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Needham Market Under-23s record their first ever victory over Great Yarmouth Town

Needham Market Under-23s record their first ever victory over Great Yarmouth Town following a deserved 2-0 victory at The Wellesley to progress to the Third Round of the Thurlow Nunn League Challenge Cup.

The encounter, which was goalless at the break with the Marketmen arguably having the better chances in an entertaining and fairly tight first half, was the second between the sides in under two months after Yarmouth won the first meeting in the First Division North, ahead of the reverse fixture on October 22nd.

This time around it was the young Marketmen who took their chances after the break, despite the Reds having some good chances also in the first half. The away side had the first chance after 5 minutes, looping a header just over the bar from a right wing corner. 

At the other end though, Yarmouth's best chance of the first half followed just two minutes later, after a left wing free-kick found a Yarmouth man free from close range whose header went just over the crossbar. 

Thirteen minutes in, the visitors had another great chance to break the deadlock, a great left wing cross picked out Tom Fitzgerald free on the edge of the box, though the midfielder dragged his shot wide of the bottom near corner. 

A smart save however from goalkeeper Reuben Lane denied the young Reds after 21 minutes, Taylor Clark was threaded through past the defence by a great through-ball, although Lane narrowed down the angle well, advancing, to smother the shot. 

Great passing play meanwhile from the away side almost provided a breakthrough two minutes later, Harry Knights picked out Fitzgerald, who in turn fed Sam Leslie, the centre-back in turn fed Ben Smith down the right wing, the defender then cleverly threaded the ball onto Seth Chambers - in space on the edge of the box - who couldn't quite control the ball as it ran through to goalkeeper Lane, while the Needham captain then saw a low shot deflected behind the far right hand post a minute later. 

The young Marketmen started the second half on the front foot and we're quickly awarded a penalty, two minutes after the restart as Lane rushed off his line and fouled the Needham man running through on goal. Up stepped Archie Exworth, who cooly sent Lane the wrong way, to dispatch his fifth goal of the season for the Under-23s into the bottom right hand corner, 1-0 Needham.

Taylor Clark then curled a 20-yard shot narrowly over the top right hand corner on 52 minutes, before the visitors saw a fierce strike towards the bottom right hand corner well held by Lane six minutes later. 

And with 15 minutes left on the clock, captain Seth Chambers thumped home a great finish to double his side's advantage, the striker exploited space well on the edge of the box before drilling home past Lane into the bottom right hand corner, 2-0 Needham.

After that however, Yarmouth sprung into life, forcing two good stops from Needham goalkeeper Fin Shorten, who was searching for his third straight clean sheet - having kept two consecutive clean sheets in the first team before going away on holiday - and fourth of the season.

In truth, it was a great all round performance from the Marketmen, although Shorten was alert after 81 minutes to advance off his line and smother a Yarmouth shot.

The home side then found a man in space inside the box, following a clever quick corner, but his low shot went comfortably wide of the bottom near corner on 84 minutes. 

A minute later, the hosts headed a good right wing ball into the box wide of the near post, before George Cousins raced through onto the right-hand side of the box, only to fire his shot wide of the top far corner on 90 minutes.

Yarmouth though were thwarted by a great save from Shorten a minute later, a great ball over the top released the hosts free from close range, whose shot at the bottom left hand corner was well saved by the diving legs of Fin Shorten. 

That proved to be the final noteable action of the night, as the young Reds advance to the next round and look forward to the Third Round draw on Friday (7th October), with the next round set to be played on the 8th or 9th of November. The Reds are back in home action, for just the third time this season, on Saturday (8th October) as they welcome SIL Senior Division side Bildeston Rangers to Bloomfields (1pm) in the CNet Training Suffolk Senior Cup First Round in the first of a double header of cup action, ahead of the First Team's Isuzu FA Trophy 3rd Qualifying Round home tie against league opponents Stourbridge (3pm).

Great Yarmouth Town:-

1 Reuben Lane

2 Adam Willets (70' Perry)

3 Gerson Soares (82' Melo)

4 George Barnden

5 Brady Philpott 

6 Tyler Halliday

7 Brad McQueen (70' Fenn)

8 Harlen Roberts (55' Duffield)

9 George Cousins

10 Jordan Cantwell (c)

11 Ryan Jacobs


12 Regan Perry

14 Jesse Fenn

15 Tyrese Melo

16 Louis Duffield

17 Naigen Gomes Lopes

Needham Market U23:-

1 Finlay Shorten

2 Ben Smith 

3 Brandon Greenleaf

4 Tom Fitzgerald

5 Sam Leslie

6 Harry Knights (82' Igwebuike)

7 Ollie Fraser (HT' Vance)

8 Archie Exworth

9 Seth Chambers (c)

10 Taylor Clark

11 Dimitri Gayle


14 Lucas Vance

15 Mahmoud (Mo) Igwebuike

16 Travis Buxton 

Booked: Willets (43'), Roberts (50').

Sin Binned: Exworth (35'), Philpott (90'+2').

Goals: Exworth (48'pen), Chambers (75').


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