Needham and Leiston share four goals at Bloomfields
- Credit: Archant
Needham Market 2 Leiston 2
Needham Market and Leiston shared the spoils in an entertaining Suffolk derby at Bloomfields this afternoon.
There were three goals inside the first 25 minutes, beginning with Leiston striker Cemal Ramadan’s clinical long-range opener in the 11th minute.
But a penalty by Joe Marsden, and a slick finish by Adam Mills, put the Marketmen 2-1 up at half-time, only for Chris Henderson to secure a point for the visitors with a fine shot on 65 minutes.
Leiston threatened from a corner early on. Dominic Doherty’s goalbound header was blocked, as was Christy Finch’s follow-up shot before Jake Reed blasted the loose ball over the bar.
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But it didn’t take long for the visitors to get their noses in front, thanks to a smart finish from Ramadan on 11 minutes. The ex-Bury Town striker directed a low 20-yard shot into the corner of the net – it was a precision finish.
Any suggestion that Leiston would have it all their own way were soon quashed, however, as the Marketmen levelled from the penalty spot just five minutes later.
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Leiston skipper, Tom Bullard, tripped Luke Ingram just outside the six-yard box for a clear-cut penalty, and Marsden stroked home the ensuing spot kick to Marcus Garnham’s left.
Marsden was very impressive in the first half, and he came close to putting Needham ahead in the 21st minute. His low drive was well saved by Garnham, down at his near post.
The hosts did take the lead on 25 minutes. Jeremiah Kamanzi crossed from the right and Mills, slightly off balance, saw his shot deceive the wrong-footed Garnham and roll in at the far upright.
With their tails up, Needham were on the again on the half-hour mark. Kamanzi had a clear sight of goal, only for his shot to be blocked by Garnham, while Marsden curled a shot narrowly wide in the 42nd minute.
Leiston were on the front foot early in the second half and Docherty managed to steer the ball beyond Jake Jessup, although he did not have enough power in the shot to find the net.
But the Blues were level in the 65th minute, thanks to Henderson’s well-struck shot from the edge of the box, which gave Jessup little chance.
Only the brilliance of Garnham prevented Needham from regaining the lead, with 13 minutes left. Leiston’s keeper tipped Mills’ angled drive over the bar, and also performed heroics from the ensuing corner to keep the hosts at bay.
NEEDHAM: Jessup, Dye, Sturgess, Kamani, K Morphew, D Morphew, Marsden, Heath, Ingram, Griffiths (sub Dobson, 73), Mills. Unused subs: Exworth, Carragher, Rose, Cook.
LEISTON: Garnham, Hammond, Dunbar, Docherty (sub Brothers, 72), Jefford, Bullard, Lawrence, Henderson, Reed, Finch (sub Eagle, 72), Ramadan. Unused subs: Knights, Aitkens, Davies.