12:10 16 January 2022
Needham Market picked up the club’s biggest ever win in spectacular fashion yesterday, beating Yeovil Town 8-7 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in their FA Trophy fourth round clash at Huish Park.
The Marketmen, cheered on by 58 hardy souls who made the long journey from Suffolk for the game, reached the last 16 of the Trophy by upsetting a side who play in the National League – two tiers above them – and have already participated in the championship.
Glovers were humbled as Kevin Horlock’s Marketmen produced a stunning performance that had to be seen to be believed, and will send shockwaves through non-league football.
After three defeats in a row, including their narrow FA Cup loss to Bournemouth a week ago, Yeovil manager Darren Saril has announced his strongest line-up for a visit from a Suffolk side who knocked out Wealdstone, also from the National League, at Bloomfields. in the previous round.
The match started in a splendid setting and on a superb lawn in front of 1,642 spectators, with visitors at the forefront.
Noah Collard sent a fine ball to Ben Fowkes, whose ensuing effort was deflected for a corner. At the other end, Jake Dye produced an excellent tackle to deny Jordon Barnett as the match settled down.
The hosts picked up the pace with their physical advantage and started to assert themselves, but the visitors fended off their advance until the 30th minute when the deadlock was broken when Adi Yussuf’s cross was swept away by Morgan Williams.
With resilience shattered, it was time for calm and a positive response from the Suffolk side. The Marketmen responded with back-to-back corners and, from Collard’s free-kick on the half-time mark, Ben Fowkes struck an unstoppable volley into Yeovil’s net – sending a corner into ecstasy.
The second half saw resilience beyond the call of duty as the home side had the most play but the defense was largely heroic with Kieran and Dan Morphew in particular exceptional and a cast support putting their bodies on the line to help protect Marcus Garnham. goal.
At the other end, Needham showed great technical ability, and often working on the break they saw Callum Page raise his shot on the crush, and hardworking Luke Ingram, sometimes alone up front , heading a few centimeters away.
Needham almost scored in added time when Grant Smith made a fantastic save to deny Ingram, and the tie went on penalties.
The penalty shootout turned out to be an epic in itself. The drama that unfolded was unreal. 20 quality penalties, all on target, that either beat the keepers or were saved by them.
This was finally settled when man of the hour Garnham netted the 19th kick – then saved the next and final kick to win the game 8-7 on penalties.
Heroes all for Needham. What a game!