Marsden is spot on as Needham Market grab last minute win over Stratford
PUBLISHED: 14:32 05 January 2020 | UPDATED: 14:32 05 January 2020
BetVictor Southern Premier Central
Needham Market 1
Stratford Town 0
On the first Saturday of the new decade it looked as though the headlines of the recent Needham games would repeat themselves, as the hosts completely dominated possession and created umpteen chances before a 90th minute trademark penalty by Joseph Marsden secured the much needed victory, writes Paul Munn.
Needham, who had made a couple of changes from their New Years' Day game, started off well with striker Billy Hunt cutting inside his defender and unleashing a shot that was deflected onto the outside of the near post.
On 16 minutes a corner found Keiran Morphew at the back post who nodded it back to Hunt in the six-yard box, but keeper Jack Bennett dove across well to parry away with the Stratford defence scrambling it clear.
Five minutes later the striker had a double chance from another well delivered corner, with his first attempt being saved well by Bennett and then blasting the rebound over.
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After that the Marketmen bossed the remainder of the half as the chances began to flow for the home side.
Sam Squire, Adam Mills and Marsden all went close and just before the break a ball into the Stratford box was flicked on by Hunt to find Luke Ingram with the keeper beaten, but his shot was superbly blocked by Daniel Vann.
The second half was the same as the latter stages of the first, with Needham dominating possession but this time round they were unable to turn much of it into clear cut chances.
The half was also littered with yellow cards, eight in total, with the visitors picking up five of them.
A final assault by the Marketmen saw the ball find Mills on the left, he ran into the area and tried to get the ball towards the target, but the ball came off a defender's arm and the referee pointed to the spot.
The responsibility of the spot kick fell to Marsden, and he duly tucked it into the bottom right-hand corner to give Needham's players, management and supporters some much needed cheer.