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Early Goal Inflicts Undeserved Defeat On Marketmen

A rare, early, mistake from Needham goalkeeper Marcus Garnham fruits Hitchin all three points against the run of play at Top Field.

Manager Kevin Horlock made 2 changes to Saturday's defeat at home to Rushall Olympic, Christian Frimpong and Jamie McGrath returned to the starting lineup with Evan Collard and Seth Chambers dropping to the bench.

Needham were the better team throughout, with the visiting Marketmen unable to make it count in front of goal, with any shots well blocked or saved by goalkeeper Horlock.

Just 40 seconds were on the clock when Needham went close to an early breakthrough, Jacob Lay drove through quickly down the wing, forcing Georgiou to hack the ball just past the near post for a corner. Jamie McGrath met the resulting corner, but could only glance his header narrowly wide of the top far corner. 

At the other end though, after Kane cut inside onto the left-hand edge of the box and blazed his shot over, the Canaries broke the deadlock after 8 minutes. 

Garnham's clearance off his line rebounded, fortunately from a Hitchin perspective, to Finley Wilkinson to slot home into the vacant bottom far, right-hand corner, 1-0.

Needham Man Of The Match Ross Crane however almost created a quick equaliser for Needham two minutes later, but the winger's sumputous left wing free-kick in towards Ryan Viggars, in the six yard box, was well punched away by goalkeeper Charlie Horlock.

While the opposition's match sponsor gave their Man of The Match to Toby Syme, it was Charlie Horlock that was really their standout player - with the goalkeeper's stops ultimately making the difference for Hitchin, denying Crane in the 26th minute.

The winger latched onto a great down the right wing smartly before weaving through into the box, although his low shot was comfortably held by Horlock at his near post. 

The Marketmen kept the pressure on their hosts, despite being unable to find the goal they craved, with Ross Crane involved in virtually all of Needham's promising play. The latter's right wing corner fell to Ryan Viggar, whose close range shot was blocked as far as Crane - although his sumputously dipping shot, from the edge of the box, was parried away by Horlock at his far right-hand post on 32 minutes. 

Ryan Viggars then unselfishly teed up Patrick Brothers right minutes later, but the onrushing midfielder could only blast his shot off target from outside the box. 

The home side though were fortunate to survive a fantastic opportunity for Needham on 42 minutes, Crane's right wing ball in was headed across goal well by the towering Keiran Morphew, finding Viggars, who on hand picked Brothers just outside the box. While the midfielder's shot was well blocked, the ball fell back to Charlton Athletic loanee Viggars, who kept the ball well but saw his low shot well blocked. 

With literally the final chance of the first half, Dan Morphew went close to drawing Needham level in the 2nd minute of stoppage time, but the defender could only fire just wide of the top right-hand corner. 

The second half was a similar story, Needham controlled the game, but weren't able to find the breakthrough. 

A great Needham through-ball threaded Viggars through inside the box, however Horlock hared off his line to smother and hold his shot.

Captain Keiran Morphew was next to go close for the Marketmen on the hour mark, a long ball was lofted cleverly to the defender at the back post only for the latter to direct his bullet header wide of the top right-hand corner. 

Great play from Crane, to brilliantly keep possession and cross into the box nearly brought the visitors the goal they deserved two minutes later. His delivery found Jake Dye, whose shot was deflected just wide of the far post for a corner.

A great save from Horlock thwarted Kyle Hammond from drawing Needham back onto level terms a minute later, a short corner picked out the full-back on the edge of the box, whose rasping drive, towards the bottom left hand corner, was well held onto by the shot-stopper. 

Patrick Brothers' header meanwhile was cruically cleared away from goal on 66 minutes, adding further to the travelling Marketmen's disappointment. 

Needham did though draw two decent stops from Horlock in the final eight minutes, Crane again beat his defender well out on the right wing, only to see his low shot from inside the box kicked away by Horlock at his near post.

Ryan Viggars was next to test Horlock on 89 minutes, albeit the striker's low first time shot was routine for Horlock to hold onto. 

Two minutes later, Keiran Morphew's late header ultimately summed up Needham's day, with it just not going in for them. Crane's pinpoint right wing cross picked out the captain free at the back post, whose header went a centimetre agonisingly wide of the far post. 

A harsh defeat for Needham, who now switch focus to an all Suffolk and step 3 Derby in the Emirates FA Cup at home to Leiston on Saturday (3pm).

Hitchin Town

1 Charlie Horlock (C)

2 Delsin Ackom

3 Callum Kane

4 Toby Syme

5 Stan Georgiou

6 Malaki Black

7 Lewis Barker

8 Steve Gleeson

9 Josh Coldicott-Stevens

10 Bradley Bell (66' Tearle)

11 Finley Wilkinson (88' Chambers-Parillon)


12 Kye Tearle

14 Johnny Allotey

15 Rio DaSilva

16 Leon Chambers-Parillon

17 Alfie Warman

Needham Market

1 Marcus Garnham

2 Kyle Hammond

3 Jake Dye

14 Christian Frimpong 

5 Keiran Morphew (c)

6 Daniel Morphew

7 Jacob Lay (57' N.Collard)

8 Patrick Brothers (76' Chambers)

9 Ryan Viggars 

10 Jamie McGrath 

11 Ross Crane


12 Noah Collard

15 Evan Collard 

16 Seth Chambers 

17 Hugh Cullum

18 Taylor Clark 

Booked: Brothers (31'), Gleeson (79'), N.Collard (79').

Goal: Wilkinson (8').


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