Needham’s fantastic season comes to shattering end in the play-offs

NEEDHAM Market saw their dream of promotion to the Premier Division of the Ryman League shattered at Bloomfields last night.

Despite taking the lead through a Craig Parker penalty in the 45th minute, Needham were pegged back in first-half injury time when Ryan Doyle equalised from the spot.

Ryan Edgar’s swerving 25-yard drive put the visitors ahead in the 50th minute before Sos Yao added a third 13 minutes later.

Although it was no more than Brentwood deserved on the night, it was tough on Needham, who had been unbeaten at home all season and finished 18 points ahead of their opponents.

Needham, who were without injured influential midfielder Bradley Barber, almost went ahead in the 13th minute, James Evans guiding the ball just wide of the far post.

Evans then forced Andy Hall to save at his near post as he cut in after a left-wing corner came back out to him a minute later.

Brentwood looked lively up front and Steve Butterworth flicked the ball just wide, although the assistant’s flag was already raised, and Rhys Barber had to make a couple of good blocks to keep them at bay.

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But it was Needham who broke the deadlock just before the break from the penalty spot through leading scorer Parker, who was fouled by Edgar as he was played in by Evans.

Parker picked himself up to send Hall the wrong way for his 34th league goal of the season. But Needham’s joy was shortlived as the visitors drew level in first-half injury time.

Pip Boyland lunged in on Yao and Doyle emphatically beat Danny Gay from the resultant spot kick.

It got worse for Needham five minutes after the restart when Edgar atoned for conceding the penalty by blasting Brentwood in front after the home defence failed to clear their lines.

Yao shot just wide and Fisher almost capitalised on a weak header by Richard Butler, before he showed a clean pair of heels to the Needham substitute and squared for the unmarked Yao to tap home the third.

Doyle almost headed past his own keeper who then saved well from Danny Thrower’s drive.

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