Fenn rescues a point for Needham Market against Hampton & Richmond Borough

Needham Market ( red) v Hampton & Richmond,

Needham Market ( red) v Hampton & Richmond, Football

Ollie Fenn came off the bench to rescue a point for Needham Market against Hampton & Richmond Borough on Saturday.

The 72nd-minute substitute cancelled out Dean Sinclair’s 65th minute goal as Needham deservedly shared the spoils with a Hampton side who had scored 11 goals in their previous two games before visiting Bloomfields.

The Marketmen still sit embroiled in a relegation battle, but will be fine with more results and performances like this.

A display full of passion, determination, and hard work, Needham stood up to be counted against a good team and can be proud of their efforts, with Sam Newson almost winning it for the Suffolk side in the dying moments.

It could have been very different though, but for the brilliance of Danny Gay. The former Leiston stopper excellently thwarted Hampton twice in the opening 10 minutes, saves that proved vital.

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After denying Nicke Kabamba one-on-one with a sprawling save, Gay then kept out Harry Taylor’s effort from the edge of the box as Hampton threatened to run riot. But from then on after, Needham regathered and put in a spirited display, improving as the game went on.

They first threatened in the 31st minute when Kem Izzet’s clipped ball was controlled by Newson, and his cross-cum-shot just evaded the despairing efforts of Will Crisell in the six-yard box.

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Goal-less at the interval, both sides came out with more purpose in the second half, with Needham’s trio of substitutes making a real difference to proceedings.

The Marketmen lost Izzet through injury (Achilles), but in Adam Mills, they had a more than capable replacement.

Fast and furious, the left-winger gave Michael Kamara a torrid time, with Colchester United loanee Callum Harrison flourishing alongside the dependable Keiran Morphew in central midfield.

All of a sudden, Needham became more threatening as Luke Ingram and Newson went close before Hampton hurt them with a sucker punch in the 65th minute.

After a Needham attack broke down, Kabamba forced a fine save from Gay, only for skipper Sinclair to roll in the rebound. A cruel blow to Needham’s hopes.

But the Marketmen didn’t give up, and found a second wind with target man Simon Thomas and centre-half Fenn adding another dimension to Needham’s game.

An excellent move in the 77th minute almost brought the equaliser. Michael Brothers picked up a loose ball before finding Newson, and after his lofted pass was touched down by Thomas, Harrison hit a 30-yard rocket that Seb Brown turned over.

Thomas was involved again, in the 82nd minute, and really should have scored, following Joe Whight’s through ball, but Brown made a good save as the striker headed the rebound wide with the goal gaping.

As the Needham crowd grew more vocal, the ball was eventually sucked into the Hampton goal two minutes later as Fenn swept home Thomas’s knock-down following a cross from Brothers.

It was the least Needham deserved, and the Suffolk side almost found a winner in the last minute, but Newson fired inches wide.

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