Marketmen miss chance to press for play-offs in home defeat to St Neots
EvoStik Southern Premier
Needham Market 0
St Neots Town 1
The Marketmen will be ruing the missed opportunity to build on their quest for a play-off spot as St Neots boosted their chances of staying up, courtesy of a 54th minute half volley by skipper Russell Short, writes Paul Munn.
It would be fair to say that the first half wasn’t great, with the home side looking a bit lack lustre throughout and unable to break down the visitors. St Neots, after a couple of early half chances, did not really threaten the Needham goal.
In terms of a real chance, the best the Marketmen could up with in the first 45 was from a Luke Ingram effort, as he got to a half-cleared ball and sent it goalwards, but St Neots keeper Finley Iron pushed it over the bar at the second attempt.
Only a couple of minutes into the second half, St Neots should have opened the scoring. A perfect ball found sub Prince Mutswunguma unmarked in the area, but somehow he managed to put his shot wide.
The Marketmen responded with Reece Dobson playing a ball through the defence for Adam Mills to run onto, but his finish did not have the power to trouble the keeper.
St Neots broke the deadlock soon afterwards, when on 54 minutes Matty Miles delivered another long throw, front the right, into the Marketmen’s box.
It was only half cleared by the Marketmen’s defence and it fell to St Neots skipper Short, who took it on the half volley and blasted it past the keeper into the back of the net.
It was not until they went behind that the Marketmen started to go through the gears and went on to dominate the last 30 minutes.
They did get the ball in the net to the delight of the Needham supporters, but the whistle had already gone for a foul, turning delight into disappointment. On another day things could have been completely different.
The Marketmen were also guilty of missing a couple of good chances; firstly James Baker set up Ingram who ran on into the box before blasting his effort over and then a Joseph Marsden effort ended in the same result.
So, despite the valiant efforts of the Marketmen’s attack St Neots held on to grab all three valuable points.
Even after the final whistle Needham woes grew, as Keiran Morphew was given a second yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
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