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Needham Market overcome Leiston to set up historic second round proper FA Trophy tie at National League North title-chasers Gloucester City





First-half goals from Ben Fowkes and Jake Dye proved to be enough for Needham Market to make club history by reaching the second round proper of the Biuldbase FA Trophy at the expense of Suffolk divisional rivals Leiston.

Finlay Barnes pulled a goal back for Leiston 16 minutes from time to give Darren Eadie and Chris Wigger's side hope but it would have been a travesty if a fluent and dominant Needham display did not see them win through.

A 2-1 victory in front of a crowd of 230 at Bloomfields sees the club pocket the £3,000 prize money and also set up an historic first foray into the second round proper, at National League North leaders Gloucester City on Tuesday (7.45pm).

Billy Hunt (no9) congratulates Needham Market's Ben Fowkes after his strike gave them the lead in the FA Trophy tie with Leiston Picture: Hannah Parnell (43523262)
Billy Hunt (no9) congratulates Needham Market's Ben Fowkes after his strike gave them the lead in the FA Trophy tie with Leiston Picture: Hannah Parnell (43523262)

A defeat for Felixstowe & Walton United at Basford United, already playing in the second round, also means Kevin Horlock's side are the last remaining Suffolk club in the competition.

Needham took an early lead in the 13th minute when some neat build-up play found Fowkes through the middle and he drove towards the edge of the penalty area before firing a low right-footed shot perfectly inside the left-hand post.

Within a minute of the restart Leiston were appealing for a penalty when Kyle Hammond was put clear on the edge of the area only for Dan Morphew's desperate sliding challenge see him come away with the ball. The referee was happy with it though.

Needham Market players celebrate Jake Dye's goal, which made it 2-0 against Leiston in the first half Picture: Hannah Parnell (43523264)
Needham Market players celebrate Jake Dye's goal, which made it 2-0 against Leiston in the first half Picture: Hannah Parnell (43523264)

A frantic spell then saw Needham come close to doubling their advantage with Kieran Morphew causing havoc at a corner with his hooked effort deflecting away off the underside of the bar.

Things then quietened down as the Marketmen monpolised the ball, moving it about well with Leiston rarely able to get a touch.

The second goal that looked to be coming arrived in the 33rd minute through a fine sweeping move.

Fowkes waited smartly for the overlapping run of Callum Sturgess and the former Colchester United Academy player's low cross was inch perfect for the on-running Dye to tap home.

A great half for Needham ended with Byron Lawrence sending a curling free kick bouncing off the crossbar with Billy Hunt prodding home the loose ball, only to be flagged offside.

It was more of the same in the second half from Kevin Horlock's side forcing Donkin to save two efforts from Fowkes from the edge of the box before Dye rattled the crossbar from right-hand side of the area.

Finlay Barnes is keen to get the restart taken after pulling back a goal for Leiston at Needham Market Picture: Hannah Parnell (43523340)
Finlay Barnes is keen to get the restart taken after pulling back a goal for Leiston at Needham Market Picture: Hannah Parnell (43523340)

Captain Gareth Heath tried to catch the Leiston stopper out following the foul from the end of that phase of play, and came close. The former Leiston skipper sent a low angled free kick wide after clipping the outside of the near post.

Full-back Dye continued to be a menace down the right with his shot-cum-cross forcing Donkin to tip over the bar.

At the other end Leiston had not enjoyed much joy but a dangerous ball from the left was sliced wildly by Kirean Morphew, with the visiting striker unfortunate not to see it fall into his range.

Past the hour mark, Fowkes forced Donkin to parry out a long-range effort as a killer third goal proved to be elusive for the Marketmen.

But Leiston put the cat among the pigeons in the 76th minute with their first shot of the half finding the back of the net to halve the deficit.

Ollie Saunders found Finlay Barnes from the left-hand side and some nice footwork saw things open up for him in the area before the number seven produced a crisp finish into the bottom right-hand corner.

The game entered the last 10 minutes without Leiston able to threaten an equaliser while Needham kept pressing for a third. Fowkes fired over before Heath's dangerous skidding shot from long-range was pushed round Donkin's post.

Barnes fired an angled effort a fair way wide of the far post last on but it was the closest Leiston came to extending the game, while Needham substitute Luke Ingram's shot had to be pushed away in stoppage-time.

In truth, a 2-1 scoreline was not reflective an excellent Needham display where they could not find the goals they deserved.

Needham: Garnham, Dye (Ingram 86'), Sturgess, Lawrence, K Morphew, D Morphew, Page, Heath (c), Hunt (Marsden 68'), Collard, Fowkes. Unused subs: Mills, Pollard, De La Paz, Fitzgerald, Elson (gk).

Leiston: Donkin (c), Hammond, Saunders, K Richardson (Stannard 54'), Knights, M Richardson, Barnes, Hitter, Davies (Jackson 74'), Eaton-Collins, Wilkinson (Keys 66'). Unused subs: Bailey-Dennis, Godbold.

Attendance:

SuffolkNews Man of the Match: Jake Dye. The full-back is rarely on the scoresheet (his goal was just his third for the club) but came close to several more than his one as he proved a menace with his overlapping runs.