Great Away Win
Huge 3 Points for The Marketmen on their travels
Needham included new loan signing Charley Edge in their starting line-up for the trip to Leatherhead. Fellow Colchester loanee Callum Sturgess returned from injury, but John Sands was missing through injury. Dan Morphew and Adam Mills were fit to be on the bench.
A fairly even opening saw few attempts on goal, with neither keeper seriously tested. Charley Edge played in Jamie Griffiths with a clever ball, but the Needham striker was ruled offside. Luke Ingram then headed wide. Leatherhead grew stronger as the half wore on, with a ball across the box not finding a home player, before Jake Dye made a great block to concede a corner.
A good move by Needham saw Sturgess combine with Luke Ingram to set up Edge, whose cross went across the face of the Leatherhead goal.
HALF TIME: LEATHERHEAD 0 - 0 NEEDHAM MARKET
The second half began with a shot from Edge which was straight at home keeper Sargeant. Jamie Griffiths then had a header cleared from near the line, though it was possibly going wide anyway. Danny Gay was then called into action, pushing away a shot at his near post at the expense of a corner and shortly afterwards Gay was forced into another fine save.
Gareth Heath had a long-distance effort saved by Sargeant, before Leatherhead made a double substitution, including manager Sammy Moore bringing himself on, as they went in pursuit of the 3 points that would help their play-off push.
Needham were forced into a substitution after 72 minutes, when Jake Dye limped off to be replaced by Dan Morphew. As the game went into the final 10 minutes, it was the visitors who looked the most likely to score, as a Jamie Griffiths pull-back into the box was scrambled away for a corner. Although the Leatherhead defence cleared the corner, the ball came back into the box and Sargeant dropped the ball under a challenge from Sam Nunn, who poked the ball into the empty net. Many referees would have given a free-kick simply for Nunn putting the keeper under pressure, but fortunately Mr Ryan saw nothing wrong and signalled for a goal, sparking wild celebrations between the players and the visiting supporters behind the goal.
Callum Harrison replaced Brendan Ocran for Needham as Leatherhead pushed for an equaliser and, from a corner in the last minute, Nunn headed clear from under his own crossbar.
FULL TIME: LEATHERHEAD 0 - 1 NEEDHAM MARKET
This was an excellent away performance by Needham, absorbing pressure from the home team and looking dangerous on the break. The result was probably a little harsh on Leatherhead, but you can't beat a late winner! A special mention to the Leatherhead stewards and supporters who were amongst the friendliest we have met all season.
On to another big game on Saturday, at home to Dulwich Hamlet".