The points shared at Bloomfields
Marketmen have to settle for the draw
It was back to league action for the Marketmen after last week's' cup exploits, with their opponents Rushall Olympic making journey down from their Walsall base. Unfortunately for them it wasn't a good trip, taking them five and a half hours to reach Bloomfields due to encountering traffic problems. Subsequently the kick-off had to be delayed by 10 minutes.
The Marketmen's starting XI saw Keiran Morphew returning to the back four and Luke Ingram reverting to a more familiar role on the right wing. Tariq Issa, on loan from Colchester, was named amongst the substitutes.
When the match finally got underway, It was the Marketmen who were the first to get into their stride. They had two early chances, when first Reece Dobson put a Gareth Heath free kick passed the post, closely followed by Jamie Griffiths linking up with Jeremiah Kamanzi, to give the later a shooting chance, which was easily saved by Rushall's keeper.
Rushall, however did force Jake Jessup into early action saving from their number 11 and moments later when he had to push ball round the post, from a shot by their number 10.
Jake Jessup was then involved in starting a Marketmen move a couple of minutes later. His long kick upfield was nodded on by Jamie Griffiths into the path of Reece Dobson, who tried to put inside the near post, but it took a deflection and ended up in the side netting. The resulting corner found its way to Jamie Griffiths who put his his shot over the bar.
Rushall gradually found their way into the game and moved the ball around well. The Marketmens' defence had to be on their toes to deal with this, especially a couple of good crosses as the visitors sought to create an opening.
However it was still the Marketmen who were creating the better chances. Jake Dye, pushing forward once again, put in a decent cross which was only half cleared with Jamie Griffiths picking up the loose ball, in turn he found Gareth Heath, whose shot was blocked, the rebound came to Luke Ingram who put the ball wide.
It was a similar situation moments later when Gareth Heath found Jamie Griffiths who crossed the ball into Luke Ingram, who once again saw his shot go wide. The later soon afterwards produced a good run and shot which had to put out for a corner.
Luke Ingram also provided a cross that picked out Adam Mills, whose shot across the goal was blocked at the expense of a corner.
As the half entered th 26 minute mark Rushall broke up a Marketmen move and sent their number 9 through towards goal. Daniel Morphew trying to recover tangled with him, which the outcome resulted in him fouling his man and Rushall being awarded a penalty. There was plenty of debating about the decision, but to no avail. It was left to Daniel Waldron to tuck the ball into the bottom corner from the spot with Jake Jessup going the other way. 0-1 Rushall.
A minute or so later the Rushall goalscorer had another shot but this time it was easily dealt with by Jake Jessup.
The Marketmen looked to fight back and nearly did so 7 minutes later when a Jamie Griffiths shot came of the post. Immediately after that the Marketmen put together a great passing move through the midfield and culminated in Adam Mills sending over a great cross to Luke Ingram, who lashed home from 8 yards out. 1-1.
After the equaliser the Marketmen carried on the ascendancy looking to take the lead before the break, creating a few chances. It began with Jake Dye playing a good long ball which found Luke Ingram, who took it towards goal and then seeing his shot cleared for a corner. Jake Dye was immediately involved again when he and his co-defender Daniel Morphew combined to provide Adam Mills a chance, which unfortunately he put wide. The later then turned provider soon afterwards, when he ran with the ball and got in a good cross finding Luke Ingram, whose effort went over the target.
The next Marketmen chance was created after some good defensive work by Callum Sturgess and Keiran Morphew broke up a Rushall attack. Callum Sturgess took the ball forward and found Reece Dobson, alas it was another shot that went the wrong side of the post.
As the half was coming to an end Keiran Morphew got the ball and ventured into the oppositions half, after picking out Jamie Griffiths he carried on his run and was unlucky not to reach the return ball.
Half Time: Needham Market 1 vs Rushall Olympic 1
The second half started well for the Marketmen with Luke Ingram just failing to find the target following Gareth Heath free kick.
Five minutes later during a Marketmen attack Reece Dobson picked up a knock and when play was subsequently stopped he was treated but the signal came that he was unable to continue. He was replaced by Tariq Issa for his Bloomfield debut. After the game Reece Dobson left the pitch on crutches.
Rushall by now had began to try and wrestle the ascendancy away from the Marketmen. They seemed to be finding more space and were passing the ball about well, their number 10 went close with a shot that went just wide. The Marketmen were not going to give up the fight that easily with Callum Sturgess and Adam Mills combining to produce a chance that had to be dealt with by the Rushall defence.
On the hour mark Rushall made a change and moments later the substitute played a ball in to their number 9, who pulled it wide. As the visitors enjoyed a good spell of play, the Marketmens' defence stood firm.
It was the Rushall substitute that had another chance with a shot that luckily deflected for a corner and from the resulting corner Jake Jessup had to make a flying save to deny a header from their number 5.
The Marketmen continued to try and push forward, and after being awarded a free kick Gareth Heath sent in a ball that was half cleared, with Tariq Issa picking it up and seeing his resulting shot blocked.
The final ten minutes saw both sides going for the win; Rushall had a chance when another of their substitutes fired straight at Jake Jessup, who also had to be alert when he had to save a shot following a decent ball in. The Marketmen did have their chances too. Adam Mills received the ball from a throw in and found space to shot, but fired it over the bar.
At the death the Marketmen appealed for a penalty after a clumsy challenge close to the area. Was it inside or outside the area? The referee's verdict was it was just outside the area. Tariq Issa struck the free kick well forcing the visiting keeper to make a good stop.
That was it. One point apiece. A good game to watch but slightly disappointed after the game that the Marketmen were unable to get all three points, but on reflection probably the draw was a fair result.
Full Time: Needham Market 1 vs Rushall Olympic 1