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Needham Market Under-18s make it back to back victories with a 4-2 home win over Leiston at Bloomfields in Thursday evening.

Leiston though broke the deadlock after 42 seconds after a rocket of a shot from Reagan King, who found space to let fly from 35-yards out, arrowed into the top right hand corner, 1-0 Leiston.

Needham though were awarded a penalty in the fourth minute after Lucas Vance was threaded through past the defence by a sumptuous through-ball down the left wing before being brought down from behind by a visiting defender. Up-stepped the forward, who scored his 6th Under-18 goal of the campaign as he cooly dispatched from the spot slotting home empathically into the bottom left-hand corner, sending Podd the wrong way to level proceedings at 1-1.

The young Marketmen quickly took the lead two minutes later, a brilliant left wing cross in from Ivan Sanchez found Clayton Osborn in space at the far post who expertly headed home into the bottom left-hand corner from close range, 2-1 Needham.

The home side then looked to increase their lead in the eleventh minute, albeit their dangerous left wing free-kick flashed just wide of the far post. Five minutes later, great play from the young Reds saw Flynn Crosthwaite drive into space down the right wing, the young midfielder kept possession well before teeing up James Letts in space on the edge of the box whose shot was well blocked.

Down the other end, Ollie Griggs found space to shoot on the left-hand edge of the box only to see goalkeeper Roan Tucker hold onto it well at his top near corner after 34 minutes.

The Needham shot-stopper then reacted smartly four minutes later to advance off his line and beat away a shot from inside the box, while Needham went close to adding a third goal five minutes prior to the interval.

Great passing play saw the hosts feed James Letts out on the left wing, the midfielder found Eddie Barker who in turn found Ivan Sanchez. After some clever one touch play saw Letts released in acres of space down the left-hand side of the box whose tight angle low shot across goal was well held by the diving Podd.

The end to end action continued three minutes into stoppage time as Eddie Barker's smart low free-kick on the left-hand edge of the box was well held by Podd at his near corner following a deflection off the wall.

The second half started with more chances for the home side in what was a great competitive game of football to watch, Dimitri Gayle exploited space down the left wing to deliver an audacious cross into the box which found goalscorer Clayton Osborn free from close range at the far post where the ball bounced off the winger and straight to Podd on 52 minutes.

A minute later, Needham top scorer Luca Braddon netted his 8th goals of the campaign for the Under-18s, having also netted 3 times for the club's Under-23s, in style. The forward cleverly latched onto a brilliant through-ball past the defence in space onto the left-hand edge of the box before driving on into the area and rounding goalkeeper Podd before slotting home from close range, 3-1 Needham.

More good play from the home side saw the Reds go close to a fourth goal on 55 minutes, a great cutback from the left-hand byline inside the box saw a shot from 5-yards out well smothered by Podd, while the ricoshade off the lurking Letts towards goal was smacked away from the goal-line.

Podd though denied the young Marketmen with a fine save on the hour mark, great buildup play saw Eddie Barker pick out substitute Dimitri Gayle free on the left-hand edge of the box, the winger in turn picked out a Red shirt in space whose close range first time shot was smothered away well by the shot-stopper.

Substitute Ed Barker then forced a good stop from Podd on 66 minutes, the forward expertly weaved through towards goal down the right-hand byline whose shot from point blank range was again well smothered by Podd. Seconds later, Travis Buxton was first to a high ball in the penalty area before Podd, the midfielder's hook backwards found Clayton Osborn in acres of space down the right-hand side of the box whose instinctive volley towards goal, with Podd caught off his line, flew just over onto the roof of the net.

Ollie Griggs though did reduce the deficit for Leiston after 69 minutes, the Leiston winger finished smartly after racing through towards goal and sidefooting home past the onrushing Tucker into the bottom left-hand corner, 2-3.

Needham responded a minute later, Eddie Barker's right wing corner picked out Ben Smith arriving from point blank range whose header glanced agonisingly just wide of the bottom far corner.

Aiden Jolly was then released through by a great long ball over the Leiston defence sixty seconds later, albeit the substitute midfielder could only smash his half-volley over the crossbar with just Podd to beat.

Podd was then on hand for Leiston to deny Needham once more on 73 minutes, a terrific great ball poked through the defence released Dimitri Gayle one on one with the goalkeeper who rushed off his line well to smother away his deft poked effort towards goal.

Gayle meanwhile worked space to shoot smartly down the right-hand side of the box only to see his low driven shot across goal well held by Podd a minute later.

While the young Marketmen blazed a half-volleyed effort off target on 81 minutes, the hosts rounded off proceedings seven minutes later. Aiden Jolly latched onto a great ball over the top before seeing his initial shot denied by Podd which ricoshaded back off the Needham midfielder and bounced into the vacant met from point blank range, 4-2 Needham.

Although that goal rounded off the scoring, Needham did test Podd once more as Eddie Barker's deflected fierce 25-yard effort at goal was well claimed by Podd ten minutes later.

It's a busy week ahead for the football club at Bloomfields, with the men's first team in action with a crucial encounter with Kings Langley on Saturday (3pm), the Women's Development team then entertain Kesgrave on Sunday (2pm), while the Under-23s return to home action on Tuesday (7:45pm) against Haverhill Rovers, two days before the Under-18s entertain Brantham Athletic in a potential title decider (7:45pm).


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