Blues down the Reds
‘MARKETMEN’ DEFEAT LEAVES LOCAL RIVALS CLOSER TO PLAY-OFF BERTH
The ‘Marketman’ travelled to their local rivals Leiston for their re-arranged Easter Monday fixture. A game that had lesser significance to Needham than it did to the hosts as they pushed towards securing a Play-off berth. However there was still pride to play for as the ‘Marketmen’ were still not absolutely safe from a bottom 4 finish.
The battle commenced; 4 minutes had passed when Leiston attacked down the Needham’s right, a feature that was to become common throughout the half, and delivered a long cross to the far post, unfortunately no Needham defender had picked up the oncoming number 9 Matt Blake who had time, 6 yards out, to smash it past Danny Gay, 1 nil Leiston. 3 games in a row now that the ‘Marketmen’ have conceded in the opening 10 minutes.
Also, within the first 10 minutes was the first yellow card. That honour went to Leiston’s Jack Ainsley for a rash tackle on Jamie Griffiths.
Although Needham did have a couple of half chances through a header from Gareth Heath and a shot from Luke Ingram that went over the Bar, it was Leiston who were pressing on and gaining the ascendancy.
A chance fell to their number 7 Byron Lawrence, who received the ball on the left wing and cut inside and luckily for Needham sent his shot just over.
Two more chances followed, a good move ended with the ball just going past the post and from a good cross a header just going over the bar.
It was during this ascendancy that, in the 29th minute, the Leiston midfield took the forward once more, this time it was Patrick Brothers who found himself with the ball 18 yards out and time to get a shot off, he did and sent the ball flying inside Danny Gay’s right hand post, 2 nil Leiston.
It was not one way traffic by any means, but Needham did struggle to create any clear cut opportunities. A couple of decent crosses were dealt with by the hosts defence as was a 25 yard Charley Edge free kick.
With the half drawing towards too its close, the ‘Marketmen’ defence who were under a lot of pressure, prevented any further changes to the host’s goal tally. Not the same can be said for Needham’s yellow card tally as Luke Ingram received one in the 37th minutes.
Half time arrived, to be fair it wasn’t one of Needham’s finest with Leiston on top and looking comfortable.
HT: Leiston 2 v Needham Market 0
The second got underway and within three minutes of the restart saw the first substitution of the evening with Jack Ainsley replaced by Dominic Docherty.
Needham played better in the second half and they created the first real chance of the half, when a run and pull back from the left hand side by-line saw a Jeremiah Kamanzi shot go just past the post.
In fact both teams created a number of chances during the second half, although it was to prove to be a busier night for Danny Gay than for his opposite number. He was called upon when Leiston again attacked down the flank resulting in one of their midfielders cutting inside the defender, unleashing a left footed shot which Danny pushed away and gratefully seeing the follow-up sailing over the bar.
In the 54th minute Callum Sturgess was adjudged to warrant a yellow card for a foul in which the resulting Leiston free kick only just cleared the Needham crossbar. Soon afterwards Leiston punted a long ball forward and although the forward got beyond the Needham defence, the linesman’s flag came to the rescue.
Needham tried to push forward and forced a couple of corners, but they were cleared by Leiston without causing any great danger. They did also muster a couple of chances to breakthrough and test the Leiston keeper, on both occasions he only had to make simple gathers.
Leiston on the other hand must have rued the fact that their shots and headers from their breaks and crosses, were continuing to go the wrong side of the posts and crossbar. They just could not re-adjust their sight on goal as they went in search of the third goal.
As the game was entering the final 10 minutes Leiston replaced Tom Bullard with Joe Marsden and not long after Leiston’s Joe Jefford received the fourth yellow card of the evening courteous of a clumsy challenge. Alas the ‘Marketmen’ could not capitalise on the resulting free kick. They also made their first change at this point when George Exworth replaced Ryan Gibbs.
Needham kept going and created a good opportunity when the ball was played towards Gareth Heath on the left side of the area, but his turn and shot fell safely into the Leiston’s keeper’s hands.
Leiston, then tested Danny Gay on two occasions in quick secession, once diving low right from a close range shot and then again diving right to foil a shot 12 yards out.
Needham weren’t done quite yet. Some good work by the Needham midfield lead to a chance for Charley Edge to have a shot from just outside the area, it was blocked and from the resulting break saw Dan Morphew blocking a Leiston attempt.
With the clock ticking down Leiston replaced the goalscorer Matt Blake with Darren Mills and had one more good chance to add to their score, but a cross goal shot luckily for Needham it went wide of their left post. Needham to pull one back which saw Jeremiah Kamanzi have a long range shot, high and wide was the outcome. No late come back or consolation was looking to be on the cards.
Just before the end Leiston’s number 11 picked up a yellow card for a strong challenge on Jeremiah Kamanzi that lead the latter to be replaced
by Kieran Turner, albeit not before Tyler Rose had replaced Luke Ingram.
The final whistle blew leaving the ‘Marketmen’ suffering a defeat to their local rivals, but producing a much better second half performance.
FT: Leiston 2 v Needham Market 0
With 90 minutes of football left for the ‘Marketmen’ in this campaign, hopefully they have just a little bit left in the tank to sign off with a good performance, or at least with a goal, as it would be a shame to end going 4 hours of football without a goal.
Meanwhile Leiston take on Hendon at the LTAA in their final game, to decide whether it’s a play-off trip to the Kent Coast or South London, providing Margate do not spoil the party by overturning a 6 goal difference….