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Marketmen well beaten by Crows

PUBLISHED: 14:33 17 February 2019 | UPDATED: 14:33 17 February 2019

Needham's Luke Ingram takes to the air to win a header against Royston. Picture: BEN POOLEY

Needham's Luke Ingram takes to the air to win a header against Royston. Picture: BEN POOLEY

Archant

Evo-Stik South Premier Division Central

Needham Market 0

Royston Town 2

The Marketmen lost further ground on the play-off places and frankly on this performance will need a miracle to attain such a lofty spot.

This was the fourth meeting this season between these two sides and the first time that the Hertfordshire side have defeated Needham, thus avenging their league defeat at Garden Walk.

Richard Wilkins’ team has seemingly lost its way at this crucial time of the campaign – one win in five, and this was as indifferent as it gets.

They made the worse possible start by conceding early, and thereafter barely looked capable, excepting a ten minute spell in the second half, when they flattered to deceive.

It was a frustrating afternoon for the 252 spectators at Bloomfields who witnessed a team lacking of ideas and searching for a pattern of play to redeem themselves after a disastrous opening 45 minutes.

Second half substitutions brought some hope, but ‘The Crows’ were adept at slowing the game down to their advantage.

It took two minutes for the visitors to get ahead when Luke Knight released the impressive Vance Bola, who struck a powerful low shot beyond Jake Jessop.

Needham's star man Callum Sturgess prepares to whip in a corner. Picture: BEN POOLEYNeedham's star man Callum Sturgess prepares to whip in a corner. Picture: BEN POOLEY

At the other end Callum Sturgess set up Reece Dobson who sliced his shot wide when well placed and Luke Ingram had an attempt deflected from the target area, but it was a blessed relief when the referee blew for half time.

Wilkins brought on Jamie Griffiths and this produced a marginal, but temporary improvement, as he fired a decent shot comfortably held by Joe Welch.

Callum Sturgess, Needham’s best player by far, produced a surging advance down the left before crossing to the far post, finding Ingram, whose effort was well blocked by Welch and then Griffiths went close from near in.

What followed was a disjointed show as Royston controlled the remainder of the game, showing resilience, determination, and utilizing gamesmanship to a fine art when necessary, as the Marketmen huffed and puffed – their confidence shattered.

And the points were wrapped up Vance Bola struck his second with another fierce low shot from 20 yards.

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