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A POINT ON THE ROAD

Needham Market travel back to Suffolk with a point following a 1-1 draw at Alvechurch.


The Marketmen, who were infront for over half of the game, were arguably unlucky to return home from Lye Meadow without all three points.


The Marketmen forced an early save from home goalkeeper Jezeph in the second minute. Good play from Needham saw Jake Dye find Luke Brown with a left wing throw-in, the forward then spun past his defender as he drove onto the left-hand edge of the box before seeing his low shot beaten behind by the goalkeeper at his near post.


The resulting corner, a minute later, meanwhile saw a shot smashed over the bar from outside the box.


A great counter attack from the Marketmen saw the visitors have a great chance to take the lead in the seventh minute, Garnham was alert well to claim a left wing cross before sending a great dropkicked long ball forward towards Crane, whose smart flick over the defender allowed the winger to race through down the wing before picking out Callum Page with a great crossfield ball, in space down the far side of the box albeit the latter couldn't quite control it and keep it in play.


At the other end, the Church found space to shoot on the right-hand edge of the box, but the shot lacked power as Garnham held onto the shot. Needham then quickly broke up the other end seconds later, an audacious left wing cross from Callum Page picked out Ross Crane free at the far post whose header from point blank range was smothered behind by the well placed goalkeeper at his near post for a corner.


The resulting set-piece a minute later fell to High Cullum whose close range effort on the turn was blocked.


Seconds later, Dylan Williams found space to shoot on the right-hand edge of the box but the midfielder dragged his shot a centimetre wide of the bottom far corner. A superb double save from Garnham denied Alvechurch in quick succession in the 14th minute, Danny Waldron's left wing cross was beaten away well by Garnham down well at his near post, the Needham goalkeeper is then down well again to his right-hand side to deny a low cross-shot on his line at his near post.


Six minutes later, a superb save again from Garnham thwarted the home side once more. A right wing corner saw a low shot, from inside the box, across goal palmed away superbly by the diving Garnham. Needham then broke downfield as Brown's effort at an open goal was crucially blocked.


Great play from the Marketmen again saw the away side go close in the twenty-second minute, Jake Dye kept the ball well just inside the box before teeing up Brown on the edge of the box whose good strike smashed at goal went wide of the bottom far, gaping, corner.


Crane and Brown then both had a shot blocked on the right-hand edge of the box a minute later. Needham almost broke the deadlock again in the twenty-eighth minute, great play saw Ross Crane find Luke Ingram who returned the ball neatly to the former with a neat backheel down the right-hand side of the box, the winger then weaved past the defender before smashing his shot just wide of the top near corner.


Dylan Williams then blasted a 35-yard free-kick off target after 34 minutes, while Ross Crane was denied by Jezeph a minute later. After breaking into space the winger saw his ferocious great strike towards the top left-hand near corner beaten away well by the goalkeeper, with a defender putting the rebound behind for a corner.


The resulting set-piece was swung dangerously towards goal, forcing Jezeph - on his line - to tip it just wide of his far post for another corner.


The Marketmen though deservedly broke the deadlock on 37 minutes, Dylan Williams' brilliant left wing free-kick was met by Alvechurch defender Alabi who glanced his header into the gaping bottom far corner for an own goal, 1-0 Needham.


Needham almost doubled their lead two minutes later, Callum Page drove through into space down the left-hand side before thrashing a brilliant defence splitting pass through to Crane who then drove through onto the left-hand side of the box whose shot dragged wide of the bottom far gaping corner.


Luke Ingram then went agonisingly close to doubling his side's lead after 40 minutes, after Ross Crane had driven through into space down the right wing, the winger slotted Ingram through into acres of space inside the box whose shot at a gaping goal went just wide of the vacant bottom left-hand corner.


A great stop from Marcus Garnham preserved Needham's lead two minutes later, the home side drove through down the left wing before finding Concannon in space on the left-hand edge of the box whose shot was tipped over well by the Needham goalkeeper.


Needham though continued to be on top as the away side went close on 45 minutes, Crane latched onto a brilliant through-ball into space down the right wing before cutting inside down the near side of the box, although his low ferocious shot was well smothered away by the goalkeeper down just to his right-hand side, while the rebound ricoshaded a centimetre wide of the arriving Luke Brown.


Needham then had a great chance to double their lead just four minutes after the restart, Crane drove through into space on the right-hand edge of the box only to smash his shot wide of the bottom far corner.


Needham continued to play some great football but just couldn't find the all important second goal, great skill from Callum Page saw the winger hold the ball up well on the left-hand side of the box, the ball then fell to Williams arriving on the left-hand edge of the box whose ferocious shot arrowed wide of the bottom near corner on 62 minutes.


Needham then saw an audacious 35-yard free-kick dip towards the top left-hand corner, though Jezeph got across well to claim the ball four minutes later, while the home side flashed a dangerous right wing cross just wide of the top far corner in the 71st minute.



Garnham then diverted a shot just wide of his right-hand post on 74 minutes, while Brown races into space down the left wing a minute later, only to skew his shot wide of the bottom near corner.


Skeen-Hamilton then fed Cassidy into acres of space down the left-hand side of the box four minutes later whose dangerous cutback saw a shot blocked as Needham cleared their lines.



Alvechurch though hit Needham with a late sucker punch in the second minute of stoppage time, a long ball into the box was misjudged by Garnham, as Danny Waldron headed into the empty net, 1-1.



A point on the board for Needham, who will feel aggrieved that it wasn't all three, but switch focus to Monday's Suffolk derby at home to Leiston (1pm).

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