Needham Market 1 Leatherhead 0 First defeat for Sandmann
A 29th minute goal from Darryl Coakley was enough to give Needham Market their first win in five matches whilst inflicting a first defeat in seven....
A 29th minute goal from Darryl Coakley was enough to give Needham Market their first win in five matches whilst inflicting a first defeat in seven for Leatherhead under new boss Mike Sandmann.
The Marketmen adapted to the slippery playing conditions better than their Surrey counterparts and could have won by a wider margin but for some poor finishing and some fine saves from Tanners goalkeeper Louis Wells.
And yet for all their first half dominance, Needham Market almost allowed the three points slip away in added time when the visitors missed two clear chances in front of goal.
Needham had the better of the opening exchanges. Pressure on the Tanners defence resulted in three corners in quick succession.
Leatherhead had their first chance after 17 minutes. Alex Brown broke clear of his marker, forcing a good block from goalkeeper Daniel Gay. Adam Green’s ensuing corner was headed wide by by Chris Kinnear.
The hosts grabbed the lead just before the half hour mark after Luke Ingram collected the ball deep inside his own half. The midfielder set off on a 70 yard charge down the right, passing to an unchallenged Coakley in the box. The advancing Needham forward had sufficient time to set up a shot and fire past Wells from 15 yards.
The Marketmen should have doubled their lead five minutes later. Michael Brothers broke clear down the right in an almost identical move, pumping a well-weighted pass into the six-yard box. Jay Davies met the ball cleanly but only managed to fire wide from close range.
Brothers missed out on a chance on 47 minutes following a slip up in Leatherhead’s defence. Wells produced another fine save to deny the striker.
Tanners had an opportunity to draw level on 53 minutes. The visitors won a corner after pressure from Adam Cash. Steve Watt rose to meet Adam Green’s in-swinger, playing the ball through to Jerry Nnamani at the far post, who forced a full-stretch save from Gay in his attempt to lob the keeper.
Leatherhead continued to press forward but missed out on further chances in front of goal.
On 57 minutes Alex Brown picked out Kiernan Hughes-Mason in the box, but the Tanners sharp-shooter failed to make contact and Phil Walsh fired over from 12 yards.
Chris Kinnear missed out on another opportunity - side-footing Hughes-Mason’s lay-off wide of the post.
Leatherhead missed a golden opportunity to draw level in the first of nine minutes of added time. Gay made a superb block to deny Walsh, but Brown’s follow-up shot lacked power and was easily cleared off the line.
Tanners were left exposed at the back and they almost conceded a second goal a minute later when Needham’s Oliver Mann broke clear with only Wells to beat.
But the Leatherhead keeper stood up well, producing another fine save and keep the final score at 1-0.
Needham Market: Daniel Gay, Oliver Brown (Kieran Morphew 58), Joe Whight, Oliver Fenn, Ian Miller, Samuel Nunn, Luke Ingram, Kemal Izzet, Michael Brothers (Oliver Mann 76), Jay Davies (Regan Pelling 90) Darryl Coakley
Unused Subs: Jordan Patrick and Nathan Munson
Leatherhead: Louis Wells, Adam Cash, Adam Green, Paul Semakula, Steve Satt, Jerry Nnamani, Alex Brown, Chris Kinnear, Frannie Collin, Kiernan Hughes-Mason, Ryan Mahal (Phil Walsh 45)
Unused subs: Stephen Okoh, Gavin Long and Evander Lopes