Needham Market crushed by rampant Rushden & Diamonds
- Credit: Archant
Evo-Stik Southern Premier Needham Market 1 AFC Rushden & Diamonds 5 The Northamptonshire side overwhelmed the struggling Marketmen, who have now gone seven league games without a win after a bright start to the season, writes John Campany.
The second half performance in front of 275 spectators at ‘Bloomfields’ is cause for concern as The Diamonds largely outplayed the home side. Prior to the game the hosts were a point ahead of the visitors, but after this dismal result the visitors have climbed five places, whilst Needham slipped two, to 16th.
There was no customary man of the match announcement at the final whistle, but clearly without keeper Jake Jessup’s heroics the score line could well have been an embarrassment.
New signing Samuel Squire replaced the suspended influential Kieran Morphew in defence, but the collective defensive frailties were too much to bear as the visitors hit four in the second half.
Neither side had remotely looked capable in the final third until the 26th minute when the visitors took the lead. Declan Rogers fiercely struck shot from the edge of the box was well saved by Jessup, but the loose ball found Joel Gyasi, who squared to Ben Diamond, who drove home. That lead was almost extended when Zac Reynolds crossed from the right, but Diamond’s header was tipped over by Jessup. Needham were then handicapped when an injured Luke Ingram was replaced.
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Home skipper Gareth Heath headed into the path of Adam Mills, but Ben Heath comfortably saved his effort.
In the 46th minute it was 2–0 when a fine move started with Gyasi releasing Diamond, whose pass inside the box picked out Jack Bowen, who tapped into an empty net.
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However, a minute later the Marketmen pulled a goal back when Daniel Morphew rose to head home a fine goal following a corner.
There was now more intensity in the game and temporarily the hosts started to improve but ultimately they flattered to deceive.
Jessup made a sensational save from Ben Farrell’s terrific strike, but on 69 minutes Declan Rogers dispatched a thundering effort from 30 yards that flew past the keeper.
The visitors dominated the closing stages and Tom Lorraine made it four, heading home following a free kick. The hosts’ misery was complete when Albie Hopkins strolled past three static defenders to make it five in injury time.