The Marketmen seal a comfortable win on the road!!
By Paul Munn
Three goals and three points push the Marketmen up to 9th!!
On the back of Saturday’s victory the Marketmen looked to forge on up the Premier Central table with 3 points. They made one change to the starting line-up with Tariq Issa replacing Joseph Marsden, who dropped to the bench. Tariq took up the number 10 role with Luke Ingram going out to wide right.
The early exchanges were pretty much even as both sides sparred to try and gain the ascendancy.
The Marketmen had the first attempt on goal they were awarded a free kick midway in the hosts half. It was floated in towards on-coming attackers, but the keeper got to it first and punched it clear.
With 10 minutes gone the Marketmen broke forward, taking the ball in to St Neots territory a good ball was played down the left to Adam Mills, who took it on and slotted the ball through to the overlapping Callum Sturgess. He delivered the perfect low cross to find James Baker coming in on the near post to slot the ball home from close range. 1-0 NMFC.
The lead was nearly extended a couple of minutes later when a poor clearance from the St Neots keeper went straight to Luke Ingram, unfortunately he couldn’t guide his long range effort towards the unguarded net and ended up going wide.
Continuing to assert their ascendancy The Marketmen went about in search of further chances. A chipped free kick by Tariq Issa found Callum Sturgess far post, who tried to pick out a Marketmen attacker with another good cross but the defence were able to get it behind for a corner. Gareth Heath sent over the resulting corner, the defence cleared but it found its way back to him, this time his cross was delivered into the danger area, where the keeper was first to it and punched it away, only for it to fall to Adam Mills, who blasted it over.
The home side had flashes of possession as they tried to get back into the game. Once such foray forward was proceeded by a belated firework, which seemed to give them a little impetus. Winning a free kick in the Marketmen’s half they drove the ball into the area which was only half cleared, landing at the feet of a St Neots attacker, who fired in a shot which Jake Jessup had to be alert to and saved well.
Moments later a great long ball forward saw the Marketmen on the attack. Equally great control from Adam Mills allowed him to seek out James Baker, who found space and time for a shot, which he could not direct on target.
Tariq Issa then initiated another chance for the Marketmen to get forward, with a good run and pass that played in Callum Sturgess, he in turn pulled the ball back for Adam Mills, whose shot was called for a save from the keeper. Adam was also involved minutes later when Samuel Squire, playing against his home town, set him up with a shooting opportunity, alas his effort went high and wide.
The home side gradually edged their way back into contention as the half went on and created a couple of decent efforts. One came from a free kick, which when delivered caused a bit of a panic as the ball bounced around in the area before a Marketmen’s boot got it away. However through some loose defending the ball came to the danger area allowing the home side to get a shot in, which went over the bar.
The followed this up with an even better chance, when one of their players took the ball over half way and on towards goal. He fired in a fierce drive 25 yards out. Jake Jessup got an arm to it which deflected it onto the bar. Luckily it came crashing back of the crossbar and into his hands.
The Marketmen responded well and produced a good move. Luke Ingram found Jake Dye on the right, who sent in a perfect cross that gave Adam Mills a chance with a free header, alas he could not direct goal wards.
As half time approached the home side had a penalty appeal turned down, to be fair the shout was a bit optimistic.
Half Time: St Neots Town 0 vs Needham Market 1
Just after the restart the Marketmen had an early chance when Tariq Issa finished off a move with a shot that required a good save and a clearance from the rebound.
Moments later the Marketmen set up another opportunity when Gareth Heath provided Luke Ingram with a chance to shoot. His first shot was blocked and the ball came back to him for a second bite, again he was unable to find the target as it sailed wide.
St Neots again took their time to get into stride and create anything meaningful. The first glimpse of a chance came after a ball landed at the feet of an attacker, his chance was wasted as he put it past the post.
The Marketmen came forward again with a quick break. A good long ball picked out Adam Mills on the left, he was in the clear and raced towards the box. Sensing the danger and lack of cover the home keeper came out across the box to confront him. Adam Mills was alert and played the across the area leaving the keeper stranded. Fortunately Tariq Issa was on hand to guide the ball into the empty net to double the lead. 2-0 NMFC.
Could St Neots respond? They managed to get something going of their own, with a good break that saw a strike that required the defence to block it. Soon afterwards they followed this up with another break with saw a cross played in and bobble about before Jake Jessup gathered it. He was called into action a minute or so later, when a slip in defence gave them a chance to get a shot in which he well.
It was then the turn of the Marketmen to come forward with Adam Mills providing Luke Ingram with a chance, on this occasion he pulled his shot wide. They kept pressing and soon won a corner, which was put into the danger zone, but the defence kept their composure and cleared it behind for another corner. Again the delivery was good and Luke Ingram got on the end of it, but again the defence stood firm and blocked it. Corner number 3 was swung in from the right and was met by the head of centre half Daniel Morphew who directed it past the keeper into the roof of the net. 3-0 NMFC.
With their tails up the Marketmen could have increased their lead with two good efforts. The first came from a free kick. It was driven into the box where Luke Ingram managed to connect with it and forcing the keeper into a good save. He also get down to save the rebound from Adam Mills, eventually the defence cleared the danger by putting the ball over their own bar.
With the luxury of a three goal lead the Marketmen made a double substitution with Reece Dobson replacing Tariq Issa and Jeremiah Kamanzi replacing Samuel Squire.
A couple of minutes later St Neots got a free kick and a chance to get the ball in. They did just that but the Marketmen defence sent it behind for a corner. This was swung into the box but the head of Keiran Morphew was there to get it away. St Neots won the ball back and the ball was played back in, a St Neots head got to it first but they could not keep it down and it sailed over.
The Marketmen then made their final change when James Baker was replaced by Jamie Griffiths. It was good to see Jamie back in action after his layoff with an ankle injury.
In the final stages of the game St Neots sought to at least get a consolation and the Marketmen sought to close the game out. In doing so both sides managed to conjure up one or two chances in the final 5 minutes. The Marketmen hoped to get something from a free kick 25 yards out, it was crossed over where Luke Ingram got his head to it but the keeper had it covered and gathered the ball.
St Neots were then guilty of nearly giving away another goal when a back pass just managed to reach the keeper before Adam Mills could nip in. However they did have they final shot of the match from a free kick, luckily for the Marketmen Jake Jessup was equal to it.
The clock ran down, the whistle went and the 3 points were in the bag.
This was a good performance, although maybe didn’t take the game by the scruff of the neck when 1 up. We all know in football it’s the result that counts at the end of the day. Most would agree that we have seen the Marketmen play better this season and not get the result. It’s looking good at this point in time and hopefully we can get the result in the big cup game on Saturday.
Full Time: St Neots Town 0 vs Needham Market 3
Needham Market: Jessop: Dye, Sturgess, Squire (Kamanzi), Morphew (K), Morphew (D), Ingram, Heath, Baker (Griffiths), Issa (Dobson), Mills
Subs not used: Marsden, Shorten (GK)
St Neots Town: Reynolds, Miles, Herd, Knight, Wood, Parr, Wharton, Watkins, Shariff, Williams, Ofosu
Subs not used: Douglas, Olaniran, Matswunguma, Stanley, Short (G/K)