REPORT: Needham Market 1 Redbridge 0
PUBLISHED: 22:18 11 November 2014 | UPDATED: 22:18 11 November 2014
Substitute Adam Mills needed less than two minutes on the pitch to hand Needham Market a 1-0 home win against Redbridge on Tuesday night, and send them back to the top Ryman League Division One North.
The youngster tapped in at the back post on 75 minutes, capitalising on a dreadful error from visiting goalkeeper Mark Parker who, up to that point, had kept his side in the game with several superb stops.
Parker let Luke Ingram’s low, right-wing cross slip under his body and Mills made no mistake, a yard out, to settle a bad-tempered contest that saw referee Steven Parmenter five second half bookings.
The goal was no more than Needham deserved, Mark Morsley’s men having peppered the Redbridge goal in the first half without finding the breakthrough. Bad luck and some inspired goalkeeping from Parker denied the hosts.
Skipper Kem Izzet was denied on no fewer than three occasions by the stopper, who also blocked Ollie Fenn and Ryan Crisp’s efforts in an entertaining first period.
Danny Cunningham, meanwhile, forced a regulation stop from the ‘keeper, when he should have done better with a back-post header, while the lively Ollie Brown volleyed just over at the back post after taking down a superb Izzet ball over the top of the visitors’ defence.
For all Needham’s pressure, they always looked susceptible on the counter-attack and Redbridge should have gone ahead midway through the first half, but Gavin Cockman headed wide of the far corner, after meeting a superb right wing ball from the dangerous Joe Gent, at the back post.
However, it was Parker who was the star of the first half, proving to be a thorn in Izzet’s side. The ex-Colchester man had a close-range volley saved brilliantly by the goalkeeper, plus two earlier volleys stopped from distance.
The save of the half saw Fenn frustrated, the midfielder seeing his angled effort from eight yards somehow tipped over the top, after he had played a lovely one-two with the influential Cunningham.
The second half failed to yield the same entertainment, although Parker did deny Brown early on after the ball fell kindly for the full-back on the edge of the six-yard box.
At the other end, Charlie Parish’s cross was inches away from being converted in the box, before his last-gasp free-kick went just wide.
Meanwhile, Hadleigh United lost 2-0 at home to Stanway in the Thurlow League Cup.
NEEDHAM: Phillips, Brown, Coakley, Fenn, Hogg, Nunn, Cunningham (Heath), Izzet, Crisp (Mills), Morphew, Ingram. Subs not used: Dye, Newman, Munson.