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PROFESSIONAL PERFORMANCE TAKES MARKETMEN EIGHT POINTS CLEAR


Needham Market go eight points clear at the top of the Southern Central Premier Division table with a 3-0 win at home to Redditch United.


Kevin Horlock's side made one change to the 2-1 win at home to Barwell on Saturday, Keiran Morphew starting in place of Hugh Cullum - who dropped to the bench, with Adam Mills fit to start after going off with a cut just above his eye on Saturday, while the rest of the match day squad remained the exact same.


Needham started brightly, having the first chance in the seventh minute, Jamie McGrath drove into space smartly onto the right-hand edge of the box whose shot was deflected over the crossbar narrowly for a corner, which saw Tevan Allen's set-piece headed over for a goal-kick.


Nice linkup play between Tommy Smith and Adam Mills, two minutes later, saw the latter whip an audacious cross in round the defence towards Seth Chambers but for the defender to get in the away to deflect the effort behind for another corner, with Allen's resulting set-piece punched away by the visiting goalkeeper.


The Marketmen meanwhile rattled the crossbar in the 17th minute, as a foul on McGrath led to a free-kick in a dangerous position from 25-yards out, albeit Mills' venomous effort went over off the top of the bar.


Redditch though had their only real first chance chance three minutes later, as a right iwng free-kick found a free header at the far post, whose tight angled effort at goal was headed off the line.


Needham went back up the other end and drew a smart save out of the visiting shot-stopper on 27 minutes, Luke Ingram threaded a great defence splitting pass through to Mills, racing through on the far, left-hand, side of the box whose low tight angled shot was beaten behind well by the keeper at his near post.


The Marketmen then found the break through five minutes before the interval, excellent linkup play saw some near passing thread Jamie McGrath one on one on the edge of the box to curl home effortlessly into the bottom right-hand corner for his 12th league goal of the campaign.


McGrath then looked to add to his tally two minutes after the break, a dangerous right wing free-kick was swung into the forward whose close range header towards the bottom near corner was held by the well placed keeper.


Luke Ingram then latched onto a loose ball to fire a well hit volley from 25-yards out, but saw his shot go over the bar on 50 minutes, while the Marketmen doubled their lead a minute later.


Tevan Allen cut inside smartly before driving through on the right-hand byline and trying his luck with a tight angled cross-shot which was turned into his own net by Ryan Wollacott from point blank range.


Needham effectively wrapped up their 8th win among 10 league games unbeaten, just before the hour mark. A clever nutmeg from Dylan Williams saw the midfielder pick out Luke Ingram to smash a ferocious strike home from distance, via a deflection, wrong footing the goalkeeper.


Seth Chambers then looked to get in on the act on 73 minutes, the striker was threaded through on goal before holding the ball up well while waiting for an opening to shoot, though his shot was well deflected. The away side broke quickly up the other end, but saw their shot denied by Marcus Garnham for a corner.


Redditch then intercepted possession in a dangerous area on the left-hand side outside the box, but fired the low shot just wide of the far corner on 79 minutes, before a superb stop denied Ingram from netting a second goal of the night two minutes later.


The ball dropped nicely for the forward to fire superbly at goal, on the volley from 12-yards out, but the keeper was on hand to dive across to his right and beat it behind for a corner.


The Marketmen did guide the resulting corner home from point blank range, but was ruled out for a foul on the goalkeeper, while Jacob Lay cut in smartly from the left wing into the box but saw his tame effort held by the keeper, while Sutherland saw a volley, from the left-hand edge of the box, dipping superbly into the top far corner but for Garnham to fly across and tip it wide excellently.


Needham travel to Bromsgrove Sporting on Saturday (3pm).


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