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HARD EARNED POINT AWAY FROM HOME

A massive point on the road for Needham Market, who bounced back from Tuesday's defeat on a late night at Bromsgrove with a terrific performance in a 3-3 draw at Ilkeston Town, ending a run of two straight defeats.


While the first half was an end to end affair, the second half saw the Marketmen arguably on top.


The Marketmen started brightly and had the first chance of the afternoon after 2 minutes. Luke Brown is picked out by a clever left wing throw in midway through the hosts' half but his low shot on the near edge of the box is tame and easily saved by the keeper.


The visitors, again wearing their yellow away kit, then went close eight minutes later, Patrick Brothers threaded Ross Crane through down the left hand side of the box with a brilliant defence splitting pass but his excellent low ball into the six yard box towards Brown was well gathered by the goalkeeper.



Ilkeston though broke up the other end in the 11th minute and saw a shot towards the bottom left-hand corner palmed behind well by Marcus Garnham for a corner. The home side though broke the deadlock from the resulting corner a few seconds later.



The set-piece found Kieren Fenton unmarked from a corner at the far post to head home the opening goal of the afternoon, 1-0 Ilkeston.


Ilkeston meanwhile saw a left wing go directly over off the crossbar at the far post on 14 minutes, while Woakes' shot in acres of space, from the edge of the box, went wide of the bottom left-hand corner two minutes later.


The Marketmen however levelled proceedings in the 20th minute, great linkup play between Luke Brown and Ross Crane outside the box saw a brilliant ball through the defence release Kyle Hammond through in acres of space, with just the keeper to beat down the right-hand side of the box. The defender took a touch before lashing home from close range at the near post to make it 1-1.


At the other end though, Ilkeston retook the lead on 24 minutes, the ball bounced fortunately to Jordan Hallam inside the box to volley home into the bottom left-hand corner from close range, 2-1 Ilkeston.


Needham on the other hand were awarded a penalty on 27 minutes after Brothers' left in wing cross into the six yard box was handled by a defender. Up-stepped Luke Ingram, who scored his twelfth goal of the season and seventh in the league, effortlessly dispatching the spot-kick fiervely into the bottom left-hand corner, 2-2 after a pulsating 28 minutes.


After that spell of 4 goals in the space of 17 minutes, the Marketmen arguably had the better chances from that point on, though a stooping Ilkeston free header from a left wing cross was comfortably held onto by Garnham on 31 minutes.


Luke Ingram was threaded through into space one on one with the goalkeeper, down the right-hand side of the box three minutes later, but the forward smashed his first time strike just wide of the bottom far corner on 34 minutes.


Six minutes later, Luke Brown picked up possession well on the edge of the box but saw his ferocious shot on the turn, towards the bottom right-hand corner, well held by the diving keeper.


Two minutes into first half stoppage time, the away side went close again, a great free-kick from 70-yards out from Keiran Morphew was swung brilliantly towards Kyle Hammond racing through into space at the far post. The goalscorer chested the ball down well only to see his dangerous cutback towards Brown miskicked by the forward.


The Marketmen arguably dominated the second half, with a quickly taken 35-yard free-kick feeding Luke Ingram through into space down the left wing on 48 minutes, though the forward's great left wing cross was tipped over by the goalkeeper guarding his near post. The Marketmen meanwhile saw a fierce shot blocked from the resulting corner, before the Suffolk side took the lead deservedly in the 52nd minute.


Dylan Williams lifted a great ball over the top, releasing Kyle Hammond once again through one on one with the goalkeeper down the right hand side of the box, the defender and Needham Man Of The Match again was unfazed as he stabbed home a great half-volley from close range into the bottom near corner for his fourth goal of the season and second of the afternoon, 3-2 Needham.


Ilkeston on the other hand blasted a shot wide of the bottom corner on 75 minutes, before the home side found an equaliser 8 minutes later, Leroy Lita pounced on a loose ball inside the box to sweep home from close range into the bottom left-hand corner, 3-3.


The game again spring into life, as an end to end contest for the closing stages, with a Dylan Williams low right wing free-kick finding Hammond arriving onto the edge of the box who wrapped his first time powerful shot wide of the bottom far corner on 86 minutes.


At the other end, a great outstretched diving stop from Marcus Garnham denied Ilkeston from an 88th minute winner, a deep right wing cross found Lita unmarked at the far post whose header towards the bottom corner was superbly tipped wide by Garnham, while a towering far post header from a right wing corner was beaten away well by the well placed Garnham two minutes later.


Both sides continued to share possession in dangerous areas in the four minutes of stoppage time, but there were no more clear cut chances with the scoreline ending in a 3-3 draw. Needham will look to back up this brilliant all round team performance when they welcome Redditch United to Bloomfields on Tuesday (14th March, 7:45pm).

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