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Ingram Volleys Marketmen To FA Cup History

Needham Market advance to the Emirates FA Cup 1st Round Proper for the first time in the club's history, following a well deserved victory over Vanarama National League side Maidstone United.

Manager Kevin Horlock made 2 changes to last weekend's disappointing FA Trophy defeat to Stourbridge, as captain Keiran Morphew and midfielder Patrick Brothers missed out through injury, with Hugh Cullum and Tom Fitzgerald starting in their place. 

The Southern League Central Premier Division side started the game brightly, looking to emulate their FA Trophy exploits of last season, which saw the Marketmen overcome National League side Wealdstone and Yeovil Town (on penalties) and then National League North promotion hunters Dartford. That they did deservedly, in professional fashion, with all in Needham Red worthy of being named Man Of The Match - that honour however went to Kyle Hammond, as selected by Match Sponsors George Barker (Europe).

The Reds had the first chance in the third minute, a clever corner fell to Hugh Cullum whose effort from point blank range was well held by diving goalkeeper Yusup Mersin.

Six minutes later, the crucial breakthrough arrived for the home side following a cleverly worked goal. Jake Dye's sumputous left wing cross over to the far post found Luke Ingram, the club's all time appearance maker was alert to sneak in ahead of the defender to head the ball down before beating his defender to the loose ball and half volley the ball past the onrushing Mersin and into the bottom far corner from point blank range, 1-0 Needham.

The home defence, who have now kept 6 clean sheets in their last 8 games - conceding just 2 goals - were resolute throughout, with Marcus Garnham mainly having to smartly collect or tip away dangerous set pieces into his six yard box. 

It was almost 2-0 to Needham after 18 minutes, winger Jacob Lay threaded Noah Collard through one on one, with goalkeeper Yusup Mersin, where the midfielder finished cooly into the bottom right hand corner - only to be chalked off by the assistant referee's offside flag. 

At the other end, arguably Maidstone's best chance of the afternoon arrived in the 27th minute as Regan Booty's dangerously curling free-kick, towards Garnham's near post, on the left hand edge of the box crashed back into play off the face of the crossbar, while Ellul's effort in the follow up was crucially deflected behind for a corner. 

Just after the half-hour mark, Maidstone looked to threaten again, though Ryan Galvin - who had been threaded through dangerously down the left hand side - saw his dangerous low ball across the face of goal smothered behind well by the diving Garnham at his near post. 

While real clear cut chances were ultimately at a premium, the Marketmen were full value for their victory, and they almost doubled their lead on 43 minutes. Ross Crane first showed good control to cushion down a great ball over the top well with his head before beating the defender for pace to then spin round and weave inside onto the edge of the box, only for his curled strike across goal to crash back into play agonisingly off the face of the crossbar.

The second half saw the Marketmen continue in the same manner, with Luke Ingram denied by a good stop from goalkeeper Mersin after 59 minutes. The goalscorer, who moved a goal away from a century of Needham goals with his winning goal, who is also the club's all time record appearance maker, surged through onto a great through-ball down the left wing, the striker then drove inside well onto the edge of the box where his low shot smashed across goal was palmed away by the diving Mersin. 

Two minutes later, the visiting 'keeper was then drawn into a decent stop to deny Noah Collard. The Needham midfielder picked up possession well down the left hand side of the box before working space to shoot, while his first effort was well blocked his follow up effort down towards the bottom near corner was well held by Mersin. 

At the other end, Needham 'keeper Marcus Garnham was on hand to tip away a dangerous Maidstone corner after 65 minutes, setting up Ross Crane to break on the counter - though the winger's shot, after twisting and turning in the penalty area, was deflected behind for a Needham corner.

Garnham meanwhile was alert to smother a dangerous ball into his six yard box 3 minutes later, while Jacob Lay was denied by some strong defending on 74 minutes. 

With what proved to be the final piece of noteable action of the Marketmen's historic win, Lay latched onto a great long ball ahead of the charging Mersin, albeit his low shot was crucially blocked by a recovering defender, protecting an otherwise empty net. 

The home side battled well to see out the remaining 14 minutes and 5 minutes of stoppage time to book their spot into Monday (17th October)'s televised Emirates FA Cup 1st Round Proper draw for the first time in their history, live on BBC2 - which comes on air at 7pm. The Marketmen, after 3 weeks of Cup action, return to league action on Saturday (22nd October) at Stratford Town in just the Marketmen's 4th away game of the season and 15th (10th in the league) of the season so far in all competitions.

Needham Market:-

1 Marcus Garnham

2 Kyle Hammond

3 Jake Dye

14 Christian Frimpong

5 Hugh Cullum

6 Daniel Morphew (c)

7 Jacob Lay (79' Bennett)

8 Noah Collard (88' Knights)

9 Luke Ingram (72' McGrath)

10 Tom Fitzgerald

11 Ross Crane


12 Jamie McGrath

15 Harry Knights

16 Taylor Clark 

17 Kaan Bennett

18 Seth Chambers

GK Finlay Shorten

Maidstone United:-

30 Yusup Mersin (GK)

2 Gavin Hoyte (c)

3 Ryan Galvin

4 Joe Ellul 

8 San Corne   

10 Jack Barham 

12 Jacob Mensah 

15 Regan Booty    

17 Christie Pattisson (58' Fawole)

20 Roarie Deacon

22 Dylan Barkers (HT' Alabi)


7 James Alabi 

14 Dominic Odusanya

16 Josh Fawole

27 Perri Iandolo 

28 Harley Earle (GK)

29 Bivesh Gurung

34 Jack Cawley

Booked: Hammond (26'), Corne (40'), Alabi (80').

Needham Assist: Dye (9').

Goal: Ingram (9').


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