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MARKETMEN RETURN TO LEAGUE ACTION WITH 3-0 WIN AT STAMFORD

Needham Market's first league game in a month, due to their FA Cup run, sends the Marketmen back to second in the league after a 3-0 away win at Stamford AFC on Tuesday night.


Kevin Horlock's side made 1 change to the Emirates FA Cup replay against York City with Reece Harris starting in the absence of the suspended Dan Morphew as Jake Dye started at centre-back and Kyle Hammond filling in at right-back, as 3rd took on 4th at the Zeeco Stadium.


The Marketmen started brightly in a first half that saw chances at both ends, although the Marketmen arguably had the better of the chances with Tevan Allen latching onto a great through-ball into space in the box only for his low cross dangerously across the six yard box to be gathered by the keeper on 6 minutes.


Needham then created a good chance to break the deadlock three minutes later, striker Jamie McGrath raced onto a defence splitting pass onto the right-hand side of the box whose shot in space was well blocked by Joe Burgess.


At the other end meanwhile, Stamford fired a shot deflected just wide of the bottom left-hand corner a minute later, while the Daniels' near post header from a left wing corner was smacked away in the tenth minute.


Clever play from Needham however saw Jake Dye's great surging run downfield break into space just outside the box, who smartly slid Tommy Smith into space on the left-hand side, whose low first time squared ball across the danger area was cleared, on 14 minutes. 


Joe Burgess then picked out Siddons free on the edge of the box, for the home side five minutes later, but the latter's shot on the turn was dragged wide of the bottom right-hand corner, while clever passing play from Needham saw Tevan Allen fed into space just outside the box before finding Luke Ingram, whose low fierce ball across the face of goal narrowly evaded Jamie McGrath for a Needham corner on 23 minutes.


The resulting corner did see Needham find the back of the net a minute later, but Keiran Morphew's header was chalked off after being adjudged to have fouled the goalkeeper.


Harry Vince meanwhile saw a shot from the right-hand side of the box fired low and straight at Marcus Garnham, guarding his near post on 25 minutes, before a Stamford right wing corner led to an effort being headed away and a shot being fired over the bar from outside the box on the half-hour mark.


Kyle Hammond then spotted the keeper off his line with a 50-yard lobbed shot at goal, but his effort went narrowly wide of the left-hand, far, post on 35 minutes.


While a Stamford shot was sliced wide following a neat cutback, Dylan Williams saw a shot blocked on the edge of the box before the away side retained possession well and firing just over the crossbar on 44 minutes.


Tevan Allen again saw a dangerous low squared ball across the box cleared on the stroke of stoppage time, before Jacob Lay teed up Kyle Hammond from 10-yards out whose low strike towards the bottom right-hand corner was inadvertedly blocked by Ingram two minutes later to draw the first half to a close.


The second half saw the Marketmen make the most of their chances, striking 3 times in clinical fashion, albeit the home side saw a low shot from the left-hand edge of the box comfortably gathered by the diving Garnham, down comfortably to his right-hand side on 47 minutes.


The Marketmen, wearing their yellow away kit, broke the deadlock a minute later courtesy of some fine play, Luke Ingram threaded Reece Harris into space on the left wing whose audacious cross was curled to the far post, picking out Tevan Allen stealing in for his 3rd league goal, and fifth in all competitions, to tap home from point blank range, 1-0 Needham.


Luke Ingram then spotted the home goalkeeper off his line soon after, but shot over from distance on 50 minutes, before Dylan Williams forced a good save from the keeper a minute later. The midfielder found space to shoot from just outside the box, although his strike was beaten away by the keeper, down low to his left-hand side, with Ingram lurking just unable to pounce on the initial rebound ahead of the keeper. 


A good save from Garnham though thwarted a Stamford equaliser on 56 minutes, the home side found space to fire a low volley across goal from the right-hand side which Garnham was equal to beat away.


Tevan Allen then drove into space on the right-hand side before whipping a clever cross to the far post but his delivery just evaded McGrath lurking from a yard out a minute later, followed by a surging run from Jacob Lay saw the winger round his marker as he broke into the box, albeit his dangerous cutback was cut out for a corner on 59 minutes.


The Marketmen then doubled their lead on 63 minutes, Man Of The Match Tevan Allen's left wing corner picked out the unmarked Jamie McGrath at the far post, who tapped home from close range to make it 2-0.


Stamford however drove into space on the right-hand side of the box, but smashed the shot narrowly over the top far corner on 70 minutes, while a great ball over the top from Needham saw the Marketmen go agonisingly close to a third goal two minutes later. 


Seth Chambers, fresh off the bench, latched onto the ball one on one with the onrushing keeper whose dinked shot beat the keeper but went wide of the bottom left-hand far corner.

Kyle Hammond then tested the goalkeeper with a good free-kick, from the left-hand edge of the box on 79 minutes, but his set-piece was comfortably held by the keeper at his top near corner. 


Ollie Fraser then added the icing on the cake for the Suffolk side by making it 3-0 with his first senior goal on 89 minutes. A smart run saw Jacob Lay break onto the right-hand byline whose fiercely driven cross in on a plate was tapped home by the young winger, racing in at the near post from point blank range.


Stamford then saw a shot in space inside the box deflected behind the near, left-hand, post for a corner in the 90+3rd minute, before substitute Callum Page was teed up inside the box only to shoot straight at the keeper two minutes later, with Marcus Garnham on hand to make a comfortable saw down to his right-hand side to preserve the clean sheet soon after.


An eighth clean sheet in 11 league outings for the Marketmen - who've currently only conceded 9 goals so far this campaign, with 13 clean sheets in total (5 in the FA Cup) - ahead of a trip to Royston Town (3pm) on Saturday.

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