Needham Market 1 Lowestoft Town 0: Mills stoops to earn bragging rights for Marketmen
PUBLISHED: 14:31 16 February 2020 | UPDATED: 14:31 16 February 2020
Shirley D Whitlow
With Storm Dennis playing havoc with the region the players of both Needham Market and Lowestoft deserve the utmost praise for coping with the conditions and providing an entertaining closely fought 90 minutes.
With Rossi Jarvis, Travis Cole and Connor Deeks all back in contention manager Jamie Godbold had the rare luxury of selecting from a full squad.
Playing with the wind behind them Lowestoft very nearly conceded another early goal as Adam Mills pulled the ball back but Billy Hunt's strike across goal was wide of the far post. The strong wind was playing tricks with the ball and making constructive play difficult as the players strived to get accustomed to it.
Jake Reed had Lowestoft's first strike at goal which was turned away by Marcus Garnham who them punched away Miguel Lopez's 20 yard drive with Reed blazing the rebound over.
Facing the wind in the second period Lowestoft were soon on the back foot with Luis Tibbles saving from Callum Page but he was beaten in the 49th minute when Mills raced in from the left to meet Joe Marsden's excellent cross and head low past the keeper. Lowestoft struck back with Reed again testing Garnham who turned his shot around the post.
The Trawlerboys seemed to be coping with the conditions far better in the second period and Josh Curry sent Reed away down the right who found Malachi Linton whose drive was blocked in front of goal.
With the earlier introduction of Travis Cole, Curry was now operating as right wing back and from another surging run he played Reed through again and although his shot beat Garnham the assistant's flag was raided and the goal ruled out.
With game entering the final stages more chances were being created at both ends with Luke Ingram going close before play was held by a bad injury to Needham's Marsden.
With the referee indicating seven minutes added time play became even more stretched as Hunt's 25 yard free kick went straight to Tibbles. Not to be outdone Lowestoft's Louis McIntosh's deflected free kick was superbly saved by Garnham who did exceptionally well to also block Connor Deek's follow up.
Needham though have the last say as Page's first time effort curled against the bar and Tibbles saved from Craig Parker.
Needham Market: Garnham, Marsden (Sub Dye 88), Sturgess, Short (Parker 88), Keiran Morphew. Danny Morphew, Page, Heath, Hunt, Collard, Mills (Ingram 70). Subs not used: Diogo, Shorten
Lowestoft Town: Tibbles, Ruffles (Cole 50), Jack Wilkinson, Rossi Jarvis (Deeks 77), Curry, Tann, Lopez (McIntosh 68), Fisk, Reed, Lintom, Zielonka. Subs not used: Richardson Marcus Wilkinson
Referee: Mr M Robertson-Tant