Sands strikes controversial 93rd-minute penalty as Needham Market take the points against Kingstonian

Luke Ingram, on target for Needham against Kingstonian

Luke Ingram, on target for Needham against Kingstonian - Credit: Archant

Ryman Premier League Needham Market 2 Kingstonian 1

John Sands fired home a 93rd-minute penalty as Needham Market snatched victory from the jaws of defeat against Kingstonian.

Sands, who had only been on the pitch barely 20 minutes, confidently fired home the winner from the spot after Luke Ingram had been pushed in the penalty box by Bruce Hogg as he went to go round the visiting defender.

Kingstonian, who had been a goal up through Yousuf Bamba’s superb first-half strike, but had been pegged back by Ingram’s fine finish on 78 minutes, were furious with the decision.

They looked at least they would return home to Surrey with a point from this Ryman Premier Division game, until the assistant referee, flagging furiously after Ingram was fouled, decided otherwise.

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Ingram had indeed been pushed and despite Kingstonian’s understandable fury, the decision to award a penalty was the correct one.

The result kept Needham Market in second place in the table, just a point behind Bognor Regis, who suffered a shock 1-2 home reverse to bottom of the table Grays Athletic.

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However, this wasn’t a good performance from Mark Morsley’s side.

On a heavy pitch, they never got going and despite a lively first five minutes, the visitors were better in the first half and deservedly went in at the break ahead after Sean Bonnett-Johnson’s sublime turn and pass put in Bamba, who took aim and thumped home from 20 yards over the head of Needham ‘keeper Danny Gay.

Reece Dobson had an early chance at the start of the second period for Needham, but curled over and it wasn’t until Sands and Ollie Fenn were introduced for the home side, that they picked up.

Ingram had seen his own-created chance turned over by the feet of Kingstonian ‘keeper Rob Tolfrey before Sands and Fenn came on, but Needham were just huffing and puffing.

Ingram’s goal was nicely taken after Sands put him in on the right, although Needham were grateful for Gay’s brilliant save from Tom Derry a minute later when he burst through.

It looked like it was heading for a draw, until the late penalty drama.

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