Marketmen undone by Teddy Nesbitt’s hat-trick for Billericay
- Credit: Sarah Lucy brown
Needham Market fell to a 3-1 home defeat at the hands of Billericay Town on Tuesday night, with Teddy Nesbitt scoring a hat-trick.
The Marketmen were ultimately made to pay for a slow start as Nesbitt scored twice in the opening 24 minutes, despite Needham pulling a superb goal back through Adam Mills and proving more than a match for their Essex opponents.
Mid-table Billericay, who included former Colchester United youngster Conor Hubble and journeyman striker Cliff Akurang in their squad, got off to the perfect start as Nesbitt let fly from 25 yards with his heavily-deflected third-minute shot going past the despairing dive of Danny Gay.
The Marketmen fought back and Mills went close with a rasping 11th-minute drive that had Jack Giddens sweating in the Billericay goal.
But the visitors doubled their lead in the 24th minute when a quick break saw Dymon Labonne win the footrace against Ian Miller, back in Needham colours after dual registering with Braintree Town, before excellently squaring for Nesbitt to apply a precise finish.
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Mark Morsley’s men didn’t give up, and a fantastic strike from Mills in the 30th minute saw them pull a goal back as the winger found the top corner from all of 25 yards, with Giddens grasping at thin air.
Sam Newson then went close to grabbing an equaliser when his volleyed drive, through a crowd of players, was splendidly saved by the feet of Giddens.
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An exquisite lofted pass from Michael Brothers then presented Mills with another chance, but losing balance, the tenacious youngster screwed his effort wide as the teams headed into the break.
After Tom Derry’s shot was a whisker wide, Mills’ agonisingly close header, under pressure at the back post, just crept wide following another superb Brothers cross.
An overhit attempt from Brothers then almost looped all the way in before Gay saved Hubble’s free-kick well following a controversial call from referee George Laflin.
Brothers fired straight at Giddens after a smart 74th-minute move, before Nesbitt sealed the win with an 87th-minute penalty following a Joe Whight foul.
NEEDHAM: Gay, Fenn, Coakley (Pelling 88), Miller, Whight, Morphew (Davies 76), Izzet, Brothers, Mills, Thomas (Ingram 72), Newson. Attendance: 255.
Elsewhere on Tuesday night, in the Ryman North Division, a late Craig Parker winner saw AFC Sudbury beat Dereham Town 2-1.
Heybridge Swifts defeated Aveley 2-0, while Maldon & Tiptree fell to a narrow 3-2 defeat against Redbridge. Witham lost 2-0 at Great Wakering.