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DULL DERBY ENDS IN DEFEAT

A dull Suffolk derby went in the favour of second placed visitors Leiston with a late goal from ex-Marketman Adam Mills adding salt to the wounds, despite neither goalkeeper really being troubled at Bloomfields.


Kevin Horlock made one change to Saturday's draw at Alvechurch as Kyle Hammond (groin injury) was replaced by Tom Fitzgerald with Ross Crane starting at left-back and Jake Dye going back to his familar right-back role.


The Marketmen, who overall arguably just shaded the better chances in a game that lacked much entertainment.


The home side, who started the brighter, went close with the first chance in the fourth minute, Taylor Clark drove through down the left-hand side just inside the box whose cross-shot went just over the top far corner.


Seven minutes later, Leiston had their first chance of the afternoon as Adam Mills drove through onto the edge of the box only to see his shot deflected over by a brilliant sliding tackle by Daniel Morphew.


Mills then saw a low right wing cross well held by Garnham at his near post on 17 minutes, while Ingram fired a speculative 50-yard shot wide of the left-hand post a minute later.


In a game that lacked much cutting edge by either team, which Kevin Horlock himself admitted in the post match interview (which will be up on the club's YouTube channel on Tuesday), Ross Crane forced a decent stop from Sam Donkin at his near post in the 21st minute. Taylor Clark threaded the winger through into acres of space on the right-hand edge of the box, the latter then drove into the area only to see his low fierce shot smothered behind by Donkin.


At the other end, Joe Marsden, also ex-Needham, was found on the left-hand edge of the box whose low shot looked to be squeezing into the bottom far corner until Garnham got across well to hold onto it on 24 minutes.


Luke Brown, two minutes later, then broke through onto the right-hand edge of the six yard box only to see his ferocious shot from a tight angle well saved by Donkin, before Jake Dye's audacious right wing cross just went over the head of Taylor Clark arriving in the centre on 35 minutes.


Needham though were forced into an early change as Ross Crane, who had started brightly, was forced off due to a hamstring injury with Seth Chambers on in his place.


The Academy product was quickly into the action in the 40th minute, driving through down the left-hand side of the byline inside the box before seeing his cutback towards Luke Ingram cleared away.


Early after the restart, Jake Dye tried his luck at goal on 47 minutes, after being laid off by Chambers from 30-yards out the full-back fired a powerful strike from 30-yards out wide of the bottom near left-hand corner.


Mills meanwhile broke onto the left-hand edge of the box, but shot low and straight at Garnham at his near post, while Chambers broke smartly onto the right-hand edge of the box whose low shot went narrowly off target of the bottom far corner with the ball remaining in play.


Taylor Clark though was forced off with a procautionary injury on the hour mark, albeit Needham continued to arguably have the better chances, while both teams enjoyed long spells of possession from time to time as the game wore on, with arguably one of the better chances of note falling to Needham on 78 minutes.


Ingram broke dangerously through into the box but scuffed his shot agonisingly just wide of the bottom left-hand corner, while Jacob Lay curled a shot from 30-yards out wide of the top far right hand corner on 84 minutes.


Two minutes later, Dylan Williams' dangerously 35-yard free-kick was punched away well by Donkin at his far left-hand post, while Leiston hit Needham with a 90th minute sucker-punch goal following a controversial free-kick out on the right wing.


Barnes, who won the aforementioned free-kick, cut inside before picking out Mills on the edge of the box to smash home into the bottom far right-hand corner.


Needham though had a great chance to snatch a late well deserved point, which would've been a fair reflection, as Williams' great left wing corner was headed just over by Hugh Cullum in the sixth minute of added time.


Needham finish their league home campaign on Saturday at home to Basford United (3pm), ahead of a rematch with their Suffolk rivals Leiston at Stowmarket Town in the two sides' fourth showdown of the season in the Automotive Suffolk Premier Cup Semi-Final (7:45pm).

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