Report - Needham Market 0 Ware 1. Suffolk side undone by a cruelly-deflected goal on a bad day at the office
- Credit: Gregg Brown
A cruelly-deflected 82nd-minute goal from Ware substitute Rheo Josephs inflicted a home defeat on Ryman North table-toppers Needham Market on Saturday.
The Ware number 17 had barely been on the pitch three minutes when he drifted his way into the Marketmen’s box and fired a relative harmless left-footed effort towards goal.
However, one unfortunate ricochet off Sam Nunn later, with keeper Shaun Phillips wrong-footed, the ball somehow found itself in the back of the net, proving to be the match-winner.
It was just one of those kind of games for the Marketmen, who were continuously frustrated against their organised and gutsy opponents.
Pre-match, Needham boss Mark Morsley had said that Saturday’s opponents were a hard side to play against, and he wasn’t wrong.
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Time and time again they denied Needham any kind of space, any kind of time, any kind of opportunity to score. Centre-halves Jack Fowler and Ajet Shehu both enjoyed excellent games for the visitors, and it was the ultimate away performance followers of Ware would have hoped for.
Did Ware do enough to warrant all three points in a game that looked destined for a 0-0 draw from the off?
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Arguably not, but it was more a ‘sucker punch’ than a ‘smash and grab’ kind of victory.
For Needham, the encounter was certainly a concerning one.
A largely flat and uninspiring performance on their own patch, they struggled to get going at all throughout this match.
As you’d expect from a side at the top of the division, they enjoyed the majority of possession, but did little with it, carving out half-chances but little more.
A slow start from the hosts arguably got slower at the end, and they probably still would not have scored had they been there now!
Perhaps it could have been different if the returning Michael Brothers had stayed on the pitch.
The much-travelled centre forward withdrew with an injury in the 36th-minute, but did look a threat for the hosts with clever link-up play as well as going close with a vicious 25-yard effort midway through the first half that drew a splendid flying save from Rhys Madden.
Madden wasn’t called into action much at all during the duration of the afternoon, but did have to smartly block on the angle to deny Sam Newson in the 42nd-minute.
Kem Izzet had earlier gone close with a curling free-kick, but again, the effort was nothing more than a half-chance.
Many might have thought that Needham would have started to dictate more in the second period, but they didn’t, and in truth, looked short of ideas.
Luke Ingram lashed an effort over on the spin and Ian Westlake almost fortuitously saw a vicious 30-yard effort dip in after taking a deflection, but it wasn’t to be, and Needham were undone themselves with a late deflection on a very bad day at the office for the Marketmen.
Needham: Phillips, Fenn, Hogg, Nunn, Ingram, Coakley (Henry 80), Izzet, Morphew, Newson (Crisp 69), Brothers (Brown 36), Westlake.
Ware: Madden, Reinis, Oujdi, Fowler, Shehu, Ady, Robins (Kone 90), Da Costa, Karagul, Wade (Josephs 79), Bishop (Herval 89).
Referee: Mr. Christopher Francis