Non-league football round-up

PUBLISHED: 15:00 23 April 2008 | UPDATED: 13:51 04 March 2010

NEEDHAM Market lifted their first trophy of a possible treble when they won the S1 Sport Suffolk Premier Cup in a penalty shoot-out against luckless Leiston at Portman Road last night.

NEEDHAM Market lifted their first trophy of a possible treble when they won the S1 Sport Suffolk Premier Cup in a penalty shoot-out against luckless Leiston at Portman Road last night.

S1 SPORT SUFFOLK PREMIER CUP FINAL

Leiston 0 Needham Market 0 (aet, Needham won 5-4 on pens)

NEEDHAM Market skipper Mark Bailey held aloft the S1 Sport Suffolk Premier Cup at Portman Road last night and then said: “This is just the start.”

Bailey's team won a dramatic penalty shoot-out to win this competition for the first time, giving them a boost as they look to achieve a remarkable treble.

They have five games to play in the next 13 days ending with the final of the Ridgeons League Cup against Gorleston at Diss on May 5.

In between, starring tomorrow night, they have four Premier Division games to play as they seek to overtake Soham and claim the league title.

“This is 64 matches for us now,” said Bailey. “We face Soham in our last league game on Saturday week, and that will be another cup final for us.

“In Danny Laws we have a very ambitious manager, who wants to take us to the next level. So we still have a great deal to play for.

“We had enough chances to have won last night, but in the end we got the right result although it was close.”

In an exciting game where both teams had chances - Needham the most - somehow the scoreline remained goalless.

Jamie Stannard in the Leiston goal had an outstanding match pulling off save after save, but it was his opposite number Liam Jones who proved the hero when it came to penalty saves.

Richard Butler had the fourth Needham spot kick saved by Stannard and when Danny George stepped up to take Leiston's fifth kick a goal would have won the trophy.

But Jones made a save diving to his left, and after Nathan Szyszlyk had netted the first sudden death penalty Jones made a stop from Pip Boyland to decide the final.

Cue a mad run by players and officials alike to mob a keeper who has performed consistently well all campaign.

The high standard of football in Suffolk - emphasised by the county's success in national cup competitions - was highlighted by the skill levels shown by both sides.

Leiston had players who caught the eye, but Needham were a better equipped all-round outfit.

This was Needham's first appearance, while Leiston suffered the pain of being beaten in the last three Premier Cup finals - two on penalties and an 8-0 thrashing by Ipswich Town last year.

They included two players from the last year's side when a watching Jason Dozzell was their manager. Influential skipper Liam Manning and the busy Blake Saker were the only survivors, while Luke Eagle and Danny George were substitutes last season.

Tommy Smith was a lively front runner for Needham, forcing Stannard into a number of saves although neither keeper really looked like being beaten in the opening period.

Both sides could and should have scored with Leiston having defender Ian Smith sent off in the 104th minute for bringing down his namesake who was running clear.

There were no complaints about that decision although Leiston continued to have much of a game that went from end to end in the final stages.

Leiston's Luke Eagle somehow missing an open goal from two yards in the 98th minute after a good run by substitute Chris Allen - the ball going out for a throw-in!

Gavin Jennings had a good chance in the 89th minute but fired over from close in and after Eagle's miss Needham regained control with Szyszlyk (how many points for that in a game of Scrabble?) and the talented Paul Berry setting up Matt Buckle who failed to make contact in front of goal.

Jennings shot over again when well placed before saved a thumping shot from Berry and then a header from Scott Wark (John's nephew) from the corner.

Szyszlyk then had only the commanding Stannard to beat but lifted the ball over both keeper and bar before Leiston staged a grandstand finish and had three shots blocked in the final minute of extra time.

Leiston lost Marc Lowe when he aggravated an ankle injury while their player-manager Carl Chenery came on for the final 13 minutes.

Berry, Smith, Buckle and Wark converted Needham's spot kicks with Chenery, Mark Goldfinch, Eagle and Saker, with a cheeky dink, doing likewise for Leiston.

Suffolk's one Football League referee Mick Thorpe took charge of the game - his third Premier Cup final - and kept calm control.

The teams

Leiston: Stannard, Button, Boyland, I Smith, Goldfinch, Lowe (sub Jennings 20 mins, Chenery 107), Saker, Manning, Crane (Allen 82), Eagle, George. Substitutes: Rose, Trotter.

Needham Market: Jones, Evans (Pemberton 75), Barber, Bailey, Butler, Wark, Denniss (Buckle 45), Berry, T Smith, Thrower, Wake (Szyszlyk 68). Substitutes: Foster, Thorogood.

Referee: Mr M Thorpe (Martlesham).

Attendance: 803.

