Mills the star as Needham make it back-to-back victories on their road to pulling away from the relegation spot
- Credit: Archant
Needham Market 4 Tonbridge Angels 2
The Marketmen, buoyed by their win at Enfield last Saturday, eased their relegation fears with back-to-back victories in this Bostik Premier match at Bloomfields, and moved up to 19th in the table, writes John Campany.
Apart from an early threat, and the closing minutes when the Kent side scored two late goals, Richard Wilkins side produced an emphatic performance, highlighted by some clinical finishing.
Adam Mills was again the man-of-the-match, but essentially this was a team effort where captain Keiran Morphew, lead by example.
The home side went ahead on seven minutes when Callum Sturgess’ corner was firmly headed home by Luke Ingram.
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Needham keeper Danny Gay then made two fine saves, the first from Joe Turner’s low shot and then from ex-AFC Sudbury favourite Sam Bantick, whose effort took a deflection that Gay managed to tip over.
As Tonbridge continued their fight-back Sonny Miles powerfully headed beyond Gay, but Sturgess was well positioned to head off the line.
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They rued that opportunity as the visitors lost possession and Mills from the wide left delivered the perfect ball picking out Needham striker John Sands who drilled home first-time from 18 yards.
Tonbridge looked to reduce the arrears, but the home defence were terrific in repelling a few dangerous moments.
After the break both Turner and Bantick struck the woodwork and Tashi-Jay Kwayie blasted over.
But it was the Marketmen who gained some impetus and Mills had a tremendous shot blocked while substitute Jamie Griffiths headed inches wide.
The irrepressible Mills fastened on to a through ball to make it 3-0 in the 73rd minute beating keeper Jonathan Henley from close-in to the delight of the home fans in the near-250 crowd.
Home confidence was high as Mills added the fourth.
Sturgess produced an inch-perfect free-kick from wide right. There appeared no danger, but Mills, beyond the far post, produced a sublime touch guiding the ball over the keeper that nestled inside the post.
A late rally saw Needham disappointingly concede two goals as Bantick prodded home in the 84th and then three minutes later Joe Turner powered in a low shot, but these setbacks could not detract from the comprehensive performance by Wilkins’ side.
Referee – Mr Adrian Sannerude.