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UNDER-18S ADVANCE TO SEMI FINALS

Needham Market Under-18s advance to the Semi-Finals of the Veo Suffolk Boys U18 Midweek Cup after a clinical last ten minutes against a determined Mildenhall Town side.


The young Marketmen almost had the perfect start after just six minutes, Taylor Clark's right wing free-kick, from 40-yards out, picked out Ben Smith in acres of space from 10-yards out only for the defender's shot to lack power, drawing a comfortable save from the goalkeeper at his left-hand post. 


Ben Smith again got on the end of another set-piece five minutes later, the defender, who celebrated his birthday on Wednesday, this time latched onto a brilliant left wing corner, albeit his looping header towards goal was punched away by the goalkeeper under pressure from Ollie Fraser. 


Captain Seth Chambers meanwhile nearly broke the deadlock for the home side on 19 minutes, the forward latched onto a great long ball over the defence only to volley his shot a centimetre wide of the bottom far corner.


Mildenhall though broke up the other end from the resulting goalkick and took the lead a minute later, Noah Moss' kick released Liam Stephens past the defence, who caught Robinson off his line to deftly lift the ball home into the top near corner, from the right-hand edge of the box, for the opening goal of the night, 0-1 Mildenhall.


In response, the Marketmen went close to an equaliser on 26 minutes, an audacious left wing cross found Seth 5free in acres of space whose close range looping header, that was creeping in underneath the crossbar, forced Moss into a stunning save to tip it over for a corner, while Ollie Fraser weaved into space well from 20-yards out on the right-hand side only to see his low tame shot comfortably held by the 'keeper at his near post two minutes later. 


Just after the hour-hour mark though, Ben Smith started his birthday celebrations early with a great first time volley to draw the home side back on level terms. Dimitri Gayle's brilliant low right wing corner found the defender in space who in turn cooly found the far corner. 


The goal galvanized the young Reds, with great buildup play seeing James Letts' brilliant long ball threads Gayle racing through towards goal. The winger then teed up Taylor Clark, on the left-hand edge of the box, whose low fierce effort at the bottom near corner was well held by Moss on 35 minutes.


Clark meanwhile picked out Chambers with a sumptuous right wing cross, four minutes later, although the latter's header from acres of space, around the penalty spot, glanced narrowly wide of the far post, before the forward was on hand at the other end to neatly flick a fierce Mildenhall shot towards the bottom right-hand corner behind the opposite post for a corner on 44 minutes. 


The home side however went into the interval in front as Ben Smith picked up a brace, with a goal in the first minute of stoppage time. Ollie Fraser exploited space on the right-hand byline to smash a brilliant ball across the face of goal, which Seth Chambers turned towards at the near post, finding Ben Smith arriving at the back post who provided the finishing touch - firstly onto the inside of the left-hand post and then over the line to make sure, 2-1 Needham. 


The second half meanwhile saw Needham create more chances against a very determined Mildenhall side. The young Marketmen started on the front foot with Seth Chambers' slamming a brilliant right wing ball across the face of goal for Taylor Clark who could only blast the ball over the crossbar on 51 minutes. 


The home side then replicated that chance a minute later, only on that occasion Dimitri Gayle just couldn't quite provide the finishing touch it craved. 


Needham continued to find success with smashing the ball across the face of goal, with Ollie Fraser's low delivery on 55 minutes going just wide after a near post flick from Seth Chambers. 


Chambers then saw a decent strike deflected into the 'keeper's chest, at his near left-hand post, three minutes later, before James Letts forced a brilliant diving save from Moss on 66 minutes. The midfielder's 30-yard ferocious effort, out on the left-hand side, drew a brilliant stop from the shot-stopper - diving across well to his left-hand side to beat it away. 


The hosts again went agonisingly close again four minutes later, Fraser poked the ball through to Chambers who then raced through one on one down the left-hand side of the box to poke the ball past the onrushing Moss, but also a centremetre wide of the bottom far corner.


A smart save from Moss thwarted the Needham striker from deservedly getting on the scoresheet after 73 minutes, Chambers again raced through onto the right-hand byline inside the box whose shot, at point blank range from a tight angle, was creeping into the near post but for a smart reaction stop from Moss to kick the ball behind for a corner.


While Chambers' free header from ten yards out went straight at Moss on 75 minutes, the Marketmen increased their lead with 4 goals in the remaining ten minutes.


Luca Braddon picked up his 10th goal for the Under-18s this season in style, having raced through onto the right-hand side of the box the forward lashed his shot home into the bottom far corner, 3-1 Needham on 81 minutes. 


Mildenhall however went close to reducing the deficit three minutes later as a volleyed shot from six yards out was brilliantly smothered away by Lawrence Robinson. Seconds later, the hosts released Ed Barker racing through on goal, albeit the substitute's shot from close range was brilliantly smothered away by the diving keeper down to his left-hand side, while the rebound was put behind for a corner. 


Needham though added a forth goal on 86 minutes, Ollie Fraser was released through down the right-hand side of the box, the winger then unleashed a brilliant ferocious shot from a tight angle, which Moss did brilliantly to tip onto the underside of the crossbar and back into play - although Ed Barker was on hand to get a touch to it with Stanley Forvague racing in from point blank range to poke home into the empty net at the far post. 


It was then high fives for Needham two minutes later, Flynn Crosthwaite threaded Ollie Fraser through with a perfectly weighted defence splitting pass, the winger - one on one with Moss - bared down on goal before slotting home brilliantly from 10-yards out, past the onrushing keeper and into the bottom right-hand corner, 5-1 Needham. 


After the home side smashed a great strike, from the right-hand edge of the box, just over the bar on 90 minutes, Eddie Barker went close to getting on the scoresheet two minutes later, firing a low fierce shot from a similar position wide of the bottom far corner. 


But it was from the substitute's 94th minute corner that Needham rounded off proceedings, Eddie's brilliant right wing corner was headed away as far as fellow substitute Alex Oakley in space from 12-yards out who volleyed home well first time into the bottom left-hand corner. 


A second straight county cup semi-final beckons for Needham after overcoming a resilient Mildenhall Town side.

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