Needham knocked out of the FA Trophy despite Baker’s late goal

Luke Ingram goes close with this header, against Leatherhead. Picture: BEN POOLEY

Luke Ingram goes close with this header, against Leatherhead. Picture: BEN POOLEY - Credit: Archant

Needham Market 1 Leatherhead 2

James Baker nets an injury-time goal, but Needham Market still bowed out of the FA Trophy at the han

James Baker nets an injury-time goal, but Needham Market still bowed out of the FA Trophy at the hands of Leatherhead. Picture: BEN POOLEY - Credit: Archant

On paper, this FA Trophy tie looked as though there would be very little between the two teams, with both sporting similar form, and in the early stages this proved to be the case.

But it was Leatherhead who booked their place in the third round, thanks to goals from Ibrahim Olutade and Travis Gregory during the third quarter of the game, with James Baker replying in injury-time.

Early on, Gregory fired over after a 30-yard run for the visitors, while for the Marketmen Craig Parker's effort also ended up going over the top.

Parker forced a save from Zaki Oualah, after combining well with Joe Neal, and the visiting keeper was also called into action as he gathered up a Luke Ingram effort.

Gareth Heath contests a high ball during Needham Market's FA Trophy defeat to Leatherhead. Picture:

Gareth Heath contests a high ball during Needham Market's FA Trophy defeat to Leatherhead. Picture: BEN POOLEY - Credit: Archant


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With nine minutes remaining in the first half, Needham countered well with Gareth Heath and Luke Ingram linking up. The latter drove the return ball just wide from 18 yards out.

Leatherhead broke the deadlock on 56 minutes. A long throw caused problems in the Needham defence and the ball fell to Crossley Lema, who played it across the area where Olutade was on-hand at the far post to fire the ball home.

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Needham looked to respond quickly and nearly did - a well delivered free-kick from Heath found the head of Parker, but he could only direct it over the bar.

The Tanners increased their lead on 68 minutes when Gregory got passed his man on the left wing and, from a tight angle just inside the box, he smashed his shot past the keeper into the roof of the net.

Russell Short, back from suspension, on the ball against Leatherhead on Saturday. Picture: BEN POOLE

Russell Short, back from suspension, on the ball against Leatherhead on Saturday. Picture: BEN POOLEY - Credit: Archant

Needham, looking for a way back into the game, changed formation by pushing James Baker up front - with two up top they looked more threatening.

Ingram fired wide after combining well with Joe Marsden, and Parker scooped another chance over the bar.

Needham gave themselves a lifeline in the second minute of injury time. Good work down the right from Ingram ended with him crossing for Baker to instinctively stab home from close range.

In the remaining few minutes Needham pressed for the equaliser. Marsden had a shot saved by Oualah, and likewise the keeper also gathered, at the second attempt, an effort from Callum Page. But there was to be no late equaliser. for the hosts.

Luke Ingram pushes forward during Needham Market's FA Trophy second round tie against Leatherhead. P

Luke Ingram pushes forward during Needham Market's FA Trophy second round tie against Leatherhead. Picture: BEN POOLEY - Credit: Archant

NEEDHAM: Garnham, Dye, Sturgess, Short, K Morphew, Baker, Ingram, Heath, Neal (sub Page, 73), Parker, Marsden.

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