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Tight Affair Ends In A Stalemate at Bloomfields

The points were shared at Bloomfields on Saturday as Needham Market and Bedford Town played out a goalless draw.

Needham manager Kevin Horlock made 2 changes to Tuesday's 1-1 draw at Nuneaton Borough, Patrick Brothers returned from injury in place of Tom Fitzgerald, whilst Jamie McGrath replaced Noah Collard in the starting eleven.

In a game of only a few clear cut chances, the first half saw both sides have a spell on top. 

Arguably, Bedford were on top for the first spell of the half, whilst the Marketmen were on top for the second spell up until the interval. 

However, it was Kyle Hammond who had the first chance on 7 minutes, the Needham fullback drove into space on the right-hand edge of the box, albeit to blast his shot over the crossbar. 

At the other end meanwhile, Afolabi Soyemi-Ololade broke through down the left-hand byline, though his low ball across went straight to Needham goalkeeper Marcus Garnham at his near post three minutes later. 

The visitors meanwhile then drove through into space on the right-hand edge of the box, only to fire a shot wide of the top far corner after 14 minutes. 

Needham on the other hand created a good chance on 21 minutes, Kyle Hammond was threaded through cleverly on the overlap, down the right wing, the defender drove smartly onto the byline, although his cutback was cleared behind for a corner. 

The first shot on target though fell to the home side on 23 minutes, Jacob Lay threaded Luke Ingram through on the overlap down the left wing, the forward the cut into the box smartly before teeing up Patrick Brothers who had just arrived outside the box, albeit the midfielder's low shot across goal was comfortably held by the diving Street. 

Needham then went close again on the half-hour mark, Ross Crane's right wing cross picked out Jamie McGrath inside the six yard box, but the striker's header was deflected crucially behind for a second corner. 

At the other end, Hugh Jones forced a good stop from Garnham two minutes later, the Bedford defender's low 45-yard driven strike though was well held by the shot-stopper diving down to his right-hand side. 

Needham however quickly broke, threading Jamie McGrath through down the right hand side but the forward's ball smashed across the six yard box was well held by Street, diving off his line. 

Ross Crane meanwhile weaved inside onto the right-hand edge of the box well, the winger saw his fierce strike at goal deflected. Jacob Lay though was quickest to the loose ball, whose dangerous ball into the six yard box towards Luke Ingram was well claimed by Street. 

While that proved to be the last noteable chance of the opening forty-five minutes, the Marketmen had a great chance to break the deadlock around 30 seconds after the restart.

Kyle Hammond exploited space down the right wing before lofting a great cross into the six yard box, finding Jacob Lay free at the back post whose header went straight at Street. 

At the other end, Afolabi Soyemi-Ololade fired a low shot wide into the near side-netting on 51 minutes, a minute prior to Patrick Brothers forcing a good save from Street. 

Garnham's drop-kick released Brothers through towards goal, whose low shot on the edge of the box was just held by the diving keeper down to his left hand side. 

The visiting Eagles meanwhile had the next few good chances, first the away side cut inside dangerous onto the right-hand edge of the box, but to see the low shot deflected wide at the near post for a corner, which resulted in Daniel Jarvis heading over from close range after 56 minutes.

Six minutes later, Soyemi-Ololade was denied well by a great diving stop from Marcus Garnham, while Hugh Cullum was alert to clear Drew Richardson's header from the resulting corner crucially off the line.

With 73 minutes on the clock, the woodwork denied the Marketmen in agonising fashion, substitute Kaan Bennett, on-loan from Colchester United, picked out Ross Crane with a brilliant crossfield ball. The fellow winger then exploited space well only to see his low shot across goal cannon back into play off the inside base of the right-hand post, with the ball rebounding just behind the onrushing Luke Ingram. 

A perfectly timed tackle from the retreating Cullum meanwhile denied Sanders, who was clear through on goal, a shot on target on 79 minutes, whilst the home side saw a shot deflected just wide for a corner a minute later.

The resulting set-piece saw the ball fall to Ingram, whose shot was smothered superbly by the advancing Street.

Jake Dye, who was selected as match sponsor Jenny Nunn's Man Of The Match, then made a great tackle to prevent the away side from troubling Marcus Garnham again after 82 minutes, before Noah Collard saw his shot deflected behind for a corner two minutes later.

Needham 'keeper Marcus Garnham preserved his side's clean sheet with a stunning save on 86 minutes, Connor Tomlinson was threaded through on goal down the left hand side, only to be thwarted by the onrushing diving Garnham, who beat the ball away. 

Garnham again denied the visitors brilliantly a minute later, before Tomlinson shot straight into the Needham stopper's chest a minute later, seconds before Ross Crane hit a low shot straight at Street. 

On reflection, either side could've walked away with all 3 points, nonetheless an important clean sheet for the Marketmen, who now switch focus to the biggest game in the club's history on Saturday in the Emirates FA Cup 1st Round away to Sky Bet League One strugglers Burton Albion (3pm).

Needham Market:-

1 Marcus Garnham

2 Kyle Hammond

3 Jake Dye

14 Christian Frimpong

5 Hugh Cullum

6 Daniel Morphew (c)

7 Jacob Lay (74' Chambers)

8 Jamie McGrath (57' Bennett)

9 Luke Ingram

10 Patrick Brothers (56' Collard)

11 Ross Crane


12 Noah Collard

15 Harry Knights

16 Thomas Fitzgerald

17 Taykaan Bennett

18 Seth Chambers

Bedford Town:-

1 Alexander Street (c)

2 Michael Harriman (73' Keeble)

3 Samuel Warburton

4 Sam Dreyer

5 Drew Richardson

6 Hugh Alban Jones

7 Connor Tomlinson

8 Diadier Camara (61' Donnelly)

9 Afolabi Soyemi-Ololade

10 Joe Butterworth (61' Sanders)

11 Daniel Jarvis


12 Callum Donnelly

14 Charley Sanders

15 Kai Phelan

16 Kofi Halliday

17 Jack Keeble

Booked: Camara (19'), Collard (71'), Warburton (83'), Donnelly (90'), Ingram (90').


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