MATCH PREVIEW: Saturday 17 August 2019, 3pm KO, Bloomfields, BetVictor Southern League Central Premier Division, Needham Market v Redditch United- By Drew Kendall (c) 2019.
How Have The Two Teams Fared So Far in 2019/20?
The hosts Needham have lost 1 game and drawn the other so far in the new season, after the late heartbreak of a 1-2 defeat at Stratford as a long range Glover strike on 70 minutes caught out Marcus Garnham, although Joe Marsden’s penalty levelled proceedings on 90 minutes slotting down the middle to equalise- despite the keeper getting a hand to it. Wreh though had other ideas, curling a good strike into the top left corner from the left edge of the box two minutes later to snatch the Blues the points. Needham though got their first point of the season on Tuesday, as the Marketmen drew 1-1 in a competitive game against Hitchin Town. The Canaries took the lead two minutes in through Draper, who from the edge of the box smashed home into the bottom right corner. Needham levelled a minute shy of the interval, Craig Parker on the right edge of the box releasing Callum Sturgess with a great through-ball past the defence to the latter on the far side in the area. The left-wing back going onto nutmeg the keeper from six yards out into the bottom right corner. The Marketmen, who finished eleventh last term, after being in play-off contention for a fair amount of the season, currently sit in 14th.
This weekend’s visitors to Bloomfields, Redditch United meanwhile sit 18th in the table having drawn 1 and lost 1 like their hosts. After a goalless draw at home to Banbury United last Saturday, Redditch then went on the road to Rushall Olympic on Tuesday night losing 3-1, with Moore grabbing Redditch’s goal on 22 minutes after Rushall goals from Letford (15’), Waldron (67’) and a Whittall penalty (84’).
Both sides therefore will be searching for their first three points of the 2019/20 season.
Needham’s home record last season, for the record in the league, stood at 8 wins, 6 draws and 7 defeats whilst Redditch struggled more on the road winning just 5, drawing 3 and losing 13.
Last season, the home side in each fixture took the points, with the sides meeting at Bloomfields in December 2018 before going head to head in Redditch in February.
The corresponding fixture at Bloomfields saw, as mentioned above, Needham take the points, though Redditch went 1-0 up on 29 minutes as Evans' shot on the right from fifteen yards empathically beating Jessup into his top near corner. With the last chance of the half, Needham drew level a minute left before half-time. Mills headed the ball past a defender on the left edge of the box, and beat him to the loose ball in the area. The Needham winger's low shot though was palmed away by the diving keeper down to his left. Leaving an open goal for the running Baker to stab into from close range, narrowly beating the defender to it- showing great desire to win the ball. On 75 minutes Needham for their second, James Baker getting through on the right in the box, who squared to Mills (with the duo being involved in all three Needham goals) and slotted comfortably into the bottom right corner. Once more it was a case of being in the right place at the right time for Needham's third goal with five minutes to play, as Mills' shot just indide the box on the left stung the hands of the keeper- which was struvk straight at him. Baker though was on hand at the back post to tap into the middle of the right corner to grab his brace- again after a Mills shot being saved.
In the reverse fixture, once more the home side in the fixture had to come from behind to take the points.
The Marketmen though won a penalty on four minutes, top scorer Joseph Marsden's shot from the left edge of the box was blocked by the hand of Richard Evans. Marsden stepped up himself, to slot into the bottom right corner, giving Needham an early lead after 5 minutes, despite the keeper going the right way. The home side meanwhile, responded quickly equalising two minutes after conceding. Leachman-Whittingham with their first attack on the left hand side in the box, which despite Jake Jessup rushing out to narrow down the angle the Redditch man picked his spot into the bottom right corner. Redditch turned the game on its head three minutes before the break, taking the lead with Leachman-Whittingham countering down the left wing before cutting inside and feeding Robbie Bunn from the left edge of the box. With space to shoot, the United No.8 drilled his strike into the bottom left corner. Redditch on the other hand, increased their lead to 3-1 on 51 minutes, Leachman-Whittingham again involved. The goalscorer on this ocassion picking up his second passing it into the bottom far corner, from the left edge of the box. Following that, a Redditch man went down in the box giving the hosts a chance to kill off the game. Johnson took the responsibiity of taking the spot kick, but was palmed away by Jessup low down to his right, the rebound though went straight to Johnson who had the easy task of tapping into an empty net- game over despite there being 32 minutes to play.
Top Goalscorers in League 2018/19:-
Joe Marsden: 18 (21 overall)
Adam Mills: 13
Shaquille Whittigham: 8
Top Scorer in League 2019/20:-
Joe Marsden & Callum Sturgess: 1
Clean Sheets 2018/19:-
Redditch:- 6 (1 2019/20)
Goal Difference 2019/20 (2018/19 Total):-
Needham:- 2:3 (68:65)
Redditch:- 1-3 (63:79)