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Needham Market remain top of the table despite a 0-0 draw that saw the Marketmen have four shots cleared off the line.

Jamie McGrath started in place of the injured Tevan Allen as Needham continued their unbeaten run in the league, since November.

Keiran Morphew saw a 10th minute shot blocked for Kevin Horlock's side, while a cross into Jamie McGrath moments later saw the ball deflected wide for a corner.

Coalville meanwhile shot just wide of the bottom far, left-hand, corner on 15 minutes, before the Ravens were denied by a good save from Marcus Garnham 3 minutes later, the visitors drove onto the right-hand side of the box, but Marcus Garnham was equal to a tight angled shot.

Needham had the better chances but couldn't find the breakthrough, great holdup and subsequent one-two from Jake Dye and Luke Ingram saw the former feed free on the right-hand side of the box whose tight angled finish went narrowly wide of the near post on 23 minutes.

A neat Cruyff turn and through ball from Dylan Williams then threaded Seth Chambers through on goal, on the right-hand side, albeit the forward saw his shot blocked away from an otherwise vacant net, after beating goalkeeper Laban to the initial ball, on 27 minutes.

Nine minutes later, Dan Morphew then saw his shot cleared away from an open goal following a Kyle Hammond right wing corner was spilt by the keeper, while Garnham was on hand at the other hand to smother away Shaw's effort.

Hammond then picked out Keiran Morphew with a left wing corner, on 38 minutes, but the defender's close range far post header towards the top right hand corner was well held by the goalkeeper.

Luke Shaw then weaved through smartly onto the left-hand side of the Needham box on 40 minutes, but saw his tight angled close range shot smothered away well by Garnham, off his line smartly to narrow down the angle.

After the restart, both sides had a chance on 47 minutes, first Coalville fired a shot towards the top left hand corner, only for Garnham to be well placed to hold onto the effort, while Ingram drove through onto a great through ball over the top, one on one with Laban, but for his shot towards the bottom far, left-hand, corner to be beaten away smartly by the diving keeper.

Jamie McGrath then shot just over from a smart right wing cutback, which saw Seth Chambers lay the ball off to his fellow striker on 55 minutes, while Chambers himself was fed free at close range but for his fierce shot to be deflected narrowly over the crossbar.

Hammond was next to try his luck at goal on 61 minutes, albeit the midfielder's 25-yard strike from the left-hand side went narrowly wide of the bottom near corner, before Jacob Lay's left wing cross was taken into his own net by Laban, but was seemingly ruled out for a foul by Ingram three minutes later.

Moments later, Nico Valentine had barely been on the pitch for a matter of seconds when the debutant was fed through one on one with Laban, albeit his shot was tipped over superbly by the shot-stopper.

Ingram was then slotted through into space on the right hand side of the box,but for his shot to be cleared away from an open net, while debutant Nico Valentine, fresh of the bench, saw his rebound shot blocked away from an open goal on 72 minutes

With 88 minutes on the clock the Ipswich loanee went close to winning the game for the Marketmen, after being threaded through 1v1 right box low fierce shot across goal defender back launches down cannons out for corner

as the league leaders had to settle for a point.

Needham conclude 2023 away to Alvechurch on Saturday (3pm).


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