The Marketmen, returning to league action travelled to Worcestershire to try and bounce back from their disappointment of last week’s cup exit. Bromsgrove’s’ Victoria Ground was the destination, a new one for most of the Needham Team and Supporters. It also turned out to provide the largest attendance the Marketmen have played in front of so far, with a figure of 976.
The starting line-up saw James Baker and Samuel Squire drop to the bench as they game managed slight knocks, which meant starts for Russell Short and Dan Morphew.
The Marketmen started the match reasonably well with Joseph Marsden forcing the home sides’ keeper Tony Breeden into action early on and Luke Ingram sent an effort over the bar as he tried to chip the keeper.
Callum Sturgess also had a good start to the game with a couple of good runs down the left and looked dangerous throughout.
However, as the half progressed neither side was really able to take the game by scruff of the neck and create anything much that would trouble either set of defences.
Although it was the home side who came to life in the last fifthteen minutes and finished the half the stronger. Shaquille McDonald had a couple of opportunities, the first he tried curl into the top corner but it went narrowly wide and the other was comfortably saved by Marcus Garnham.
But their two best chances came just before the break. The first fell to Kieran Westwood found himself in acres of space after some good build up play, but he put his left footed strike wide and then a couple of minutes later a good team move set up Richard Gregory. He beat his man to give himself a clear strike on goal but he only managed to hit it straight at Marcus Garnham.
Half Time: Bromsgrove Sporting 0 vs Needham Market 0
Following a Luke Ingram fierce drive, two minutes after the re-start, that was well gathered by Tony Breeden Bromsgrove enjoyed a decent spell of possession. They began to pressure the Marketmen and created a few opportunities. Shaquille McDonald had a half-hearted penalty claim waved on after a good run into the box, whilst Kieran Westwood unleashed a fierce shot that Dan Morphew managed to get into its path to head it behind and just over the hour Richard Gregory blasted over from 20 yards after creating space for the shot. The Marketmen did however to create an opportunity or two, with a Joe Neal header going over the top being the closest.
Kieran Westwood departed the game on fifty-six minutes as Bromsgrove introduced John Pykett, who would play his last game for them before moving overseas.
With twenty-five minutes remaining the Marketmen’s Jordao Diogo smartly switched the play to release Luke Ingram down the right, who in turn put a good cross into the far post, where Joseph Marsden had run into a good position, he rose above the defender to nod it goal wards and despite the keepers’ efforts he could not keep it from crossing the line. 1-0 NMFC – 65 mins
Soon after taking the lead Joseph Marsden could have had another after he had latched on to a clearance from Bromsgrove’s keeper, who had strayed from his area to start up Bromsgrove’s build-up play. Joseph Marsden ran to try to get a clear shot at goal but the keeper redeemed himself and did well to get back to push Marsden’s effort behind.
Bromsgrove tried to mount a response and made a double change soon afterwards introducing more attacking options, including their new signing Mike Taylor from Stourbridge. But despite all their reasonable build-up play they were unable to find that final ball to unlock the Marketmen’s resolute defence.
Meanwhile the Marketmen made a couple of changes to help them maintain what they had; James Baker replaced Joe Neal and Samuel Squire came on for Jordao Diogo.
The tempo of the game faded in the final minutes, with neither team mustering any chances of note and it was the Marketmen who saw out the game well and travelled back to Suffolk with all three points in the bag.
Full Time: Bromsgrove Sporting 0 vs Needham Market 1
Bromsgrove Sporting: Breeden, Rankin (Taylor ’72), Wilson, Hayward, Broadhurst, Hull, Westwood (Pykett ’56), Massey, McDonald, Gregory, Shorrock (Dowd ’72)
Needham Market: Garnham, Dye, Sturgess, Short, Morphew(K), Morphew(D), Ingram, Heath, Neal (Baker ‘70), Marsden (Collard ‘90+2), Diogo (Squire ‘75)