It maybe a new year, but it’s the same result, as Leiston thrash Needham
Needham Market 2 Leiston 5
Leiston claimed the early bragging rights in 2018 after beating rivals Needham Market 5-2 this afternoon, writes Alex Moss.
The Blues recovered from going a goal behind to secure victory at Bloomfields and move back into the Bostik League Premier Division play-off places.
Luke Ingram’s fourth-minute strike had given the Marketmen, who were unbeaten in their last five games heading into the Suffolk derby, an early lead, before goals from Chris Henderson and Matt Blake sent the visitors into the break in front.
Dan Morphew equalised from the penalty spot for Needham early on in the second half, but Leiston replied again with Patrick Brothers, Christy Finch and Jack Ainsley all finding the target to give the Blues the perfect start to 2018.
Since joining their neighbours in the Bostik League’s top-flight in 2015, the Marketmen had yet to come out on top when the two sides have met in the Premier Division, drawing once and losing three times.
However, Needham made the perfect start to try and end that run when Ingram opened the scoring after just four minutes.
Leiston goalkeeper Marcus Garnham made a mess of his clearance as the ball fell straight to Ingram, who slotted home first time into an empty net for his second goal in three games.
Despite going behind, it was Leiston who carried the greater threat and they eventually got back on level terms just shy of the half hour mark through Henderson.
Ainsley then teed-up Blake to score five minutes before half-time to complete the turnaround for the visitors, but there was still life in Needham yet.
A fine run on the left wing from Ingram was cut short when Joe Marsden brought him down in the box, with Morphew scoring from the spot to make it 2-2 on 52 minutes.
Crucially, parity this time would last for barely a minute, as Leiston regained their lead seconds later when Brothers drilled home from inside the box.
And despite seeing their manager Glenn Driver sent to the stands, Leiston struck twice more to wrap up an impressive win on the road.