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A goal late in the first half from Ellis Brown edged the Isuzu FA Trophy 3rd Qualifying Round tie in Cray Wanderers' favour at the expense of hosts Needham Market.

The visitors started the brighter, and in truth had the better of the chances - more so in the first half, though Kevin Horlock's Marketmen couldn't make their second half possession and opportunities count.

Horlock named an unchanged side to Tuesday's Emirates FA Cup 3rd Qualifying Round Replay win, with the only change to the entire matchday squad seeing Jamie McGrath return from injury on the bench.

Cray had the first chance early on as Bamba found space to shoot from outside the box only for his fierce low shot to be tipped behind by Garnham in the 4th minute. 

Ijaha then scuffed a shot, one on one, wide of the bottom corner on 9 minutes, while Jacob Lay's deflected 22nd minute shot was gathered by the Cray keeper. 

After Edwards-Porter saw a shot from a speculative left wing angle deflected into the bottom near side netting, Garnham then leapt well to hold onto Ijaha's deflected strike - following a smart run upfield - at his top right-hand corner on 25 minutes, while a dangerous Needham corner flashed dangerously across the penalty area with nobody around to capitalise on 34 minutes as Needham looked to enjoy more of the possession.

Lay then shot agonisingly over the bar for Needham after Dylan Williams' neat pass on 38 minutes, before great play from Needham almost gave the hosts the opener on 41 minutes.

Jake Dye leapt highest to win possession from a goal-kick, the full-back then released Jacob Lay down the right wing with a great long ball, the winger in turn then teed up Tevan Allen in space on the right-hand edge of the box whose shot was sliced behind the bottom near corner by a defender.

Cray however scored the only goal on 42 minutes. Edwards-Porter's flick on released Ellis Brown one on one to finish through Garnham's legs and break the deadlock. Brown again drove into space to get another shot at goal on 45+1 minutes, but fired just wide of the bottom far left-hand corner from inside the box.

Just before the break on 45+3 minutes, the Marketmen almost equalised as Kyle Hammond's low fierce strike towards was smothered away as far as Luke Ingram whose close range header looped agonisingly just over. 

After the restart, Jake Dye exploited space to latch onto Kyle Hammond's audacious through-ball onto the byline but fired his dangerous low cross straight at the goalkeeper on 55 minutes.

Tevan Allen then broke into space on the right-hand side of the box before seeing a 59th minute shot deflected as far as Luke Ingram, whose low close range shot went just wide of the far right-hand post. 

Dan Morphew then glanced a Tommy Smith cross wide of the far post on 72 minutes, before a great low cross in from Smith found Tevan Allen whose touch set up nicely for the onrushing substitute Seth Chambers to strike at goal, but to see his left-hand 8-yard shot blocked two minutes latet. 

Luke Ingram then saw two brilliant crosses into the six yard box, after breaking into a pocket of space on the right-hand byline, pick out Seth Chambers at the second time of asking only for the ball to bounce off the forward and into the grateful diving keeper's gloves on 89 minutes. 

Needham though almost levelled proceedings in added time, as Luke Ingram saw a header cleared off the line before Seth Chambers headed just over on the rebound, while Ingram saw a header from a left wing cross find the goalkeeper on 90+5 minutes.

Needham switch focus back to Emirates FA Cup action next Saturday, away to National League side York City (3pm, coach leaves at 8am).


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