Needham Market are hit for six as The Darts show their ruthless streak in FA Cup

Needham Market's Luke Ingram holds up the all. Photo: BEN POOLEY

Needham Market's Luke Ingram holds up the all. Photo: BEN POOLEY - Credit: Archant

Needham Market 1 Dartford 6

Callum Harrison of Needham crosses the ball. Photo: BEN POOLEY

Callum Harrison of Needham crosses the ball. Photo: BEN POOLEY - Credit: Archant

A potential giant killing act in this Third Qualifying Round of the FA Cup against Conference South side Dartford was dispelled by half-time after the visitors’ Alfie Pavey had completed a first half hat trick.

This was in contrast to the opening 20 minutes when ‘The Darts’ were forced into desperate defending conceding several corners with the home side playing with panache. To compound matters The Marketmen should have been awarded a penalty for an obvious infringement.

Needham boss Richard Wilkins was disappointed on several counts.

He said: “We did not do ourselves justice after a promising start and felt that the referee denied us an obvious penalty claim in the opening minutes and failed to red card Keaton Wood for a crude challenge on Callum Harrison.

Jake Dye of Needham Market, runs with the ball against Dartford. Photo: BEN POOLEY

Jake Dye of Needham Market, runs with the ball against Dartford. Photo: BEN POOLEY - Credit: Archant


You may also want to watch:


“I felt that Billy Holland’s red card was harsh and coupled with Sam Nunn’s shoulder injury will handicap us for our important game at Thurrock on Tuesday. But we did not help ourselves with some poor defending.”

However, the visitors cheered on by their large contingent of vociferous supporters that swelled the gate to 379 saw there side take the lead on 21 minutes.

Most Read

Following a free kick the ball ran loose and Pavey, from an angle, sent a terrific strike past Danny Gay.

Dartford was then fortunate when defender Keaton Wood was only shown a yellow card for an awful tackle on Callum Harrison.

Needham's Jake Dye, right, battles with a Dartford player. Photos: BEN POOLEY

Needham's Jake Dye, right, battles with a Dartford player. Photos: BEN POOLEY - Credit: Archant

Although the home side fought hard for an equaliser they fell further behind in the 35th minute.

An excellent move down the left concluded with Tom Murphy crossing enabling Pavey to get inside his defender and head home from close in.

The visitors now had a foot hold on proceedings and extended their lead on half-time when Pavey, took advantage of Elliott Bradbrook’s threaded ball to turn and fire home from 10 yards. Needham attacked strongly after the interval but was then caught on the break on 49 minutes when Tom Murphy took control of the ball deep inside his own half releasing Ryan Hayes who returned his pass with a diagonal ball that Murphy collected in his stride at pace cutting inside and clinically finishing beyond Gay to make it 4-0.

The visitors were awarded a penalty but skipper Bradbrook’s spot kick was saved by Gay and then in the 65th minute Needham responded when Sam Nunn pulled a goal back heading home Gareth Heath’s corner.

However, this was no consolation when in the 71st minute Andy Pugh made it 5 -1 following Hayes through ball.

In the closing minutes Billy Holland was shown a straight red card judged as being the last man bringing down Ofori-Acheampong and to add insult to injury Pugh volleyed home a sixth with the last kick of the game – a flattering score-line.

Referee – Mr Jason Richardson

Attendance - 379

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter