Needham hold Stourbridge to draw so Kettering lift title
- Credit: Archant
Evo-Stik South Premier Central Needham Market 0 Stourbridge 0 The Marketmen played their part in the title race as they battled out a goalless draw with second-placed Stourbridge, thus giving Kettering the title with four games to spare, writes Paul Munn.
It was however the home side that had the better chances and they could have snatched it near the end when a Joseph Marsden shot came back of the post.
Stourbridge came to Bloomfields with an outside chance of the title, but more realistically hopes of cementing home advantage in the play-offs.
Whilst the Marketmen want to finish the season on a high, with a top 10 finish as their goal and it was they who started the game better.
Within the first fifteen minutes the Marketmen faithful saw James Baker place a header straight at the keeper and a good run from Adam Mills ended with a long range effort just going wide.
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The visitors’ first chance also came from a free kick, which fell into the path of Aaron Forde, who drove his effort wide of the post.
It took until just over the half hour mark for the next real chance to occur, which fell to the visitors. Centre forward Kaiman Anderson fired in a tight angled shot, it looked goal bound until James Baker cleared it from within the six yard box.
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The second half began with a bit more zip as both sides tried to lift their game.
From a long straight ball up field Adam Mills outjumped the keeper James Wren to nod the ball over him, unfortunately for him and the Marketmen supporters it looped off the post and the Stourbridge defence managed to clear it before anyone could follow-up.
The visitors did themselves enjoy a good share of possession and created a few decent chances of their own. Their best opportunity fell to sub Zak Lilly late on, when he tried to turn it in from twelve yards but it was superbly blocked and then scrambled away by the home defence.
However it was the Marketmen who came the closest to scoring with three minutes of normal time remaining. Marsden picked up a loose ball, he took it forward and drove it from twenty yards, it beat the diving keeper on for it to cannon back of the post and the rebound was cleared.
So it ended goalless, it wasn’t a ‘bore draw’ by any means.