Fowkes is hat-trick hero as Needham beat Stowmarket to set up final date with Lowestoft

Needham Market players celebrate after Ben Fowkes breaks the deadlock with the opening goal. Picture

Needham Market players celebrate after Ben Fowkes breaks the deadlock with the opening goal. Picture: CARL MARSTON - Credit: Archant

Needham Market and Lowestoft Town will contest the Suffolk Premier Cup Final, after the Marketmen beat local rivals Stowmarket Town 4-1 and the Trawler Boys secured a 2-0 win over Bury Town, both semi-finals played last night.

Needham Market prepare to launch another corner into the box during the first half of their Suffolk

Needham Market prepare to launch another corner into the box during the first half of their Suffolk Premier Cup semi-final tie against Stowmarket. Picture: CARL MARSTON - Credit: Archant

A quickfire brace from recent signing Ben Fowkes, midway through the first half, put Needham in control against Thurlow Nunn Premier side Stowmarket at AFC Sudbury, and although Charlie Clarke halved the deficit after the hour mark, Callum Page netted the killer third before Fowkes completed his hat-trick.

It was one-way traffic in the first half with Needham controlling the game and creating all the good goalscoring chances.

Billy Hunt very nearly poked home a low cross from a matter of a few feet out on 13 minutes, while Page rattled the post with a thunderous low 20-yard drive midway through the first half.

However, two goals in two minutes put the Marketmen well and truly in the driving seat.

Goalmouth action as Needham Market (red shirts) launch another attack against Stowmarket. Picture: C

Goalmouth action as Needham Market (red shirts) launch another attack against Stowmarket. Picture: CARL MARSTON - Credit: Archant

Fowkes advanced down the left edge of the penalty area and exchanged a neat one-two with Hunt before steering a low shot beyond keeper James Bradbrook and into the far corner of the net.

It was a deadly finish from Fowkes, and the recent recruit from Norwich United produced another impressive piece of skill to double the lead on the half-hour mark.

Most Read

This time Fowkes stepped inside before connecting sweetly with a shot that soared into the roof of the net. That was a fantastic strike.

Bradbrook plucked another Fowkes effort out of the air on 43 minutes, while Stowmarket’s best chance of the half was in the 44th minute when Charlie Clarke glanced a header wide from a free-kick.

- Carlos Edwards bears no grudge

However, Stow looked a different side in the second period, going on the offensive and eventually getting their reward when Charlie Clarke halved the deficit from Josh Mayhew’s delivery in the 64th minute.

A minute later and Mayhew had a goalbound shot blocked, from close-in, as Rick Andrews’ men looked to turn this cup tie on its head.

But Stow’s hopes were dashed by the Marketmen restoring their two-goal advantage in the 72nd minute. Page latched onto Gareth Heath’s accurate through ball and was able to turn in the box before sweeping home a shot from 15 yards out.

And Fowkes completed a good night for himself, and his side, by persevering to rifle home a low angled shot into the far corner of the net for his hat-trick goal, in the 85th minute.


NEEDHAM: Garnham, Dye, Sturgess, Collard, Pollard, Morphew, Ingram, Heath, Hunt (sub Mills, 68), Page (sub Fitzgerald, 77), Fowkes (sub Santa De La Paz, 86). Unused sub: Munson.

STOWMARKET: Bradbrook, Brown, Dunbar, Ainsley, Jefford, Bullard, Docherty (sub A Clarke, 87), Sweeney (sub Licence, 67), C Clarke, Mayhew, A Clarke.

Meanwhile, over at Felixstowe & Walton United’s Dellwood Avenue, it was Lowesfoft Town in charge at 2-0 up at the break, right-back Josh Curry having broken the deadlock with a header from a corner in the 28th minute.

Louis McIntosh doubled the lead eight minutes later from a free-kick, and shortly afterwards Bury spurned a great chance to equalise when Cemal Ramadan’s penalty was well saved by keeper Luis Tibbles.

Bury searched for a way back into the game in the second half, with Ramadan and Jamie Chambers-Shaw going close, but Ben Chenery’s injury-hit side could not find the back of the net.


BURY: Mayhew, Gardner, Hood, Hastings, Edwards (sub Frank, 85), Snaith (sub Cook, 79), Maughn, Chambers-Shaw, Nyadzayo, Ramadan (sub Mills, 76), Hughes. Unused subs: Cowling, Conroy

LOWESTOFT: Tibbles, Curry (sub Well, 85), Murphy (sub Lopez, 65), Jarvis (sub Delgado, 89), Cole, Tann, Zielonka, Fisk, Reed, McIntosh, Higgs. Unused sub: Reynolds.

In Thurlow Nunn Premier action, HADLEIGH UNITED recorded a fine 3-0 home win against Haverhill Rovers to sit proudly at the top of the table with nine points from their first four fixtures.

Joe Yaxley put the Brettsiders ahead as early as the fourth minute, from Ransome’s cross, and Yaxley added his second and Hadleigh’s second on 50 minutes with a shot under the keeper.

Kris Rose nodded home in the 62nd minute to complete the scoring.

in-form BRANTHAM ATHLETIC were held to a 1-1 home draw against Stanway Rovers, to sit third in the table with seven points from their first three games.

Brantham broke the deadlock from a 34th minute corner. Jack Marshall’s initial shot was blocked by the keeper, only for Joss Neale to bury the rebound.

Hughes salvaged a point for Rovers

MILDENHALL TOWN secured a 1-0 home win over Godmanchester Rovers, thanks to an injury-time winner.

In Division One North, LAKENHEATH were 4-0 winners away at HAVERHILL BOROUGH to extend their winning start to the season. They lead the way at the top, with three wins from three fixtures.

Goals from Alex McIntosh, Finley Woods and Scott Callaghan put Lakenheath 3-0 up at half-time. Reece Clarke netted the fourth with a long-range free-kick in the second half.

DISS TOWN triumphed 2-0 at home to DEBENEHAM LC.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter