Marketmen forced to settle for a point despite dominating St Ives
PUBLISHED: 18:19 26 December 2019 | UPDATED: 18:19 26 December 2019
BetVictor Southern Premier Central
Needham Market 1
St Ives Town 1
Another frustrating day for the Marketmen at Bloomfields, as they had the lion's share of possession and created a hatful of chances but could not see off St Ives, who earned a point with a late leveller, writes Paul Munn.
Needham lined up for the Boxing Day clash with their new signing Billy Hunt leading the attack. They could have been ahead in the opening couple of minutes when a poor clearance from visiting keeper Finley Irons went straight to Craig Parker, but his attempt was blocked to save Irons' blushes.
However, Parker made no mistake on six minutes. A ball from the left was played across the area and at the far post Parker got in front of his man to strike the ball home.
The home side were certainly on top and created a few more chances to extend their lead. Parker blasted over from the edge of the area, Adam Mills struck one just wide after a good Joe Neal run and later drew a good save from Irons.
Debutant Hunt nearly got his Needham goal tally off the mark, but was denied by Irons. Boss Richard Wilkins and his staff must have felt disappointed to go in at the break with only a one goal lead.
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The second half took a while to get going and when it did it was St Ives who went close with Marcus Garnham pulling off a superb save to deny skipper Robert Parker.
At the other end, St Ives stopper Irons was definitely having to earn his match fee, and he produced two good saves in quick succession, first from Hunt who had created himself some space just inside the box and then he denied Mills from the rebound by pushing the ball round the post.
He would later deny Mills again, after the Needham winger had run 45 yards down the left and unleashed a shot.
St Ives kept plugging away and you got the feeling that they might sneak something. Unfortunately for the Marketmen that's exactly what happened.
On 87 minutes a ball was played over the top sending Ben Seymore-Shove through 20 yards out, he lobbed the advancing Garnham and, despite the attempt of Keiran Morphew to clear it off the line, he made sure before wheeling over to celebrate.
The final minutes saw St Ives reduced to ten men as substitute Edmund Hottor was dismissed for a rash challenge.