The Marketmen end barren spell with a win at the ninth attempt!!
By Paul Munn
A gritty hard working performance see the Marketmen end their hosts six game unbeaten run….
The trip to Rushall’s Dales Lane looked a tricky one on paper. The hosts having won four out of the last five games, whilst the Marketmen had only a solitary point to their name over the same period. However we all know how football can throw the form books out the window.
The starting XI required couple of changes from the previous game. Jake Dye was unable to start so Dan Morphew slotted into the right back role and due to work commitments Gareth Heath was unavailable leaving Samuel Squire to fill that role. This meant that there was a debut for Decarrey Sheriff, who arrived on loan from Colchester on the league’s transfer deadline day at centre forward.
The early exchanges gave both sides the chance to test each other’s defences from corners, which lead to the Marketmen creating the first chance of the game from one of them when James Baker just headed over from a Callum Sturgess delivery. They quicly followed this up when Jamie Griffiths put an effort over the top.
Rushall responded a minute later with their opening chance. This came in the form of a long range effort from Danny O`Callaghan which required a spectacular save from Jake Jessup to get it round the post for a corner.
The rest of the half saw both sides have plenty of possession but they struggled to create any chances of note. The closest both sides came to registering a chance was a snap shot from the Marketmen’s Joseph Marsden, which unfortunately was way off target.
Then five minutes before the break came an incident that proved decisive. As the Marketmen tried to build an attack a forward run by Joseph Marsden was halted twenty yards from goal by an Orrin Pendley challenge. Although a majority of the hosts thought that Pendley’s tackle on Marsden was fair the referee on the other hand never. He awarded the free kick leaving Jamie Griffiths to place the ball. He picked his spot and stroked the free kick through the host’s defences into the bottom corner, whilst the Rushall keeper, Matt Sargeant was rooted to the spot. 1-0 NMFC – 40 mins
Half Time: Rushall Olympic 0 vs Needham Market 1
After the restart Rushall looked to get back into the game and made two half time substitutions, which one made an early contribution when an Ashley Sammons cross had to be punched clear by Jake Jessup.
It was the hosts who had the first chance of the half when their centre forward Daniel Waldron headed over from a Ben Lund corner.
The Marketmen on the other hand were looking to increase their lead. They nearly did when Jamie Griffiths found Joseph Marsden who unleashed a curling twenty yard shot that needed Rushall’s keeper Matt Sargeant to make a fine save to tip it over. Moments later following a long free kick from the back Adam Mills had the opportunity to shoot but he fired his effort just over.
Just over the hour mark Rushall had two back-to-back chances to equalise; firstly a Tyler Lyttle free-kick found Joe Hull in the area but the centre-half volley was well saved by Jake Jessup and then a minute later an Ashley Sammons corner was headed inches over by Orrin Pendley, when most in the crowd thought it was going in.
As the home side kept up the pressure Simeon Maye got on the end of a good move but saw his shot blocked and when the ball fell into the path of sub Massiah McDonald the striker also saw his shot blocked for a corner.
The Marketmen dealt with the pressure and defended well throughout, this coupled with some good hold up play, including that of debutant Decarrey Sheriff, gave the Marketmen the opportunity to create chances of their own. Samuel Squire tried to finish of a move and was unlucky when his goal ward bound shot was blocked sending it behind for the corner.
Then with five minutes of normal time remaining Jamie Griffiths could have doubled his tally when he just headed wide from a Joseph Marsden corner.
With the game into two minutes of added time Rushall had a great chance to rescue a point, when a well struck Tyler Lyttle`s free-kick was brilliantly pushed on to the post by Jake Jessup and when the rebound came back to Joe Hull he could only volley it over from close range.
The Marketmen saw out the remaining couple of minutes giving them the much needed victory to end their barren spell, much to the delight of the players, management and supporters. It wasn’t a classic but it was a gritty determined performance that got the team through. With five games to go hopefully we can now enjoy them not worrying about where the next win would be.
Full Time: Rushall Olympic 0 vs Needham Market 1
Rushall Olympic: Sargeant, Lyttle, Smikle, Smith, Hull, Pendley, Soleman, (McDonald 46) Maye, Waldron, O`Callaghan (Sammons 46) Lund (Berry 70).
Needham Market: Jessup, Morphew (D), Sturgess, Short, Morphew (K), Baker, Marsden (Kamanzi 89), Squire, Sheriff, Griffiths, Mills.