The Marketmen unbeaten run comes to an end!!
By Paul Munn
Two strikes by Biggleswade's Bradley Bell sends the Marketmen to their first defeat in six games!!
The Marketmen travelled Bedfordshire to face the team just above them, Biggleswade. Having only lost 2 so far and only an average of one goal a game it was always going to be a tough game. Needham made two changes, they brought in Tariq Issa to replace Luke Ingram, who took a place on the bench and Jeremiah Kamanzi replaced the suspended Adam Mills.
The opening minute and the following few minutes belonged to Biggleswade. Starting brightly they soon found themselves with a chance of an early shot but could not capitalise on it. Same could be said when they had another half chance seconds later. Their number 7, Bradley Bell was causing some early problems for the Marketmen defence with his runs and cross out on the right wing. He continued to do so throughout the half. An interesting duel developed, between him and Joseph Marsden, with both displaying some good attacking and defensive play.
With just over five minutes gone saw the first foray forward by the Marketmen was abruptly brought to an end by the home sides centre half Tom Smith, who picked up a yellow card. A couple of minutes later saw the Marketmen create a second chance in the form of a good solo effort from Tariq Issa. He broke from midfield and ran on, when he was in range of the goal he cut inside to find space for the shot, but his final shot went wide of the post.
Another chance came Biggleswade's way when a break down the left produced a good cross that required composure from the Needham defence to get the ball away before the attack had chance to pounce on it. However, a minute or so later another cross from Biggleswade did find a head of one of their forwards, number 9 Joe White, but he could only glance it past the post.
Needham worked hard in midfield to try to establish a firm foothold on the game but it was tough going. Although they did think their luck was in when a cross by Samuel Squire found a couple of forwards in space, unfortunately they had strayed offside and the assistants flag went up.
One of Biggleswade's attacking weapons was the long throw on left back Lucas Perry, they used it pretty well putting pressure on the Needback defence. They did provide a couple of chances in the half. One set up a header that went wide and a flick on, late in the half, gave an opportunity for a forward to run on to and shoot, which called Jake Jessup into action to gather up the ball.
Needham kept plugging away and a good move involving Jeremiah Kamanzi and James Baker set up a chance for Tariq Issa. However, he could not get the direction on the ball that he wanted and it ended up being neither a shot or a cross.
Just before the break Biggleswade broke quickly with Bradley Bell and it required good strong defensive play by Keiran Morphew to foil the move.
Half Time: Biggleswade Town 0 vs Needham Market 0
The second half started slowly and wasn't until six minutes in did we see the first real chance of the half. Biggleswade won themselves a corner on the right, it was crossed deep to the far post by Ben Walster, where Tom Smith was on hand to nod it back into the six yard area, allowing Bradley Bell to have a simple tap in to give the home side the lead. 1-0 BTFC.
Needham responded soon afterwards with a good run and drive by Joseph Marsden, the keeper saved but couldn't hold on to it, luckily one of his defenders were there to get it away.
Moments later Biggleswade nearly increased their lead direct from a corner. It was swung in by full back Walster and eluded everyone before crashing into the far post. The rebound was accrobately cleared by Keiran Morphew before it could cause anymore danger.
Then it was the turn of Needham to attack, they came forward with Jeremiah Kamanzi who found James Baker out wide, he put in a decent looking cross, but it was the hands of home keeper Donkin that got to the ball first to snuff out the danger. He was also called into action a couple of minutes later when Reece Dobson was put through and had to make a fine save to deny needham the equaliser.
Biggleswade then had a good spell in which they created a few chances. First came from a defensive mistake by the Marketmen, that gave the chance for centre forward Joe White to break and have a shot. Jake Jessup was equal to it and pushed it round the post. The corner itself caused problems for Needham. Jake Jessup could only get a fist on it and was left to the defence to battle to clear it. Soon afterwards it was a long throw that provided the chance. It fell to Biggleswade's number 10, Matt Ball his shot however was once again well saved by Jake Jessup.
Then there was a glimmer of hope for Needham when a good move down the right culminating in cross finding James Baker unmarked in the area, with a golden opportunity to score he unfortunately miscued his shot and he saw it angonisly go wide.
Back came Biggleswade with the goalscorer Bell involved in a move that ended with a save from Jake Jessup, the ball did not clear the danger zone and some good Marketmen defensive work was required. Although a shot eventually came in from the home side, it was off-target, going over the bar.
With seven minutes of normal time remaining Biggleswade attack down the right wing, a good run sees their player get to the byline and has time to pick out the centre forward Joe White who has a shot, but a Needham boot was on hand to turn it behind. The resulting corner was driven in and it was White who got on the end of it, once more a Marketman was on hand to block it, but alas the ball dropped to Bradley Bell, who smashed the ball through a crowded area and into the net to add to his evenings goal tally. 2-0 BTFC.
Needham tried to respond to at least get a consolation. In the dying minutes Reece Dobson got on the end of a cross to nod the ball into the danger area, but no one in a Needham shirt could turn it in as the home team eventually scrambled it to safety.
It was the first defeat in six games for the Marketmen and to be fair will have no complaints about the result. Having played 3 tough games in 8 games maybe this was a game to far. I'm sure they have dusted themselves down, regrouped and are focussing on our home game against Banbury on Saturday (8th Dec).
Full Time: Biggleswade Town 2 vs Needham Market 0