Super sub Griffiths nets injury-time winner for Needham Market
- Credit: Archant
Needham Market 1 Biggleswade Town 0
Super sub Jamie Griffiths came up trumps with a last gasp winner to snatch a precious three points for play-off chasing Needham Market, at the expense of promotion rivals Biggleswade Town at a cold and damp Bloomfields tonight.
The game looked to be drifting towards a rather inevitable goalless stalemate, until former Ipswich Town attacker Griffiths hit the target with a brave downward header from a corner, in the third minute of injury-time.
This could prove a big moment in Needham’s season, because the Suffolk side had lost ground on the top five over the last week, following back-to-back defeats at Stratford Town and at home to St Neots.
They had begun the evening five points adrift of the top five, but have now cut that gap to just two, although they have played more games than most of their lofty rivals.
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At least this result sets themselves up nicely for this Saturday’s stern test at league leaders Kettering Town.
It was a first half of very few chances, with Biggleswade shading the possession, although it was the Marketmen who came closest to breaking the deadlock.
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That arrived just two minutes before the break, when Adam Mills’ effort struck the post and rolled to safety.
To be fair, the visitors also struck the woodwork in the first period, classy winger Jonny McNamara curling in a shot from 15 yards out which beat keeper Jake Jessup, but rebounded off the far upright.
Richard Wilkins’ men rarely threatened before the break. Luke Ingram, a late inclusion in the side due to Dan Morphew’s late arrival, snatched at a shot which drifted wide on eight minutes.
Needham improved in the second half. Joe Marsden grazed the bar following a short corner routine, in the 56th minute, while Ingram toe-poked straight at keeper Sam Donkin in the 70th minute, from just six yards out.
Ingram also went close with a deft header from a free-kick, which was deflected wide off a defender, and he also pulled a shot wide with five minutes remaining.
But just when it looked as though all hope was lost, up popped Griffiths with the winner.
NEEDHAM MARKET: Jessup, Dye, Burgess, Squire, Baker, K Morphew, Marsden, Heath, Ingram (sub D Morphew, 89), Dobson (sub Griffiths, 80), Mills. Unused subs: Kamanzi, Pelling, Cook.