Hallowe’en horror show from Needham Market

NEEDHAM Market endured a Halloween Horror Show as Waltham Forest’s fleet-footed forwards ripped the Suffolk side apart in Ryman League Division One North at Bloomfields last nigh.

Waltham Forest fully deserved their emphatic 6-1 win, which leaves Needham still searching for their first home league win of the season.

Needham, who gave a debut to goalkeeper Mark Bowden and a first start for former captain Rhys Barber since re-joining the club after leaving in the summer, contributed to their own downfall with some dreadful defending.

Needham were first to threaten in the sixth minute, Kieran Leabon flicking the ball on for Sam Newson, who elected to let fly with a dipping effort that dropped wide of Aaron Omand’s left-hand post. A poor clearance four minutes later by Dmitri Larin allowed Jack Wilkinson to flash a cross right across the face of goal.

Needham fell behind in the 12th minute, Ollie Fenn’s misdirected pass allowing Adrian Clifton to let fly from fully 30 yards and his shot flew past debutant Bowden and into the top corner.

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Omand had to leave his line quickly to hack the ball clear from Duane Wright at the expense of a corner a minute later.

Needham had an escape in the 22nd minute when Pip Boyland clear a Tom Vickers header off the line following a right-wing corner from Corey Whitely.

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But the reprieve was shortlived as two minutes later Boyland’s poor back pass fell between Bowden and centre back Nathan Clarke, who was outpaced by left winger Manu Dagher and he cut in and squared the ball across goal and Rhys Barber, facing his own goal, could only divert it into the net.

Needham were thrown a lifeline almost immediately when a deep cross from the left fell invitingly in the box for Clarke, who got the ball out from underneath his feet and shot past Omand.

Bowden was almost embarrassed four minutes later when he spilled a right-wing cross, but the loose ball was cleared to safety.

However, the visitors extended their lead in the 40th minute, Whitely taking on Fox down the right and his cross flew over Bowden into the far corner of the net.

Any thoughts that Needham might stage a second-half fight-back evaporated just three minutes after the re-start, Joe Palmer displaying electrifying pace to outstrip Jemel Fox in a quick break down the left and then beating Bowden with a composed finish.

Bowden saved at his near post from Whitely before Boyland’s under-hit back pass saw Palmer nip in to poke the ball past Bowden.

Three minutes after a double Needham substitution and change of formation from 4-4-2 to 3-5-2, Dagher cut in from the left to drill home the sixth with 20 minutes still left to play, but the home team were spared any further embarrassment.

Wright almost pulled a goal back in the 89th minute, but Omand saved his close-range header.

The line-ups

Needham Market: M Bowden, P Boyland, J Fox, B Barber, N Clarke (sub J Evans, 67 mins), R Barber, D Wright, O Fenn, S Newson, K Leabon, J Wilkinson (sub D De’Ath, 67 mins). Unused subs: A Condon, J Hubbard, D Bloomfield.

Waltham Forest: A Omand, D Larin, A Douglas, M Sackey, T Vickers, B Head, C Whitley, A Clifton, J Palmer (sub T Adewunmi, 75 mins), A Retkoceri (sub J Leachman, 67 mins), M Dagher. Unused subs: M Waldron, C Taylor.

Referee: Mr Nigel Bond (Chelmsford).

Attendance: 152.

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