BLUE SQUARE SOUTH

Dorchester Town 0 Braintree Town 1

BRAINTREE made the long journey down to Dorchester, knowing that only a win would keep alive their slim chance of a playoff place.

The Iron opened well with Quinton and Hawes looking to open up the Dorchester defence, but the relegated Pirates defence held firm in the first 15 minutes.

Despite almost total domination in the first half, all Braintree had to show was a Sullivan header which Ramos in the Dorchester goal saved comfortably, and a Quinton free kick which went just wide of the post.

At the start of the second half Braintree once again were on top, Sullivan spurning the best chance on 52 minutes firing wide when clean through.

The deadlock was finally broken on 56 minutes, Dorchester captain Alex Browne steering a header past his own keeper when under pressure from Russ Edwards.

Dorchester came more into it after this, but the Irons defence restricted them to long shots which went harmlessly over, or were saved by Morgan.

Playing on the break, Braintree could have added to the score with good efforts from Burns and Quinton, but will be pleased with the three points that keep the season alive until the last Saturday.

RIDGEONS LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION

Harwich and Parkeston 3 Woodbridge 0

THE Woodbridge defence were finally breached after a scrappy opening 20 minutes.

Scott Page volleyed a Matt Stace cross into the net via the underside of the bar. The home side continued to make the running and were rewarded on 25 minutes when Page again pounced, this time on to Barratt's threaded pass and was able to guide the ball past the advancing keeper.

Both keepers were kept busy in a lively start to the second half. Wootten harming O'Neill's sliding effort over the bar, and Garnham at the other end had to be at his best to deny Defeo from 40 yards.

Harwich stamped their authority on the match in the 70th minute with a mercurial run by Lee Barratt from midfield. He jinked his way through the Woodbridge defence rounded Garnham and slotted the home side's third.

Haverhill Rovers 4 King's Lynn Reserves 3

THIS stunning match saw Haverhill go 3-0 up and Kings Lynn bring it back to 3-3, only for the hosts to net once more to take all three points.

Kent's volley on the run after a ball over the top by Green put the Haverhill 1-0 up on 29 minutes, Shaw doubling the lead seven minutes later when he kept his focus and headed in Kent's cross after it went over goal keeper Rix.

An amazing 40-yard low drive by M Abbott that found the far bottom right corner after 38 minutes gave the home-side a three goal half time lead.

Then, after Haverhill goalkeeper Smith went off injured at half-time a shot by substitute Nicholls on the hour was parried by replacement keeper Deeks and Harvey's cross was nodded in by fellow sub Rudd to make it 3-1 before Harvey's low-drive from 15-yards less than a minute later made it 3-2.

Harvey then completed his side's fight-back when he headed in a free kick by Kelleher on 67 minutes to tie the game up.

Shaw's second goal gave Haverhill the win after 81 minutes when he headed a cross by Thurlbourne across goal, past the stationary Rix.

Lowestoft Town 1 Wisbech Town 0

IT was a late, late show at Crown Meadow that earned Lowestoft all three points, with a Ross King effort in injury time. King stroked the ball home from 12 yards following a long throw-in by Neil Plaskett.

Wisbech started well and Ablett had two good efforts before Lowestoft upped the tempo and Woodrow brought a fine save from Martin.

He then followed up with another good effort and was in the thick of the action as he crossed for Mckenna, but keeper Martin saved well.

Jamie Godbold was set up by Saunders on 71 minutes but again the Wisbech keeper kept the score-line blank until Ross King had the final say.

Histon Res 2 Kirkley & Pakefield 0

KIRKLEY went two goals behind to an experienced Histon Reserves side in only 20 minutes.

On 14 minutes Danny Wright pounced, lofting the ball into the net after Pauling had saved twice with his legs and was left stranded on the ground.

An instant reaction by Neil Kennedy collected the ball and deceived Pauling with a swerving shot and this was followed quickly by Midson hitting a post.

In the second half it was damage limitation with Histon hitting the bar and a post in the same move, and a one-handed save by Pauling denied Jack Midson a third goal on 75 minutes as the home side deservedly took the points which look to have staved off relegation.

RIDGEONS LEAGUE FIRST DIVISION

Whitton 2 Debenham LC 2

DEBENHAM took an early lead with a free header from Mark Powling and the same player, in exactly the same circumstances, did it again just before half time.

It took a special header from Ronaldo Wright to bring Whitton back into the game.

With near constant second-half pressure from the home-side Simon Bett's free-kick was headed past his own keeper by Shaun French. This spurred Whitton into an all-out attack and only some brilliant saves from the Debenham keeper Craig Ellis denied them.

The final score did not help either side as they both needed a win to keep up their push for thelast promotion place.

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