Marketmen lose their 100% record as Hickey scores twice for Barwell

PUBLISHED: 16:54 18 August 2018 | UPDATED: 21:08 18 August 2018

Needham Market players take a drinks break while a visiting player receives treatment during the first half. Picture: CARL MARSTON

Needham Market players take a drinks break while a visiting player receives treatment during the first half. Picture: CARL MARSTON

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Needham Market 0 Barwell 2

Needham defender JJ Wilson in action during today's home match against Barwell. Wilson hobbled off injured early in the second period. Picture: CARL MARSTONNeedham defender JJ Wilson in action during today's home match against Barwell. Wilson hobbled off injured early in the second period. Picture: CARL MARSTON

Needham Market’s winning start to the season was brought to an abrupt halt by impressive Barwell at Bloomfields this afternoon.

The Marketmen had won two-out-of-two in the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Central, scoring 12 goals in the process against Bedworth United (4-0) and Hitchin Town (8-1), but they came up short against Barwell.

Skipper Brady Hickey scored both goals, in the 60th and 72nd minutes, to extend the visitors’ unbeaten start to their campaign. They have taken seven points from a possible nine.

Only the woodwork denied Barwell an opening goal on four minutes as Brady Hickey’s swerving 25-yarder beat keeper Jake Jessup but cannoned back off the bar.

And that set the trend for the first half, with the visitors from South-West Leicestershire well on top and creating the better chances.

Skipper Hickey saw his low shot drift wide in the 10th minute, and two minutes later the same played nodded a free header wide from Spencer Weir-Daly’s cross.

There was a little respite for the Marketmen when Joe Marsden, fresh from a hat-trick in the 8-1 demolition in midweek, flashed a long-range shot across goal in the 21st minute.

Gradually, the hosts began to have a little more joy going forward, and there was a half-chance on the half-hour as Luke Ingram burst onto Gareth Heath’s through ball, However, the striker chose to square for team-mate Jamie Griffiths, rather than shoot himself, and the opportunity was gone.

Left-back Callum Sturgess saw a lot of the ball in the first half, and one of his powerful runs down the flank ended with Marsden curling a shot into keeper Liam Castle’s arms in the 34th minute.

Despite playing second fiddle for most of the half, Needham were very unlucky not to earn a penalty in first-half stoppage time.

Ingram appeared to be clattered into by keeper Jessup, inside the penalty area, but a corner rather than a penalty was awarded.

The Marketmen were on the front foot, from the start of the second period, and Griffiths was agonisingly close to heading home a long throw by Sturgess in the 51st minute. The ball trundled wide of the far post, with Castle getting a hand to it.

However, it was Barwell who broke the deadlock, slightly against the run of play.

The Marketmen failed to clear their lines, with Sturgess taking a touch too many, and Hickey made him pay by squeezing a low shot past Jessup and into the bottom corner of the net.

Barwell came close to doubling their lead in the 68th minute as Nigel Julien’s rocket-shot flew only a foot wide of target.

But four minutes later and they did go 2-0 up. Alex Tomkinson swung over a free-kick, and Brad-Lee Gascoigne flicked on for Hickey to steer home from eight yards out.

Squads

NEEDHAM MARKET: Jessup, Dye, Sturgess, Kamanzi (sub Dobson, 75), K Morphew, Wilson (sub Carragher, 57), Marsden, Heath, Ingram, Griffiths, Mills (sub Exworth, 83). Unused subs: Rose, Cook.

BARWELL: Castle, Rowe, Nisevic, Percival, Gascoigne, Julien, Heath, Story, Weir-Daley (sub Anderson, 65), Hickey, Tomkinson (sub Warmington, 88). Unused subs: Cross, Williams, Brown-Hill.

Referee: Karl Sear

Attendance: 266

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