NEEDHAM Market were comfortable winners of the inaugural Suffolk Champions Charity Cup.
The reigning Turners Hyundai Suffolk Premier Cup champions defeated the current CNet Training Suffolk Senior Cup holders Lakenheath 3-1 at Bury Town FC on Wednesday night.
Two goals inside the opening quarter-of-an-hour put the Marketmen in control and although Lakenheath pulled one back early in the second period, Needham scored a third and should have added more.
Needham Market Manager Kevin Horlock was satisfied with his side’s night’s work, although admitting they should have won by a greater margin.
Horlock said afterwards: “It was a comfortable night for us in the end and on another night we should probably have scored another four or five, but I will take that and there were loads of positives.
“The young lad Taylor (Clark) that has come on is 16 years old – what a talent by the way – along with the other young lads and the lads we have added to the squad, so it was nice to get them all on the pitch tonight and it was a good start for us.
“We were probably on a hiding to nothing – if we didn’t win questions would have been asked, albeit in our first game, and the fact we have won 3-1 probably doesn’t tell the whole story, if we are totally honest, but I will take that.”
Ben Fowkes sends Lakenheath goalkeeper Charlie Beckwith the wrong way from the penalty spot to give Needham Market an early lead in the Suffolk Champions Charity Cup match at Bury Town FC on Wednesday night. Main photograph: Needham Market players pictured with the cup. Photographs: Paul Voller
Needham went ahead after just six minutes, Ben Fowkes sending Charlie Beckwith the wrong way from the spot after referee Brad Mingay spotted a handball offence in the box.
Fowkes doubled their advantage in the 15th minute, receiving the ball and drilling home from just outside the penalty area.
Lakenheath almost pulled a goal back after 27 minutes, Shaun Avis smashing a shot from distance against the underside of the crossbar, with the ball bouncing back out into play.
Avis reduced the deficit four minutes after half time, which saw Needham introduce four substitutes, when he pounced to score after substitute keeper Owen Elsdon failed to hold Tom Thulborn’s cross-shot.
Lakenheath striker Shaun Avis scores from close range against Needham Market in Wednesday night's Champions Charity Cup match at Bury Town FC. Photograph: Paul Voller
Lakenheath’s joy was shortlived, defender Dan Morphew scoring with a downward header from a left-wing corner taken by Tariq Izza in the 54th minute.
With Needham naming and using seven substitutes to Lakenheath’s three, the Step 3 side had chances to add to their total against their newly-promoted Step 5 opponents as the half wore on.
Ex-Chelmsford City winger Andy Fennell could have had a hat-trick, while spectators in the crowd of 141 were treated to a first glimpse of Academy prospect Taylor Clark, whose ability to drift past players caught the eye.
Both sides were asked to support a local charity, with Needham choosing Cardiac Risk in the Young and Lakenheath selecting Dementia UK. The purchase price of tickets will go directly to each club’s chosen charity.
The Suffolk Champions Charity Cup was presented by Suffolk FA Chairman Phil Lawler to Needham Market after the match.
Lakenheath: Charlie Beckwith, Alex McIntosh, Lee Hammond (sub Euan Banks, 68 mins), Sam Hawley (sub Teddy Webber, 65 mins), Dean Grogan, Tom Debenham, Reece Clarke, Craig Nurse, Shaun Avis, Kelvin Enaro (sub Brandon Morris, 75 mins), Tom Thulborn.
Needham Market: Marcus Garnham (sub Owen Elsdon, 39 mins), Jake Dye (sub Kyle Hammond, 46 mins), Dan Morphew, Byron Lawrence, Kieran Morphew (sub Callum Sturgess, 46 mins), Josh Pollard, Andy Fennell, Tom Fitzgerald (sub Noah Collard, 46 mins), Billy Hunt (sub Ben Harris, 61 mins), Tariq Izza (sub Taylor Clark, 71 mins), Ben Fowkes (sub Luke Ingram, 46 mins).
Referee: Brad Mingay.
'Great honour' for Lakenheath
Cardiac Risk in the Young