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Marketmen Fall To Undeserved Defeat At The Last Second In Suffolk Derby

Needham Market end a record breaking 2022 on a underwhelming note with a 2-1 defeat at Suffolk rivals Leiston.

In truth, the Marketmen dominated proceedings only for their bad luck away from home to strike again, having won once on their travels this season.

Sporting their yellow away kit with Leiston wearing their red away kit, Kevin Horlock's side started brightly as Christian Frimpong found space from 35-yards out to laser a fierce strike just wide of Donkin's bottom right hand near corner after just 2 minutes. 

The visitors then went agonisingly close five minutes later, Man Of The Match Jamie McGrath towered above his defender to flick the ball onto Luke Ingram, who was racing through down the right-hand side of the box. The forward then whipped a sumputous low ball across the six yard box which just evaded Ross Crane arriving into acres of space from close range with the goal otherwise at his mercy. 

McGrath meanwhile had the game's first shot on target in the tenth minute, the forward was fed through smartly down the left-hand side of the box who showed brilliant skill to beat his defender with a clever turn and drive into space only to fire his strike straight into Donkin's chest.

The chances kept falling the way of the away side with Crane lasering a 20-yard half-volley wide of the bottom far right-hand corner a minute later, while the former's right wing low corner, two minutes later, was cleared partially as far as Dan Morphew whose half-volley went narrowly wide of the bottom corner.

Needham remained on top and nearly punished an error from Leiston goalkeeper Donkin on 15 minutes. The shot-stopper's clearance went straight to Crane who smartly exploited space down the centre onto the edge of the box, whose ferocious strike went just agonisingly over the top left hand corner.

Christian Frimpong then unselfishly teed up Kyle Hammond on the right-hand edge of the box two minutes later, only for the latter to see his first time driven strike go narrowly wide of the bottom far corner. 

Against the run of play however, Leiston broke the deadlock on 26 minutes, constructed by two ex-Needham players. Ben Fowkes drove through down the left wing before swinging a good ball across to the far post on a plate for Joe Marsden to simply head home into the top corner from a centimetre out, 1-0.

Needham though continued to dominate proceedings, Patrick Brothers was found smartly in space two minutes later, who kept possession well only to see his good curled strike comfortably held by Donkin. 

Leiston however saw a dangerous right wing free-kick well claimed by Garnham down on his line ahead of red Leiston shirts running in. 

While Needham players saw two penalty appeals waved away by the referee, Kyle Hammond went a centimetre away from levelling proceedings five minutes before the restart. The defender picked up the loose ball from a tight angle down the right-hand side of the box only to see his low shot smashed across goal deflected crucially wide of the far post for a corner. 

The Marketmen, who were forced into a change at the break as Harry Knights replaced Dan Morphew who was withdrawn due to injury, continued to have the better chances in the second half, as Ross Crane was denied by the foot of Donkin four minutes after the restart. The winger got through dangerously close to goal down the left-hand side, only to see his low great strike towards the near post turned just behind by the diving 'keeper.

Great play from the Marketmen almost brought the equalising goal they craved on 58 minutes, Hammond beat his man well out on the right wing before swinging in an audacious cross into the box, finding Patrick Brothers unmarked from close range - although the midfielder's header went narrowly wide of the near post. 

Following a double change from Needham, which saw Jamie McGrath and Jacob Lay replaced by Seth Chambers and Colchester United loanee Kaan Bennett, Leiston had their first major chance of the second half on 67 minutes, as a dangerous right wing corner was somehow headed just wide of the bottom near corner from point blank range at the far post. 

While Marcus Garnham dived down well to his right-hand side to deny the home side three minutes later, the Marketmen were awarded a penalty after 77 minutes after Kaan Bennett was brought down inside the area.

Upstepped Needham's all time appearance maker Luke Ingram who was unfazed as he smashed home from the spot, past Donkin into the bottom left hand corner, 1-1.

The next three chances then fell to the visitors, who had momentum firmly on their side on 88 minutes, Crane's brilliant free-kick out on the left wing was headed across towards the six yard box well by captain Keiran Morphew towering highest at the far post via a deflection of an outstretched knee of a defender taking the ball towards Bennett close to goal only for another Leiston defender to get the all important touch on it enabling Donkin to vitally claim possession on his line. 

The Marketmen then saw a low fierce strike well held by the diving Donkin down to his bottom right hand corner a minute later, before the away side went agonisingly close once more in the 94th minute of five added minutes. 

Luke Ingram towered above to cleverly head the ball over the defender and back into the penalty area, threading Seth Chambers through down the right-hand side, the latter in turn squared it across to Christian Frimpong in space from close range who couldn't quite get enough on his first time shot as Donkin was able to hold onto it at his near post. 

Two minutes later, the sucker punch arrived with virtually the last kick of the afternoon, substitute Adam Mills' left wing cross picked out Ben Fowkes to finish off from a yard out.

Luke Ingram then almost caught Donkin out from the resulting kick-off with the last kick of the game, which the keeper initially spilt.

The Marketmen kick off 2023 in home action on Monday (2nd January, 2pm kick off) as they welcome Hitchin Town to Bloomfields.


1 Samuel Donkin

8 Joseph Marsden (55' Hill)

3 Sebastian Dunbar (c)

4 Oliver Saunders

5 Adam Bailey-Dennis (58' Mills)

6 Jake Hutchings

7 Finlay Barnes

19 Rossi Jarvis

9 William Davies

10 George Quantrell

11 Ben Fowkes


2 Wyatt Hill

12 Iuri Mendes Fernandes

14 Adam Mills

20 Jamie Eaton-Collins

16 Sonny Wright (GK)

Needham Market:-

1 Marcus Garnham

2 Kyle Hammond

3 Jake Dye

14 Christian Frimpong

5 Keiran Morphew (c)

6 Daniel Morphew (HT' Knights)

7 Luke Ingram

8 Jacob Lay (65' Bennett)

9 Jamie McGrath (65' Chambers)

10 Patrick Brothers

11 Ross Crane


12 Tom Fitzgerald

15 Seth Chambers

16 Noah Collard

17 Taykaan (Kaan) Bennett

4 Harry Knights 

Booked: Marsden (29'), Brothers (30', 72'), Hill (83'), Crane (90'+1'), Mills (90'+3').

Goals: Marsden (26'), Fowkes (90'+6'); Ingram (79').


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