Struggling Needham undone by early Kingstonian goals in each half

Needham's Jamie Griffiths pushes forward. He went off injured late in the match. Picture: BEN POOLEY

Needham's Jamie Griffiths pushes forward. He went off injured late in the match. Picture: BEN POOLEY - Credit: Archant

Bostik Premier Needham Market 1 Kingstonian 2 A goal in the opening minutes of each half proved sufficient to give the Surrey side the points, despite a late rally from Needham which saw them grab a consolation goal in injury time, writes John Campany.

Needham's Kieran Morphew goes close with this effort. Picture: BEN POOLEY

Needham's Kieran Morphew goes close with this effort. Picture: BEN POOLEY - Credit: Archant

Richard Wilkins’ side is not favoured with good fortune at present – just one win in their last 11 Bostik Premier League matches – and this match was no exception.

Apart from the loss of important points, to further compound frustration both for the management and supporters alike, it was sad to see the luckless Jamie Griffiths carried off on a stretcher minutes before the final whistle with another bad injury.

The visit of equally struggling Kingstonian appeared to have presented the Marketmen with a great opportunity to draw away from other fellow strugglers, but in reality they rarely looked capable.

It started with such optimism when Jeremiah Kamanzi sent a delightful ball into the path of Luke Ingram who fired a fiercely struck shot inches wide.

Needham's Luke Ingram battles for the ball in their defeat to Kingstonian. Picture: BEN POOLEY

Needham's Luke Ingram battles for the ball in their defeat to Kingstonian. Picture: BEN POOLEY - Credit: Archant

But then in the second minute, the visitors were ahead. The Marketmen were caught napping when Louie Theophanous drilled a terrific effort from 20 yards that gave Danny Gay no chance.

In response, both Griffiths and Kieren Morphew headed wide, whilst man of the match Jeremiah Kamanzi shot narrowly over. The home side had plenty of possession and Adam Mills struck a rasping shot that Rob Tolfrey comfortably saved.

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Kingstonian who had just one win in five going into this clash then shocked The Marketmen, and the 244 spectators, when they added a second on 46 minutes.

In similar circumstances to the opening goal scored, Theophanous was given time and space to drive with venom – the ball going in off the post.

Needham man-of-the-match Jeremiah Kamanzi. Picture: BEN POOLEY

Needham man-of-the-match Jeremiah Kamanzi. Picture: BEN POOLEY - Credit: Archant

The visitors were a physically fit and well organised side, but were breached when John Sands, moving from a deep position, headed home, but the goal was controversially ruled off-side.

Jake Dye crossed for Sands, but a weak header ensued and then a fine move culminated with Luke Ingram crossing a low ball with pace that Sands met and struck well, but Tolfrey made an excellent block.

Manager Wilkins finally changed his formation, going three at the back and introduced Jack Simmons who virtually transformed the closing stages.

The tactical switch saw the Marketmen lay siege to the visiting goal, whilst the stricken Griffiths was sadly taken off.

Sands pulled a goal back in injury time, unfortunately too late to change their fortunes.

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