Seth Chambers nets five as Needham Market score seven past Stowmarket Town to progress to Suffolk Premier Cup semi-final
Seth Chambers starred with five goals as Needham Market booked their place in the Endeavour Automotive Suffolk Premier Cup semi-final with a 7-0 victory at home to Stowmarket Town.
In a repeat of last year’s final, where the Marketmen lifted the trophy on penalties, the visitors threatened in spells but it was the hosts that proved to be too clinical for their opponents on the night, who fielded a young squad that was low on numbers.
Chambers netted his first of the evening with an impressive acrobatic effort before Tevan Allen slotted the ball home to double their advantage.
Chambers poked the ball in from close range to add a third minutes after Luke Ingram had his penalty saved as the game was all but wrapped up before the break.
Needham’s number 15 headed in his hat-trick from a corner in the second half before finishing off from close range twice in two minutes to cap off a wonderful night for him – before Jamie McGrath rounded off the scoring.
Needham Market boss Kevin Horlock was absent tonight so Tom Rothery made two changes from their well-earned point at the weekend against Southern Premier League Central table-toppers Mickleover.
Tommy Smith and Jacob Lay dropped out from the matchday squad entirely and were replaced by Seth Chambers and Byron Lawrence – who was making his second start for the Marketmen in two years since he broke his fibula.
Stowmarket Town boss Richard Wilkins named five changes to his side for their first game in a week and a half as none of his team’s starting 11 at Bloomfields started from the off in last year’s final.
Charles de Lara Bell, Zacharias Gayfer, Jack Newman, Joel Simmons and Seth O’Neil all came into the side.
Despite the plethora of changes, it was Stowmarket who fashioned the first clear-cut chance of the game inside the first five minutes.
Seth O’Neil drove at the Needham defence before unleashing a low shot that swerved just wide of the right post with Marcus Garnham at full stretch.
Minutes later, Gayfer tried his luck from range on his right foot but his strike was scuffed wide of the far post.
The hosts were favourites heading into the tie and, despite soaking up some early pressure from their visitors, only needed one chance to break the deadlock inside the first seven minutes.
Tevan Allen’s deep corner from the left was not fully cleared and as the ball to bobbled around in the box with Bell in no-mans land, Chambers repositioned himself to bicycle kick the ball into an empty net.
An impressive finish which settled any nerves from the Marketmen faithful.
With Stowmarket sleeping at the back from the first corner, they were equally as helpless when Needham’s second was delivered in from the opposite side, minutes after the opener.
Captain Keiran Morphew towered above everyone in a crowded penalty area and crashed his header onto the crossbar from point blank range.
Although they fell behind early on, Stowmarket Town did not let their heads drop and continued to apply pressure in Needham’s half.
First Bennett jinked his way through the Marketmen defence on the right and poked a low effort towards goal that agonisingly trickled past the far post.
Then, minutes later, Joel Simmons created space for himself in a similar position to where Bennett was but he dragged his left-footed effort wide of Garnham’s near post.
Everyone inside Bloomfields was desperate to see Byron Lawrence find the back of the net and it looked for a second that the fairy tale was about to become reality.
The Marketmen number four picked the ball up 25-yards from goal and let rip with a left footed effort that flew just past the top right corner with Bell at full stretch.
As much as the visitors created some good openings, the Marketmen showed their quality through clinical finishing and doubled their advantage eight minutes before the break.
A well-worked move slipped through Chambers down the left to turn provider for Allen who received the cut back in time and space, and curled the ball home into the bottom right corner.
Luke Ingram was then given the chance to get on the scoresheet just before the half-time whistle when the Marketmen were awarded a penalty after a Stowmarket player was adjudged use his hand in the box.
But his low effort was met by Bell who palmed the ball away – to what he thought was to safety.
However, the next attack led to Rothery’s side adding their third in first half stoppage time as Chambers received a ball over the top that he watched all the way before poking his effort past Bell.
Needham went into the break three goals to the good as Wilkins would have felt his side deserved to get on the scoresheet.
Rothery changed his side with two early substitutions that saw Ollie Fraser and Callum Page take to the field for Dylan Williams and Reece Harrison early on in a second half that struggled to get going.
Needham persisted with trying to get McGrath and Chambers through with long, hopeful balls down the line as the first bit of quality in the second 45 came from the substitute Page.
The Marketmen striker weaved in and out of the Stowmarket defence before getting hacked down the on the edge of the area.
He took the resulting free kick but he lofted his effort onto the roof of the net.
A fourth should have been added moments later however, when Ingram worked a shooting opportunity down right but he blasted his effort straight at Bell.
Stowmarket shot-stopper was called upon again on the 63rd minute as he denied Chambers’ left footed volley from the edge of the box – tipping the ball over the bar.
But it was not long before Chambers did net his hat-trick and it was another set piece that outdid the visitors.
Allen again whipped in a dangerous cross from the left that Chambers attacked with conviction and he headed the ball down and under Bell to wrap up the tie – if it was not decided already.
The Chambers show was in full flow in the 74th minute when he netted his fourth of the evening as he left his defender for dust to prod home Page’s cross from the left.
And then he added his fifth in double quick time when he rounded off a flowing Needham move – tapping the ball home unmarked at the back post after Allen fizzed in a low cross on the right.
Things went from bad to worse for Stowmarket as substitute Ollie Fraser got in on the act as he latched onto Jamie McGrath’s teasing left footed delivery to finish from close range.
On a night where Stowmarket threatened early on, the quality of Needham Market proved too strong for their visitors as the holders booked their place in the semi-finals.
Needham Market: Garnham, Dye, Lawrence (Letts 66’), Morphew (cpt), Ingram, Williams (Fraser 46’), Allen, McGrath, Chambers, Harris (Page 52’), Callum.
Unused substitute: Podd
Stowmarket: Bell, Gayfer, Rea, Newman (cpt) (Keita 80’) Byrne, Carroll, Simmons, Haddoch, Sloots, O’Neil, Bennett.
Unused substitutes: Askew, Morley.
Suffolk News MOTM: Seth Chambers – five goals on the night, it had to be him