Needham Market beat Leiston on penalties in a Suffolk Premier Cup classic

Needham celebrate after their penalty win. Goalkeeper Danny Gay and Reece Dobson, who scored the fin

Needham celebrate after their penalty win. Goalkeeper Danny Gay and Reece Dobson, who scored the final penalty to take them through, are on the right. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Suffolk Premier Cup semi-final Leiston 4 Needham Market 4 (aet) Needham win 4-2 on penalties Needham Market moved into the Suffolk Premier Cup final after a pulsating penalty-kick victory over county rivals Leiston tonight.

Leiston's Matt Blake wheels away after levelling at 3-3 in the Suffolk Premier Cup semi-final. Pict

Leiston's Matt Blake wheels away after levelling at 3-3 in the Suffolk Premier Cup semi-final. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

These two sides could only be separated by spot-kicks after a most enthralling 120 minutes, with Reece Dobson sending the Marketmen through with the decisive penalty.

The first goal of the game came on the stroke of half-time, when Matt Blake scored with a fierce strike into the bottom corner from 25 yards.

However, Needham were back on level terms four minutes into the second half, in dramatic fashion!

Matt Blake celebrates his dramatic late goal for Leiston

Matt Blake celebrates his dramatic late goal for Leiston - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Referee Ollie Morris-Sanders pointed to the spot after judging Jack Ainsley to have fouled Dobson, but after Jacob Marsden made a brilliant save to deny Cameron Norman’s powerful spot-kick, Morris-Sanders awarded another penalty kick just moments later after Luke Ingram went down under the challenge of Patrick Brothers.

Kem Izzet took responsibility and calmly slotted home to equalise.

Blake should have done better with a scuffed finish in the 53rd minute, while Needham’s John Sands took no time to introduce himself to his former employers with an energetic appearance off the bench.

Leiston's Jacob Marsden saves Needham;'s first penalty taken by Cameron Norman, but wasn't so succes

Leiston's Jacob Marsden saves Needham;'s first penalty taken by Cameron Norman, but wasn't so successful with the second, moments later - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

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But it was Leiston who re-took the lead in the 76th minute, after Joe Jefford headed home Gareth Heath’s excellent corner.

The Blues’ lead lasted just three minutes, some wonderful endeavour from Sands allowed Ingram to smash home an unstoppable shot past Marsden for 2-2.

Sands must have thought he’d won the game against his former club with a textbook header, in the 86th minute, from Norman’s brilliant cross, but Blake took the tie into extra time, in the 92nd minute, with a clinically thumping finish.

Matt Blake fires Leiston into a 1-0 lead just before the break

Matt Blake fires Leiston into a 1-0 lead just before the break - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Blake hit the bar and found Gay in the way when clean through in the first-half of extra time, but centre-half Hutchings scored through a crowd of bodies, in the 105th minute, to give Leiston the advantage for a third time.

But Sands and Needham were not done, the striker forcing the game into penalty kicks with an 116th-minute equaliser, while Ainsley was sent off for a second yellow card two minutes later.

Ingram, Darryl Coakley, and Billy Clark all scored from the spot for Needham, while Gay saved from Blake and Ollie Brown, before Dobson hit the winner to set up a final with Lowestoft at Colchester United.

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