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U23s Advance To Second Round Of Suffolk Senior Cup

Needham Market Under-23s advanced to the Second Round of the CNet Training Suffolk Senior Cup after a 5-1 victory over Suffolk & Ipswich League Senior Division side Bildeston Rangers.

The win makes it back to back wins for the young Marketmen, who triumphed 2-0 at Great Yarmouth for the first time in the club's Reserves/Under-23 team history in the League Challenge Cup, courtesy of a good all round team performance.

Rangers, who had current Needham Under-18 first year Stan Fovargue in their starting eleven, were under pressure early on as the hosts had the first chance of the early afternoon encounter after 7 minutes as Brandon Greenleaf's great ball into the six yard box just evades Archie Exworth.

The first save of the game arrived a minute later, after Archie Exworth's shot was blocked, the rebound fell to Lucas Vance, whose fierce shot inside the box towards the top right-hand corner was tipped over well by De Lara-Bell. 

The Marketmen meanwhile deservedly broke the deadlock after 13 minutes, James Letts' great right wing corner was swung into Mo Igwebuike, peeling away at the far post to nod down into the 3G turf and up into the roof of the net from point blank range, 1-0 Needham.

Archie Exworth had the ball in the net for the young Marketmen three minutes later, but was ruled offside as the midfielder latched onto a great ball over the top, one on one with the goalkeeper before volleying fiercely into the bottom left hand corner. 

After Bildeston blazed a shot over the top, Needham went close again on 18 minutes, Ben Smith's great ball over the top released Jayden Hanna through down the right wing, the full-back showed great control to bring the ball down although his low ball into the box was smacked behind for a corner. 

At the other end, Dodsworth threaded Jacobs into space from close range, though the latter's shot in the turn was tipped behind well by the diving Fin Shorten, down to his bottom right hand corner after 23 minutes. 

The goalkeeper was on hand to deny the visitors again a minute later with another good save, recovering well to punch away David Lorimer's dangerous ball across the box.

His opposite number Charles De Lara-Bell however made a good stop himself to deny the young Reds on 28 minutes, a clever through ball released Vance through one on one with the retreating 'keeper, who caught the first time shot well at his top right-hand corner.

Three minutes later though, Bildeston were awarded a penalty to level proceedings after David Lorimer was brought down by Fin Shorten. The former stepped up himself and sent Shorten the wrong way, dispatching the spot-kick into the bottom right hand corner, 1-1. 

Dimitri Gayle then saw a great cutback well intercepted by the retreating Craig Defew, who cleared the ball behind for a corner after 34 minutes. Needham then saw a deep cross sliced over onto the roof of the net by a Bildeston defender for anotjer corner, which Mo Igwebuike leapt like a salmon only to head just wide of the far post on 36 minutes. 

A clever Needham corner routine meanwhile almost resulted in a second Needham goal on 37 minutes, the set-piece was taken short to Brandon Greenleaf whose great ball in found Lucas Vance close to goal, but his diving header went just wide of the bottom near corner. 

Two minutes later though, Shorten was alert to hold onto Lorimer's squared ball across the box to keep the scores level. 

De Lara-Bell on the other hand denied Gayle five minutes before half-time, a great defence splitting pass threaded the winger one on one with the onrushing goalkeeper, whose low shot was well smothered by the visiting skipper. 

Great defending from Sam Leslie meanwhile denied Bildeston on 42 minutes, the Needham captain was in the right place at the right time to smack Lorimer's header off the line to deny a clear goal. 

Needham quickly made that clearance count, as the young Reds broke up the other end and retook the lead a minute later, Vance's low left wing inviting pass was latched onto by the advancing Luca Braddon. The striker then beat the onrushing De Lara-Bell to poke the ball home into the bottom left hand corner from the edge of the box, 2-1 Needham.

Early into the second half, the Reds arguably should have extended their lead. Just two minutes of the second half had been played when Lucas Vance drove through into acres of space, down the left wing, before squaring a great ball to Archie Exworth whose close range shot was well saved by De Lara-Bell down to his bottom left hand corner. 

Goalscorer Luca Braddon then latched onto a great through ball into the box on 52 minutes, only this time his good low strike went straight to goalkeeper De Lara-Bell. 

Four minutes later though, the young Marketmen extended their lead to 3-1, a clever back-heel from Lucas Vance picked out Archie Exworth out on the left-hand edge of the box, the midfielder's clever shot clattered agonisingly off the inside of the top near post, rebounding to Luca Braddon who nodded home into a vacant net from close range, 3-1. 

Braddon was then unlucky to not pick up a hat-trick just shy of the hour mark, the striker's clever effort from a tight angle crashed wide of the outside of the top near left-hand corner. 

While Exworth headed just over from point blank range after 63 minutes, the midfielder shot straight at De Lara-Bell three minutes later. 

With the young Reds chasing a fourth goal, the home side saw an effort cleared off the line after 69 minutes before Dimitri Gayle added a fourth goal for the hosts with a stunning finish a minute later. 

The winger exploited space well before smacking a brilliant strike in off the left-hand post, 4-1 Needham. 

Needham continued to dominate proceedings as Gayle was denied by a superb save from De Lara-Bell on 77 minutes. The goalscorer's fierce strike however was tipped over well by the diving stopper at his top left hand corner. 

Seconds later, it was high fives for the Reds as James Letts got in on the act, finishing brilliantly low across goal from the left-hand edge of the box, 5-1.

Still, Needham continued to create chances as Alex Oakley just couldn't latch onto a peach of a cross from Gayle from point blank range on 83 minutes, while Gayle himself cut inside well before firing a audacious strike just over the crossbar four minutes later. 

Much needed momentum for James Mant's side, who will go into Saturday (15th October)'s trip to Holland in the Thurlow Nunn Eastern Counties League First Division North in confidence. 

Needham Market U23:-

1 Finlay Shorten

2 Jayden Hanna

3 Brandon Greenleaf

4 Mahmoud Igwebuike (73' Buxton)

5 Ben Smith

6 Sam Leslie (c)

7 Lucas Vance

8 James Letts

9 Luca Braddon (71' Barker)

10 Archie Exworth (90' Oakley)

11 Dimitri Gayle


14 Travis Buxton

15 Eddie Barker

16 Alex Oakley 

Bildeston Rangers:-

1 Charles De Lara-Bell (c)

2 Alfie Smith

3 Craig Defew

4 Lloyd Dodsworth

5 Stan Fovargue

6 Shane Wanmer

7 David Lorimer

8 Trev Vinyard

9 Daryl Alexander 

10 Rasheedi Jacobs 

11 Chris Cowan


12 Harry Evans 

14 Keiron Dilloway

15 Tommy Newbigging

16 Spencer Rampling

17 Liam Hawkins

Booked: Vance (33'), Evans (75').

Goals: Igwebuike (13'), Braddon (43', 56'), Gayle (70'), Letts (77'); Lorimer (31'pen).


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