Reserves Beaten by March in first 2019 outing
By Drew Kendall
Despite a more positive second half, first half damage proved crucial as March ran out comfortable victors.
Needham Market Reserves lost 5-0 March Town United in their first outing in 2019 on a cold afternoon at Bloomfields.
It was March who controlled the majority of proceedings, with the Hares squaring a dangerous ball across the face of goal from the left wing but Friend couldn't quite reach as the ball went behind for a goal-kick on 8 minutes. Gillies then went for goal from the left, 18 yards out on 10 minutes, only to see his shot deflected by McLauglin straight to Cook's hands at his near post. Two minutes later, March went in front. A Hares cross in on the right found Friend at the near post to beat Cook to it and head into the empty top right corner.
After 13 minutes, George Clayton-Leek got through on the left side of the Town box, although the shot went straight at the keeper's midrift at his near post. On 15 minutes, March won a corner on the right which was headed out as far as Friend on the edge of the box, who could only shoot over the top left corner. A minute later, Brendon Heath went for goal from 25-yards out but saw his shot blocked. Then on 17 minutes Town won a free-kick from 25-yards out, with the ball into an unmarked Jackson at the near post who headed wide of the top near corner. Gilles then got through on the right side in the area but blasted well over the bar on 19 minutes. March had another go at goal on 22 minutes, this time Emmington blasted well over from range on the right. Two minutes later, Ilsey forced a great save out of Brad Cook with a good strike from the edge of the box, forcing the Needham keeper to dive up and get a strong hand to the ball to palm it away. However, shortly after that on 25 minutes March doubled their lead as Conyard found the left corner. Two goals in two minutes ensured that March made it 3-0 on 27 minutes as the visitors got through on the right in the box in acres of space, who squared for Gilles in the centre to tap into the bottom left corner.
The Young Marketmen then got through down the middle, closing in on goal on 31 minutes. The retreating defender, who could have been viewed as the last man, wasn't booked to the surprise of the home support- but the kick was awarded. Ethan Abraham's left footed set-piece curled low but was saved well by the diving keeper who got down well to his right to palm behind superbly.
Three minutes later, Ilsey tried his luck from the edge of the box but shot over the bar. Nine minutes before the break, Exworth went for goal from the edge of the box but shot over the bar. Then on 38 minutes, March went 0-4 up, with a cross in on the right six-yards out was chested in by Friend at the far post. Needham though crossed a ball in on the left a minute later, as the ball into the six-yard box were Nick Ingram at the far post was unable to get a touch on it. Four minutes before the break, Jackson's cross in on the right found Gillies at the near post in acres of space who headed just wide of the top right corner. March then had two chances within a minute on 44 minutes, the first saw Friend's slow shot denied by Cook diving just in time down to his right to palm behind. The Hares' cross in found Gillies in the centre to head towards the top right corner.
However, once more Cook dived up to make a fantastic save at the expense of a corner. On the verge of added time, March thought they had a fifth as Friend got through on the right in the box but was smothered by Cook, with the point blank rebound put into the bottom left corner- only to be ruled out for offside.
HALF TIME: Needham Market Reserves 0-4 March Town United
The second half began as the first ended, as Gilles found himself on the left side in the Needham box seconds into the half, but scuffed the shot. On 47 minutes, the same man had another go from the same area, only this time Cook was on hand to palm away at his near post.
Two minutes later, Friend then went for goal on the right edge of the box but shot narrowly wide of the far corner. Then on 50 minutes, The Young Marketmen struck the base of the left post as Brendon Heath's low strike from the right edge of the box somehow stayed out. After 52 minutes, March skipper Mattless went for goal in the right edge of the box but sailed over the bar. Again, Needham went close two minutes later as the hosts turned on the edge of the box to shot just over the bar with a great shot. Seconds later, the home side went for goal from the edge of the box- however the shot was blocked. March though got through in the box after 55 minutes, forcing Cook to narrow down the angle well to block the shot. The Reds did continue to create chances, and arguably deserved a goal for their second half efforts as Exworth's low shot on the left in the box went straight to the keeper on 58 minutes. In the following minute, the visitors' cross in on the left found Friend at the near post, who headed over the top left corner. Arguably Needham should've had a set-piece on 61 minutes, although unsure if it was in the box or not, as Needham got through down the left forcing the keeper to rush out and push his opponent to the ground. Needham did win a free-kick on the right edge of the box on 64 minutes but struck it straight at the keeper. A minute later, Friend had a go with a curler from the edge of the box- as the shot went just wide off the top near corner. On 68 minutes a March cross in on the left forced Nevard to head just wide off his own far post, before the following ball in on the right found Cook at the far post who headed wide off the left post. March continued to search for a fifth goal on 69 minutes, as Friend then got through on the right hand side in the box but hit his low effort straight at Cook. March though did round of the scoring with their fifth goal of the game, as a cross in on the left saw Gilles' shot deflected into the top far corner.
Hungry for more goals, March kept trying their luck as Friend had a go from 25-yards out on the left on 78 minutes, but fired over the top near corner. Gilles was next to look to add to both his and his club's goal tally on 79 minutes, as his low shot from close range on the right side in the box drilled just wide off the bottom far corner. With 10 minutes left to play, the away side got through on the left side in the box forcing Cook to make a good reaction stop at his near post.
As time began to tick by, The Reds had a couple of chances on 81 minutes- the first speculative with a long range shot from inside the hosts' half was off target but caught by the goalkeeper. The second chance however was more clear cut on 82 minutes, as the hosts on the left side in the box squared the ball across to the back post, with the shot deflected over for a corner. Back came March, as the away side curled a shot from the left edge of the box over the top far corner on 85 minutes, before Callum Page went for goal for Needham a minute later. The substitute's shot from the left edge of the box though was caught by the keeper at his top far corner.
Again though, Needham went close to pulling a goal back on 90 minutes as the March keeper kicked the ball straight to Abrahams on the left edge of the area. The Needham man instantly tried to find the open net, but saw his shot blocked. Welcher then had a shot blocked from the edge of the area on 90+1 minutes, followed by an effort going wide of the right post soon after. On 90+2 minutes, the away side kept cranking up the pressure, firstly seeing a shot blocked from the left edge of the box, preceeding Hogan's shot towards the bottom right corner.
Again though, Cook made a great diving save to palm the ball behind, with the resulting corner in forcing Cook to block at his near post before the rebound was shot wide off the left post. With the last chance of the match, the away side shot at goal on the left side in the box but were again denied by a great Cook save at his near post.
FULL TIME: Needham Market Reserves 0-5 March Town United
Goals: Friend (12'), Conyard (26'), Gilles (27', 74'), Friend (38').
Needham Market Res:-
1 Brad Cook
2 James Carragher
3 Conor McLaughlin (c)
4 Jes Nevard
5 Tom Worendl
6 George Exworth
7 Brendon Heath (70' Hunt)
8 Ethan Abrahams
9 Nick Ingram
10 Jose Santa (56' Page)
11 George Clayton-Leek (62' Godward)
12 Jamahl Godward
14 Jack Scott
15 Callum Page
16 Joe Hunt
17 Matthew Cobbold
March Town United:-
1 Simon Dalton
2 Drew Barker (83' Cable)
3 Gav Cook
4 David Jackson
5 Dylan Kilford
6 Max Mattless (c)
7 Danny Emmington
8 Matt Ilsey
9 Craig Gilles
10 Jack Friend
11 Rob Conyard
12 Luke Cable
14 Scott Welcher
15 Casey Hogan
16 Jake Miller