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Needham Market Under-23s remain thirteenth in the Thurlow Nunn Eastern Counties League First Division North after a 3-1 home defeat to Norwich CBS at Ruby Homes Bloomfields 3G Arena. 

The defeat was arguably harsh on James Mant's side who arguably had more than enough chances to pick up what would've been a deserved point. 

The young Marketmen started brightly and were the better side until CBS broke the deadlock, arguably against the run of play. It was the home side who had the first chance in the sixth minute, great play saw Archie Exworth fed into space before threading Mo Igwebuike into space, the latter weaved onto the left-hand edge of the box only to wrap his curled shot straight at the goalkeeper, who caught the ball well at head height. 

Five minutes later, the young Reds went close to breaking the deadlock as Callum Page wrapped a 25-yard free-kick out on the left-hand side wide of the bottom far corner, before CBS shot straight at Shorten's chest after 13 minutes. 

Pye's right wing throw-in meanwhile found Jordan Attree in acres of space from six yards out, but the forward headed just over the crossbar on 16 minutes. 

At the other end, great two touch passing from Needham saw Shane Wardley look to thread Luca Braddon thorough with a brilliant through-ball, but the ball just ran past the winger two minutes later. Some more excellent play from Needham, despite the windy conditions saw the young Marketmen go close again in the 20th minute, Wardley's free-kick was held up well by Archie Exworth, who had his back to goal on the left-hand edge of the box before the ball was passed back to the defender who skewed his shot wide of the bottom far corner from in space just outside the box. 

More good two touch quick passing from the hosts then saw Callum Page fed into space on the left-hand edge of the box, although his low shot on the turn towards the bottom far corner was well held by the well positioned goalkeeper on 22 minutes. 

The visitors though broke the deadlock against the run of play on 32 minutes, the away side broke through two on one, with Fin Shorten off his line unable to prevent the ball squared on a plate finding Jordan Attree from close range to tap into an empty net, 0-1 CBS. 

That goal galvanized the away side, who then saw a shot blocked on the edge of the box before curling the rebound over the crossbar and out of the ground three minutes later. 

CBS then saw a close range free header from a left wing corner go narrowly over the bar after 42 minutes, while a combination of Fin Shorten and Sam Leslie thwarted CBS from doubling their lead in the first minute of first half stoppage time. The away side broke through down the left-hand side of the box before Attree saw his shot well saved by the diving Shorten off his line, down well to his left, while Leslie retreated well to finish the job and clear the ball away to safety. 

CBS though doubled their lead four minutes after the restart, while the young Marketmen grew back into the game and almost pulled a goal back in the 53rd minute. Ben Smith's great right wing cross found Archie Exworth in acres of space inside the box who miskicked his shot off target. 

At the other end, Richardson found acres of space on the right-hand edge of the box only to fire his first time sidefooted shot narrowly wide of the top far corner on 56 minutes.

Three minutes later, more good Needham passing play saw Exworth tee up Callum Page who wrapped his shot wide of the top left-hand corner. 

Exworth meanwhile was threaded through one on one down the left-hand side of the box on 61 minutes, only to see his tight angled low shot well gathered by goalkeeper Danny Lloyd. 

Needham however did reduce the deficit to 1-2 with a brilliantly taken goal on 68 minutes, a perfectly weighted defence splitting pass threaded Callum Page through one on one with Lloyd down the left-hand side before finishing smartly and confidently into the bottom left-hand corner, 1-2. 

The home side almost levelled proceedings meanwhile with two excellent chances in quick succession, first Travis Buxton did well to retain possession within traffic down the right-hand side of the box before seeing his ferocious low shot towards the bottom far corner, at a tight angle, vitally shovelled JUST wide for a corner by the diving Lloyd after 73 minutes. The resulting left wing corner a minute later saw the keeper tip the dangerous set-piece away only as far as Sam Leslie whose half volleyed effort was blocked as far as Exworth whose low fierce shot towards the bottom left-hand corner was cleared off the line. 

Needham continued to push for a second goal as Mo Igwebuike's header from a great free-kick was seemingly deflected behind off a defender, although a goalkick was given on 76 minutes, while CBS at the other end were denied by some incredible goalkeeping from Fin Shorten a minute later. 

Ryan Pye was released through on goal, racing through Needham's half only to see Shorten rush off his line well to narrow down the angle and brilliantly smother the shot away. 

Back came Needham as the hosts' audacious crossfield ball from the left wing picked out Ben Smith in acres of space down the right-hand side of the box whose first time cushioned shot lacked power as the keeper took a comfortable catch guarding his near post on 78 minutes. 

Travis Buxton then went agonisingly close to levelling proceedings a minute later, the midfielder was found one on one with Lloyd on the penalty spot but shot just wide of the gaping bottom right-hand corner. 

A good save from Fin Shorten did initially thwart a third CBs goal, with ten minutes to go, Attree found acres of space on the right-hand side only to see his ferocious 25-yaes strike towards the bottom far corner brilliantly saved by Fin Shorten, who got down quickly and smartly to gather the strike. 

Seconds later though, CBS did hit Needham with a harsh sucker punch third goal, Charlie Brindle's shot in space from the left-hand edge of the box was well saved by Shorten well off his line, though the rebound fell kindly for Richardson to rifle home into the vacant bottom right-hand corner. 

Needham though wouldn't let up, Ed Barker got to the ball on the edge of the box before turning smartly to shoot towards the bottom left-hand corner, only for Lloyd to dive down and hold onto the ball well on 82 minutes.

Exworth then had a late chance for Needham in the second minute of stoppage time, albeit his fierce low 18-yard strike was blocked.

James Mant's side are in home action again next Saturday when they welcome Downham Town to Bloomfields 3G pitch (3pm).


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