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Needham Market Under-23s pick up a deserved 3 points away to Leiston Under-23s. 

A hat-trick from Seth Chambers put James Mant's side into a 3-0 lead early into the second half, before two Leiston goals in the last 25 minutes made it a nervy last few minutes, although the young Marketmen saw it out to record back to back victories after Saturday's 1-0 home win over Harwich & Parkeston. 

The Reds started on the front foot, with great linkup play seeing Ollie Fraser & Seth Chambers combine well to win a corner after just two minutes. Great passing play saw Chambers feed Fraser out on the right wing, but the latter's dangerous cross was deflected behind the near post for a corner. 

Eddie Barker's resulting, audacious, set-piece cleverly found Seth Chambers unmarked, whose stooped header found the back of the net from point blank range, 1-0 Needham in the 3rd minute.

A left wing throw-in then fell to Travis Buxton in space on the left-hand side of the box, but the midfielder slammed a good strike just wide of the bottom left-hand corner in the seventh minute, while goalscorer Chambers lasered a fantastic strike, from the right-hand edge of the box, just wide of the bottom near corner just seconds later.

Great play again from Mant's side saw the visitors go close in the 20th minute, Lucas Vance fed Seth Chambers through onto the left-hand side of the box with a defence splitting through-ball, the latter then drove through one on one with the keeper, whose fierce shot towards the bottom far corner was initially spilt by the keeper, who then gathered theu loose ball bravely, reacting quickly to deny the onrushing Vance a tap in. 

Another great defence splitting pass, this time from Ollie Fraser four minutes later, looked to release Chambers with just the keeper to beat, though the pass ran through just too close to the keeper to gather inside his six yard box. 

Needham remained on top and went agonisingly close to doubling their advantage on 35 minutes, Chambers raced through smartly into acres of space on the right wing, whose low ball squared across on a plate found the onrushing Lucas Vance, racing into space, whose shot went just agonisingly wide of the bottom right-hand corner.

Leiston however were reduced to ten men in the second minute of first half stoppage time as Cameron Rayworth was dismissed for pulling down a Needham player right on the edge of the box as the last man. The resulting free-kick, two minutes later, saw Barker roll the ball off to Fraser, whose fierce shot was well blocked, while the rebound fell to Chambers - who read the play smartly to latch onto the ball on the left-hand edge of the six yard box - only for the striker's shot to be smothered away well by the legs of the goalkeeper, guarding his near post. 

The young Marketmen started the second half in the same fashion, as the away side broke forward inside half a minute of the restart. Eddie Barker was fed into space onto the left wing byline whose audacious outswinging cross saw Ollie Fraser's far post, close range, volley deflected behind the right-hand post for a corner. Barker's resulting set-piece, on 47 minutes, meanwhile was tipped away well by the goalkeeper off his line, with the rebound looping away with nobody around at the far post for a tap into an empty net. 

However, Mant's side did double their lead two minutes later, courtesy of a well worked move from the away side. A smart through-ball released Seth Chambers into space onto the left-hand side of the box who slammed home a ferocious strike into the bottom near corner for his second goal of the night, 2-0 Needham.

The away side were then awarded a penalty on 55 minutes, after Eddie Barker threaded Chambers into space down the left-hand side before being fouled from behind. Up-stepped the striker, to complete his hat-trick, dinking his penalty in low down the middle of the net to make it 3-0 to Needham.

A good save from Leiston goalkeeper Marcus Mayhew meanwhile denied Lucas Vance in the 58th minute. Isaac Ventura started the move by threading Travis Buxton into space onto the right-hand side of the box, who in turn teed up Vance in a more central position, whose low strike was fired straight at Mayhew for a fairly comfortable hold. 

James Mant then introduced the returning Louie Kudiabor on the hour mark, in place of Lucas Vance, while James Letts then found space to shoot from 30-yards out, but his low strike was also held well by Mayhew in the 62nd minute.

The away side almost added a fourth goal a minute later, a great surging run from Chambers saw the forward break through on the right wing, whose dangerous wrapped low cross across the six yard box flashed across the face of goal, just evading substitute Louie Kudiabor sliding in at the near post.

Mant then withdrew Stanley Forvague in place of Josh Smith for the away side's second change. 

Leiston on the other hand pulled a goal back on 65 minutes, Cameron Young found space to shoot on the right-hand edge of the box, before curling a sumptuous strike that dipped into the far corner, 3-1 to Needham.

In response, Ollie Fraser broke onto the right-hand side of the box three minutes later, before doing well to sneak a powerful shot off at goal, but his effort was straight at Mayhew, who held well at head height. 

Clever play from the away side on 71 minutes though saw Eddie Barker's low left wing corner dummied smartly by Isaac Ventura for the arriving James Letts, on the edge of the box, to fire low towards goal, finding Chambers who controlled the ball well but could only divert the ball, on the slide, just wide of the bottom left-hand corner from 8 yards out.

Letts then supplied Fraser with possession into the box, cleverly a minute later, the winger then kept the ball nicely before curling an audacious shot on the turn just wide of the top left-hand corner. 

Flynn Hoskin then replaced Travis Buxton soon after, before Leiston saw a left wing cross, following a short corner, crucially headed over the goal-line for a corner, as the home side looked to crank up the pressure on 76 minutes. 

The away side though broke forward on the counter attack, two minutes later, and almost restored their 3 goal lead. The young Reds found Eddie Barker into space on the half-way line, who exploited space to drive onto the left-hand edge of the box before thumping his strike just agonisingly wide of the bottom right-hand corner. 

Leiston meanwhile curled a shot just over the top far corner, from the right-hand edge of the box on 82 minutes, while Hoskin was fed into space on the right-hand side of the box a minute later, whose tight angled strike was well held by the goalkeeper diving across to his right-hand side.

Ventura was next to try his luck at goal on 86 minutes, but the midfielder's low shot from outside the box was hit straight at Mayhew.

At the other end, a right wing cross saw a close range shot at the far post tipped away well by a fine save from Harry Podd, diving down well to his bottom right-hand corner, while the rebound strike went over the crossbar. 

Leiston however reduced the deficit to 3-2 on 88 minutes, a right wing cross saw Charlie Atkin's close range shot shovelled partially away well by Podd down to his left-hand side, with the rebound finding Jake Spooner from a yard out to tap into the bottom right-hand corner. 

That set up a tense finish to the game, with six minutes of stoppage time signalled. The away side though held onto their lead with some dogged defending, but also created chances of their own on the counter attack.

Eddie Barker drove down the left wing, in the second minute of added time, before curling a great low ball across the face of goal on a plate for Chambers, whose neat flicked shot at goal was just well held by the well placed Mayhew.

Chambers then found space to shoot at goal, from 30-yards out on the left-hand side, but his low wrapped strike was well held by the keeper at the far post. 

A scramble in the Leiston box meanwhile saw a left wing Needham corner find Louie Kudiabor from close range who had two shots in quick succession blocked, before Flynn Hoskin's follow up strike was also blocked. 

The final whistle then followed after a late Leiston free-kick went over the bar, with James Mant's side now switching focus to a trip to AFC Sudbury Reserves on Saturday (3pm), ahead of a home clash with Cornard United on Tuesday (29th August, 7:45pm).

Player Rating: Podd 8, B.Smith 8, Barker 9, Buxton 8.5, Forvague 7.5, Crosthwaite 8, Letts 8, Chambers 10, Ventura 8, Vance 7.5, Fraser 9.5. Subs: J.Smith 7, Hoskin 7, Kudiabor 7. 


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