Match Report

Needham Market
J Kamanzi, A Mills 2
J Walker, A Nathaniel-George 2
Match details
Competition: Isthmian League Premier Division
Date: Saturday 20 January 2018
Attendance: 239

Needham Market 3 – Hendon 3

Hendon contrived to snatch a draw from the jaws of victory at strugglers Needham Market, the home side able to capitalise on some weak Hendon defending in order to secure a point.

Nothing should be taken away from the Marketmen - their tenacity and resolve caused Hendon problems all afternoon and it was not always easy to work out from the balance and quality of play which team was in the play-off mix and which was fighting to escape from the Bostik Premier basement.

Needham Market very much deserved a point, but Hendon manager Gary McCann was surely deeply frustrated to have left Suffolk with fewer than three points after seeing his side assemble a 3-1 league with less than half an hour to play.

This was by no means the first time that a late winner or equaliser has scuppered Hendon’s results on the road this season, and McCann will be wondering what he needs to do to ensure that his charges can safeguard games going into the closing minutes.

The writing was on the wall early on as Needham Market applied a fair amount of early pressure on a very wintry afternoon, with snow, rain and sleet buffeting the players on a chilly afternoon.

Ashley Nathanial-George, the standout player for the Greens, tested the home side's defence early on, but it was the Marketmen who then asserted themselves, sending a free kick wide, drawing a great save from Hendon keeper Corey Addai and then forcing Jake Eggleton into committing a foul just outside the Hendon box, the Hendon defender picking up a yellow card for his troubles. The free kick was played across the edge of the box where it was met by Jeremiah Kamanzi who thumped the ball into the bottom corner to give Needham Market the lead.

Needham Market could, perhaps should, have doubled their lead shortly thereafter, John Sands being played through before wastefully dragging his shot wide. It was then the turn of Hendon to dominate, producing a series of shots, corners and free kicks to trouble the Marketmen. In the 34th minute, one of these corners eventually found its way to Dave Diedhiou. He headed the ball through to Josh Walker who tucked the ball past Danny Gay to level up the scores. The remainder of the first half saw Diedhiou and Luke Ingram from the home side pick up yellow cards. That was Diedhiou's last contribution to the game as he was replaced by Luke Tingey at half time.

The opening of the second half saw some vintage football from Hendon as they blew away the home side to take a 3-1 lead. Nathanial-George picked up the first of his brace for the afternoon with a bewitching run that left four baffled Needham Market players in his wake before sending a wonderful curling shot into the top corner.

Just three minutes later, some excellent approach play on the right from on-loan Dagenham striker Joe White found Nathaniel-George in the box and he swept the ball home past a despairing Gay.

From this commanding position, Hendon saw three points slip from their grasp as some familiar defensive frailties came to the fore. A mix-up among the Hendon backline let Adam Mills slip past, the striker making no mistake to reduce the deficit to 3-2. Prolific striker Niko Muir came on for Josh Walker for Hendon, shortly after Rian Bray picked up a yellow card for a dreadful looking challenge to prevent a Needham Market striker from breaking free down the left flank.

The home side ramped up the pressure looking for an equaliser, bringing two more decent stops from Addai in the Hendon goal. As Nathaniel-George picked up a yellow for some flagrant time-wasting, Needham Market maintained their assault on the Hendon goal as the final whistle approached.

Their dogged determination and evident team spirit eventually shone through as Mills was found on the edge of the box and he slotted the ball home in the 88th minute. While a point on the road is by no means shameful, Hendon will have made their way back to north London all too aware that they could have bagged all three.

Report by Bryan Roberts : Not to be reproduced without prior permission

Needham Market

Home Squad
Shirt Player Info
1 Danny Gay  
2 Jake Dye  
3 Callum Sturgess  
4 Jeremiah Kamanzi  
5 Keiran Morphew  
6 Daniel Morphew  
7 Luke Ingram  
8 Gareth Heath  
9 Jack Simmons  
10 John Sands  
11 Adam Mills  
12 Brendan Ocran for 2 , 65
14 Rhys Henry  
15 Callum Harrison  
16 Darryl Coackley  
17 Ryan Gibbs for 7 , 90


Away Squad
Shirt Player Info
1 Corey Addai  
2 Jake Eggleton  
3 Liam Gordon  
4 Dave Diedhiou  
5 Rian Bray  
6 Arthur Lee  
7 Ashley Nathaniel-George  
8 Casey Maclaren  
9 Josh Walker  
10 Joe White  
11 Zak Joseph  
12 Niko Muir for 9 , 72
13 Sam Murphy  
14 Luke Tingey for 4 , 46
15 Channing Campbell-Young  
17 Keagan Cole