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Late Heartbreak For The Marketmen As Rouslers Late Penalty Snatches All Three Points

A frustrating afternoon at a scorching hot Bloomfields ended in defeat for Needham Market, as their home league campaign began with a 1-0 reverse against Bromsgrove Sporting - in what was the third consecutive one-nil defeat to the Rouslers.

A late Sweeney penalty sucker punch proved the difference in a game that arguably Needham dominated and should have came away with maximum points. 

Manager Kevin Horlock named an unchanged team to the side that drew the first league game of the new season at Rushden on Saturday, with the only alteration to the matchday squad being the return of Taylor Clark from holiday on the substitutes bench.

Early on there was a change in personnel, albeit for the match officials, as one of the linesmen picked up an injury in the fifth minute, with Hugh Cullum taking over for the first half.

Not that the substitute defender had much to do ultimately, with a lot of the action occuring at the other end. The Marketmen had the better of the chances and more possession in a fairly tight first half, albeit that finishing touch just evaded them.

Patrick Brothers fed Jamie McGrath in space, on the left-hand edge of the box - the striker then looked to tee up a teammate, but nobody was around to latch onto it and have a shot at goal.

The first shot of the afternoon meanwhile arrived for the home side in the 23rd minute, Jamie McGrath threaded Ross Crane through smartly past the defence, and into the penalty area, the winger held off his defender well before cutting it and spinning close to goal, only to see his low shot well smothered by the onrushing goalkeeper Oliver Taylor. 

In similar fashion the advancing Taylor again denied the Reds on the hour mark, great play saw Evan Collard whip a great long low ball audaciously round the defence, picking out McGrath, who drove on into the box, but again his low shot was well smothered by the goalkeeper.


Five minutes later, Patrick Brothers exploited space well on the left-hand edge of the box, but the midfielder was unable to keep his shot down, as it rifled over the crossbar. 

The midfielder, just two minutes later, then delivered a fantastic deep cross into the box, finding Kyle Hammond, who'd beaten the offside trap, albeit the defender couldn't quite direct his close range effort on target.


At the other end, Bromsgrove's best chance for the majority of the afternoon came in the 39th minute, Edwards' low fierce strike was deflected over for a corner, via the top of the crossbar, by the outstretched foot by Keiran Morphew - which proved to be the last noteable action of the first half.

The second half followed a similar script, with Needham having more of the ball and the better chances. Patrick Brothers had an early sight at goal, just three minutes after the restart, but saw his low shot from outside the box blocked. 

However, great play from the Marketmen didn't quite fruit the breakthrough the Marketmen craved on 52 minutes, a brilliant through-ball from Ross Crane, with the outside of his boot, threaded match sponsor Graham Emmerson's Man Of The Match Jake Dye down the left wing, the full-back then cut the ball back cleverly to McGrath. The striker held the ball up well, before teeing up Evan Collard, who controlled it well but was dispossessed before he could get a shot off. 

A fine reaction save from Taylor though denied the Marketmen four minutes later, McGrath this time drove through smartly into the penalty area, albeit the goalkeeper was equal to the fierce low drive at his near, right-hand, post before claiming the resulting dropping loose ball. 

Needham continued to dominate proceedings and almost broke the deadlock on 67 minutes, Crane's shot, having worked space to shoot, was blocked away as far as McGrath, who in turn laid the ball off to Brothers. The latter's sumptuous cross picked out Collard, in acres of space at the far post, although the midfielder could only sidefoot his, close range, shot over the bar. 

Ross Crane tried his luck in the 82nd minute, albeit speculative, as his powerful strike with the outside of his foot ending up off target.

In the second of five minutes of stoppage time though, Bromsgrove did have a decent chance, as Sweeney's great low cross flashed dangerously across the face of goal, from the right wing, but away to safety with nobody able to turn it goalwards. 

Two alert pieces of goalkeeping from Needham shot-stopper Marcus Garnham, which was the most he had to do all afternoon, meanwhile kept the scores level in the fifth added minute, first reacting quickly to dive across to his left and tip behind a dangerously fizzed in free-kick to the far post, before doing similarly to the resulting left wing corner. 

A minute later though, Bromsgrove were awarded a penalty after Daniel Sweeney was fouled from behind inside the box. Up stepped the striker, who denied Needham of at least a point, by sending Garnham the wrong way and dispatching the spot-kick into the bottom right hand corner, for his side's first points of the season. 

Horlock will hope for a swift response from his side, who are again in home action for the second of four straight games, as they welcome St Ives Town on Tuesday (16th August, 7:45pm).


Needham Market:-

1 Marcus Garnham

2 Kyle Hammond

3 Jake Dye

14 Christian Frimpong

5 Keiran Morphew (c)

6 Daniel Morphew

7 Jacob Lay

8 Evan Collard (75' Clark)

9 Jamie McGrath (75' Chambers) 

10 Patrick Brothers

11 Ross Crane


12 Seth Chambers

15 Hugh Cullum

16 Taylor Clark

17 Archie Exworth  

Bromsgrove Sporting:-

1 Oliver Taylor

2 Kieron Dawes (69' Fry)

3 Ammar Dyer

4 Charlie Shaw (69' Curtis)

5 Jack Byrne

6 Michael McGrath (c)

7 Harvey Gregson

8 George Forsyth

9 Daniel Sweeney

10 Callum King-Harmes

11 Ryan Edmunds


12 Matthew Barnes-Homer

14 James Fry

15 Michael Taylor

16 Joe Curtis

17 Dominic Perkins

Booked: Frimpong (15'), Dawes (19'),Forsyth (45+4'), Gregson (56'), Brothers (89'), Dyer (90'+1').

Goal: Sweeney (90'+7'pen).


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