The Marketmen share the spoils with local rivals
Large crowd at Bloomfields watch Suffolk derby
The Marketmen welcomed local rivals Leiston to Bloomfields for this Bank Holiday Suffolk derby to battle it out for local honours. This spectacle attracted a bumper crowd of 657 eager to see would prevail. There was one change to the Marketmen starting XI with Adam Mills returning to the left wing and Reece Dobson returning to the bench.
The early exchanges set the tone for the afternoon with both sides looking to get the ascendancy. The visitors had an early corner half blocked and then bobbled about the area before being sent over the bar. A good block by Jake Dye was called for after the Marketmen defence lost the ball and Leiston’s forwards looked to pounce on the opportunity. The Marketmen themselves went forward well and forced an early corner. Dan Morphew played a lovely long ball that forced another corner, which Gareth Heath got a header goal bound but was adjudged to have committed a foul.
However It was Leiston who drew first blood, with 10 minutes gone a good move down the left flank saw the ball reach Cemal Ramadan in sight of goal and he finished it with a shot into the bottom corner. 1-0 Leiston.
The Marketmen fought back and a good cross by Luke Ingram found the head of Gareth Heath but it couldn’t find the target.
At the other end Jake Jessup was called into action when he had to block a shot from their goal scorer after the Leiston forwards won the ball and broke well.
Almost immediately afterwards the Marketmen got the ball out wide to Adam Mills who sent in a cross that saw Luke Ingram being tripped whilst trying to control it. Penalty to the Marketmen and the readers will know what happened next in these situations. Yes, Joseph Marsden put it into the bottom corner. 1-1.
The Marketmen nearly built on that when Jeremiah Kamanzi won the ball to fed Jake Dye who play it out wide to Jamie Griffiths, he found Joseph Marsden whose shot had to be cleared for a corner.
Leiston had a chance when a ricochet nearly let them in and it took a great block by Jake Dye to prevent that.
The Marketmen then countered from the Leiston corner with Luke Ingram racing on towards goal and shooting which unfortunately went wide.
Midway through the half the Marketmen put a great move together, Joseph Marsden threaded the ball down the line for Jeremiah Kamanzi to run on to, he produced a good cross to the far post which was met by Adam Mills who found the corner of the net. 2-1 NMFC
Then followed another Marketmen break from a Leiston corner, when Jake Jessup punched the ball clear which Joseph Marsden picked up and ran at the Leiston defence only for him to send his effort high and wide.
A minute or so later Gareth Heath played a good ball forward to Jamie Griffiths, who fed the ball to Jeremiah Kamanzi whose shot was saved by the visiting keeper.
Leiston meanwhile were probing away and put in a couple of decent balls which were well dealt with well by the Marketmen defence.
As half time approached Gareth Heath sent in a free kick that Jamie Griffiths headed wide and Joseph Marsden had a shot just go wide after some good work on the right.
Leiston had the last shot of the half when a corner was half cleared and their number 8 saw his shot well blocked.
Half Time: Needham Market 2 vs Leiston 1
The second half in the same fashion as the first with both sides looking to press forward and like the previous half it was Leiston who had the first real chance, after a move that saw an effort go toward goal only for Keiran Morphew to clear it of the line. Minutes later Keiran Morphew was on-hand again to block a Leiston free kick.
The Marketmen, in between the Leiston chance, came back with a good move started by Adam Mills and finding Jeremiah Kamanzi who then fed a ball through to Luke Ingram with a resulting shot just going wide.
The home side were slightly on top at this point and did create more of the opportunities. Three come to mind, firstly Joseph Marsden fed Luke Ingram whose run and shot was well saved. The second saw a great 60 yard run from Adam Mills but the final shot was not up to the fine standard of the run. Lastly, it was again Adam Mills who was involved and was unlucky when his final pass just eluded Joseph Marsden.
At the other end a good run and cross by the Leiston left back called on the Marketmen defence to be on full alert to get the ball clear.
Shortly afterwards it was the turn of the Marketmen’s’ left back Callum Sturgess to put a decent cross into the Leiston box but the connecting header from Jamie Griffiths went wide.
Midway through the second half the ball reached Leiston’s number 8 Chris Henderson out on the left wing, there did not seem too much danger until he decided to cut inside to find space. The defence didn’t close he did find space and from 20 yards out he put the ball passed Jake Jessup to level proceedings. 2-2.
The Marketmen rallied, persistent work by Luke Ingram resulted in him having a shot that went just wide of the post.
Leiston also continued to press and they had a header from a corner that went close. Also, a break down the left hand side that was halted by a Keiran Morphew block.
On the 70th minute mark Leiston made a double substitution to try and grab a winner, a minute later The Marketmen do likewise and make a change of their own, when Jamie Griffiths made way for Reece Dobson.
The next three half chances fell to the Marketmen when firstly Jake Dye put a decent looking cross in which Adam Mills couldn’t quite a touch to. The later was unlucky when he had a shot well saved by the keeper, after a good ball from Luke Ingram had found him. Following a corner Jake Dye shot wide after the ball came to him after a scramble in the area.
A little heart in mouth moment occurred when a Leiston cross was spilled by Jake Jessup but fortunately for the Marketmen the Leiston centre forward could not capitalise and shot wide.
This lead the game into the final 10 or so minutes where it was the turn of the visitors to have the lion’s share of the opportunities. Their right back featured in most of them as he pushed forward. He sent in a cross that saw a shot from their number 8 well blocked. He also collected a great cross-field ball that he then delivered into the area where the centre forward put it over the bar. Previously to that the centre forward had a shot saved by Jake Jessup. The right back then also called Jake Jessup into action when he had a shot following a good flick on. His final contribution of this passage of play was to deliver a good corner that was deflected over the bar. Likewise a cross from their number 8 also had to be cleared over their own bar by the Marketmen defence.
The Marketmen weathered this and came back into it. They could have snatched victory themselves with a move that found Adam Mills on the left side of the penalty area, but he and the Marketmen were denied the winner by the Leiston keeper who brilliantly pushed his shot over the bar.
The final shot of the game came from Leiston which the only woodwork involved was the tree behind the goal.
So it ended honours even in the Suffolk derby leaving most of the 657 crowd debating the usual “what if’s and if only’s” in the clubhouse and on their journey home. But I wonder how many would have settled for that result before the game?
Full Time: Needham Market 2 vs Leiston 2