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Holders Needham Market came from behind twice to advance in the Endeavour Automotive Suffolk Premier Cup, following a 3-2 win at lower league side Long Melford.

Needham Market edge a game of little chances to set up a home Endeavour Automotive Suffolk Premier Cup Quarter-Final tie with lower league Stowmarket Town, following a 3-2 win at lower league Long Melford.

Kevin Horlock's side made 4 changes, Tommy Smith (not in the squad), Callum Page, Jamie McGrath and Luke Ingram (latter two dropped to the bench) were rested with Tev Allen returning from injury, Byron Lawrence made his first appearance since his horrific injury just shy of 2 years ago and captained the side, with Seth Chambers and Ollie Fraser earning starts.

Kevin Horlock's side had most of the possession but fell behind twice in the first half with the home side breaking the deadlock after 10 minutes when a right wing low cross was put on a plate for Harry Whiting-Noakes to tap home. 

In truth, the Marketmen enjoyed more of the possession, with the home side defending well in numbers, although the Marketmen had the first chance after 4 minutes as a left wing cross saw Kyle Hammmond's free far post header, at a tight angle, comfortably gathered by the keeper at his bottom right-hand corner.

Long Melford though, who sit two divisions below their visitors, broke the deadlock on 10 minutes, a right wing low cross was delivered on a plate for an unmarked Harry Whiting-Noakes to tap home into the bottom left-hand corner from close range, 1-0 Long Melford.

At the other end though, Needham looked to quickly restore parity two minutes later, Jacob Lay weaves through dangerously down the left wing before delivering a low dangerous cross-shot into the centre but for the ball to just evade the arriving Seth Chambers after the goalkeeper spilt the initial ball. 

Byron Lawrence meanwhile saw a 25-yard strike deflected comfortably through to the keeper on 14 minutes, while The Marketmen had a goal ruled out after Tevan Allen rounded the keeper to score on 20 minutes, only to be chalked off for a foul in the build up by Seth Chambers.

The holders though did equalise on 22 minutes as Dan Morphew rose like a salmon to bullet head home Tevan Allen's exquisite left wing corner into the top right-hand corner from 6-yards out.

Kyle Hammond smashed a shot well over the bar on 29 minutes, while Byron Lawrence curled a 25-yard shot narrowly over a minute later.

Ten minutes before the break however, Long Melford retook the lead through a lobbed finish from Ryan Gibbs despite a hand to it from Marcus Garnham who couldn't quite prevent it finding the top left-hand corner.

The visitors though hit back on 41 minutes to go into the break on level terms, courtesy of another Tevan Allen left wing corner. This time it was Seth Chambers on the end of it, unmarked in the box to peel back first time volley home into the top left-hand corner from 8 yards out for hs fourth goal of the season.

Needham went close on 45+2 minutes however, as Jacob Lay was threaded through onside down the left wing before cutting the ball back to an unmarked Ollie Fraser, whose 12-yard first time shot, towards the bottom right-hand corner was blocked.

After the restart, the Marketmen went close to taking the lead on 52 minutes, Reece Harris' audacious left wing cross from 30-yards out picked out Jamie McGrath, on at half-time in place of Byron Lawrence, who glanced a close range header narrowly wide.

Three minutes later, Harris then curled a 25-yard free-kick narrowly over the top right-hand corner three minutes later while Jamie McGrath latched onto an exquisite low right wing ball round the defence, sliding the striker one on one with the keeper whose shot on the side went just wide of the bottom right-hand corner on 58 minutes.

Needham continued to create chances, as a Tev Allen left wing corner saw a far post 5-yard header directed straight at the keeper at his left hand post on the hour mark, before Dylan Williams thundered a 35-yard shot narrowly over a minute later.

Callum Page then weaved into space, after being by a Reece Harris left wing thow-in and turning smartly into space to drive onto the  left-hand edge of the box, only to see his ferocious dipping shot cannon back into play off the inside of the far post on 73 minutes.

But it was Page who grabbed the winner for Needham three minutes later, arriving at the far post to finish off after a defender had flicked on Ollie Fraser's right wing cross, into the vacant bottom right-hand corner from close range.

Kyle Hammond then spotted the keeper off his line from 40-yards out on 77 minutes, but saw his shot towards the top left-hand corner parried down by the keeper.

Needham went close to wrapping up their spot in the Quarter-Finals on 90+3 minutes, where they'll host Stowmarket Town, as Reece Harris' ferocious free-kick on the right-hand edge of the box whistled just wide of the top near corner, while Jacob Lay drove through, beating his defender to break onto the right-hand byline, only for his cutback to see Ollie Fraser's 12-yard shot deflected over.

Needham host Nuneaton Borough in the league on Saturday.


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