving away sloppy goals meant it was another journey home without any points. Sargeant was the busier of the two keepers but Margate deserved the points for taking the chances they created. On a positive note, John Sands certainly looked like he will make a fine centre back if his goals dry up!
Needham need points from their next two home games to avoid being dragged down to the bottom of the league - starting with the visit of Kingstonian on Saturday.