Needham Market 2 Blues 5
Local bragging rights for the Blues as they start 2018 with a win
The Blues started 2018 just as they did 2017, defeating local rivals Needham Market and netting five goals. Since both sides have been in the Isthmian League the Blues have now won six and drawn one of the seven games played. The Blues made one change for this early kick off local derby at Bloomfields as Matt Blake came into the starting line up replacing Curtis Haynes-Brown who dropped to the bench as Blues boss Glen Driver went for an attacking line up.
Leiston started the match brightly and Matt Blake had an opening in the first minute but he couldn’t get his shot away. It was the hosts who went in front when Marcus Garnham’s weak clearance found Luke Ingram, who side footed home to give Needham the lead in just the fourth minute. A minute after the restart, Joe Marsden smashed an effort that hit home custodian James Bradbrook’s crossbar. Leiston were passing the ball around well with Byron Lawrence, Chris Henderson and Patrick Brothers all creating space and openings from midfield. Jack Ainsley and Christy Finch tried their luck, before Byron Lawrence’s free kick went agonisingly wide of Bradbrook’s left hand post. However, Leiston levelled when Joe Marsden’s cross from the right hand side was met by Chris Henderson who scrambled home, despite Bradbrook’s best attempts on 28 minutes. The lively Joe Marsden cut in from the right flank but his shot was saved low to his left by Bradbrook. Five minutes before the interval, Leiston took the lead. After more good build up play saw Jack Ainsley roll a pass into Matt Blake who stroked home with his left boot from the edge of the area. Needham had a couple of half chances before the break, but Leiston defended well.
Leiston started the second half as they did in the first, but Needham were given a lifeline when Tom Bullard slid in to foul Adam Mills, with referee Ollie Morris-Saunders adjudging the offence to be in the penalty area despite the visitors protests. Joe Marsden was booked for his protests and Dan Morphew stepped up to drill the ball down the centre of Marcus Garnham’s goal for the equaliser. The away fans were back in voice just moments later as Seb Dunbar’s excellent run and cross was met by Patrick Brothers who volleyed past Bradbrook’s outstretched dive. Ten minutes later and Leiston had their fourth goal. The ball was worked to Christy Finch who turned his marker and finished low into James Bradbrook’s bottom right hand corner. Marcus Garnham produced a good save to deny ex Blues Gareth Heath from getting Needham back in the match, while at the other end Leiston could have had a penalty, which was given as a free kick, but Byron Lawrence’s set piece came to nothing. Leiston did receive a penalty of their own in the 79th minute when Rhys Henry, one of seven ex Blues in the Needham Market squad, handled in the box. Leading scorer Jack Ainsley made no mistake to tuck away the Blues fifth of the afternoon and his tenth of the season. Luke Ingram was denied a second goal by another decent Marcus Garnham save and Kieron Morphew headed over a cross from Gareth Heath. The final action of note saw Matt Blake glide into the box after dribbling past the full back but his shot was palmed away by Bradbrook. In the end a comfortable win for Leiston who now turn their attentions to Saturday for the visit of Leatherhead.
FT - Needham Market 2 Blues 5
Needham Market - Bradbrook, Dye, Coakley, Williams (Henry 62 mins), K Morphew, D Morphew, Ingram, Heath, Schaar (Kamanzi 53 mins), Sands, Mills. Subs not used - Simmons, Gibbs and Munson.
Blues - Garnham, Marsden (Hammond 88 mins), Dunbar, Brothers, Jefford, Bullard, Lawrence, Henderson, Blake, Finch (Docherty 84 mins), Ainsley. Subs not used - Haynes-Brown, Trotter and Eagle.
Man of the Match - Chris Henderson
Attendance - 513