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Needham Market pick up an important point in a 1-1 draw against Nuneaton Borough at Bloomfields.

Kevin Horlock made 2 changes to Tuesday's Suffolk Premier Cup Quarter-Final win over Long Melford, as Kyle Hammond and Taylor Clark started in place of Tom Fitzgerald and Jacob Lay who dropped to the bench, alongside Hugh Cullum, Callum Page and Fin Shorten.

Needham, who are fifteenth in the Southern League Central Premier Division table, battled well against the side currently occupying fifth place in the league table, with the home side having the first chance of the game after 8 minutes. Good play saw a long ball flicked on towards Ross Crane, who broke into space down the left-hand side, although goalkeeper Tony Breeden was quick off his line to punt the ball out off the ground for a Needham throw-in.

Five minutes later, great hold up play from Luke Brown created a good chance for the Reds, a through-ball picked out the striker with his back to goal on the left-hand side of the box before teeing up the onrushing Ross Crane who smashed his shot wide of the bottom far corner.

Nuneaton however broke the deadlock after 22 minutes, a left wing long throw-in from Scott McManus was punched away by Garnham only as far as Ryan Beswick who found Kane Richards where the ball rebounded off the latter and into the near corner, 1-0 Nuneaton.

The visitors goalscorer then went close to quickly doubling their lead on 27 minutes, Richards latched onto a great low defence splitting pass onto the left-hand side, but after rounding Garnham he blazed his shot well over from a tight angle.

At the other end, Kyle Hammond's brilliant low ball smashes across the box found Luke Ingram close to goal just after the half-hour mark, but the forward's appeals for a penalty were waved away by the referee.

From a Needham perspective the pivotal moment of the game arrived in the 40th minute, as Mancinelli was cautioned two minutes previous for a dangerous foul on Patrick Brothers - with play halted from that point as the Needham midfielder received urgent treatment.

Play restarted in the seventh minute of first half stoppage time, as Brothers was stretchered off the field to a round of applause and was replaced by Tom Fitzgerald.

Needham at this point were enjoying more of the ball and were awarded a penalty in the eleventh minute of first half stoppage time. Ross Crane hared through on goal on the end of a great long ball over the top before being obstructed and barged down from 12-yards out. Up-stepped Luke Ingram two minutes later, whose ice cold spot-kick into the top left-hand corner was his eleventh goal in as many games and his sixteenth for the campaign, 1-1.

Two minutes after the restart, Kyle Hammond broke through smartly down the right wing onto the byline before smashing a great low cross into the danger area, which forced a defender to deflect it behind for a corner.

Nuneaton then withdrew Benbow for Gordon, while Needham continued their bright start to the half as the Marketmen went close on 57 minutes, Hammond was again released into space down the right wing, only this time his low cutback fired across the box was cleared away by a defender. Luke Ingram picked up possession before seeing his 25-yard ferocious strike sting Breeden's hands at head height, as the keeper gathered the ball at the second attempt.

A minute later, Ross Crane was squeezed into possession on the edge of the box whose decent low strike was straight at Breeden who gathered the ball well.

Chong, who was substituted for Dinaga two minutes after, was then found by a great left wing cross to the far post but could only fire low into the near side-netting from a tight angle on 62 minutes.

Clear cut chances were at a premium, especially so in the second half, despite the Marketmen looking bright in possession and troubling the Nuneaton goalkeeper.

Crane looked to capitalise on spotting Breeden off his line with 11 minutes left on the clock, but the winger's 52-yard out effort went over the bar.

Crane then looked to turn provider as Keiran Morphew exploited acres of space at the far post but the defender just couldn't connect with the exquisite right wing corner from point blank range.

That was the final action as the points were shared, while Needham extend their good recent run of form to 5 games unbeaten after winning 3 of their previous 4 outings. Horlock's side will look to continue that on Tuesday when they host second placed Coalville Town (7:45pm).


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