Baker nets late goal as Marketmen win seven-goal thriller
- Credit: Archant
Needham Market 4 Hednesdord Town 3
Needham Market's never-say-die attitude enabled them to nail victory with a late winner in this seven-goal thriller on Saturday.
A topsy-turvy afternoon at Bloomfields saw both sides put in competitive displays, with Needham taking an early lead and being two goals up at half-time, only to be pegged back in the second half before James Baker netted an 84th minute winner.
The game couldn't have started much better for the Marketmen as they took the lead in the first minute. Billy Hunt found Adam Mills in the area, and he battled well to get off a shot which keeper Shaun Rowley saved. However, the rebound fell to Callum Page, who calmly tucked it away to bag his third goal in three games.
Hednesford levelled just before the 10-minute mark. The goal came from a corner which was delivered to the near post by Ben O'Hanlon, an unmarked Ben Bailey having the simple task of nodding home from six yards out.
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Callum Page and Adam Mills were involved in the move that restored Needham's advantage. A good pass put in Page down the left, and he squared the perfect ball for Adam Mills to bury it into the net to register his first goal since returning to the club.
Delighted Needham fans did not have to wait long for some more cheer as Billy Hunt intercepted a Matthias Curley back pass and slotted beyond keeper Shaun Rowley to make it 3-1. Initially the assistant referee had raised his flag for offside but, after consultation with the referee, the goal was allowed to stand.
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Both sides had chances in the second half before Hednesford reduced the arrears from a 74th minuter corner. Ben O'Hanlon sent in an inviting cross which was headed home at the near post by Reece King, beyond keeper Finlay Shorten.
Four minutes later and it was 3-3. A good passing move culminated in substitute Elliot Hodge controlling the ball and firing low past Shorten into the the bottom corner of the net.
Needham boss Richard Wilkins tweaked his side's formation by putting substitute Baker up top with Hunt, and moving Page to the right, and two minutes later they reaped the rewards.
Great play on the left involving Mills and youngster Noah Collard gave Hunt the chance to put a ball across the six-yard box, where substitute Baker nipped in to calmly side-foot home the winner and so seal a third win on the trot.