NEEDHAM Market retained the Suffolk Champions Charity Cup after a penalty shoot-out.
They defeated Ipswich Wanderers 3-1 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in Tuesday night’s match versus Ipswich Wanderers at Bloomfields.
Goalkeeper Marcus Garnham saved two spot kicks for the Turners Hyundai Suffolk Premier Cup winners, who had defender Dan Morphew sent off in the 63rd minute, to seal their success.
Needham, who were raising money for the Suffolk Accident Rescue Service, had taken the lead after 27 minutes through a Taylor Clark penalty following a foul in the box.
Although Craig Brand guessed the right way and got a strong hand to Clark’s effort, the Wanderers’ keeper was not able to prevent the ball entering the net.
The winning Needham Market team pictured with the Suffolk Champions Charity Cup. Main photograph: Needham Market goalkeeper Marcus Garnham saves Mark Roper's spot kick. Photographs: Paul Voller
The CNet Training Suffolk Senior Cup winners, whose chosen charity was the Motor Neurone Disease Association, equalised just 41 seconds into the second period.
Jacob Lay was alert to pounce onto a rebound following a smart low stop from Garnham to fire home for the newly-promoted Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division side.
Wanderers were denied by the woodwork three minutes later, Matt Blake’s shot from an acute angle striking the inside of the far post and rebounding into Garnham’s gloves.
The Pitching In Southern League Central Premier Division hosts had chances to win the match either side of Morphew being sent off, but no further scoring saw the outcome settled in a shoot-out.
One Needham trialist saw his spot kick saved by Brand and another scored before Kyle Hammond and Tom Fitzgerald both found the net for the Marketmen.
New signing Ollie Dunlop struck the underside of the crossbar for Wanderers and Lewis Kincaid scored between Garnham saving from Kai Dyer and Mark Roper, to leave Needham 3-1 winners.
Needham Market manager Kevin Horlock said: “As soon as it went to penalties I knew we were going to win! Marco’s the penalty king, he's shown it so often! He’s a master at it, so as soon as we went to penalties, I knew our name was going to be on the cup!”
Jacob Lay (blue shirt) fires the ball high into the Needham Market net to equalise for Ipswich Wanderers at the start of the second-half. Photograph: Paul Voller
Horlock told the Needham Market FC website that it was pleasing to retain the Suffolk Champions Charity Cup.
“Yes, it’s important. Look, at the end of the day, we are short, we have got bodies missing – we are probably missing five or six today, who would probably get in around, or in the starting eleven! So we were light and they're a lower league team, so it’s still important that we win tonight, albeit on penalties.
But it’s a win, I think that’s really important for a club like us, that wants to progress, you need to beat teams that are in the lower division, even teams like Ipswich Wanderers, who are a decent team with players that possibly could play higher, so it was a test for us tonight, but we come for it and won it so that's pleasing.”
Needham Market raised £406 from ticket sales for the Suffolk Accident Rescue Service, while Ipswich Wanderers raised £250 for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.
In addition to the teams' chosen charities benefiting on the night, the match officials – referee Liam Chinnery, assistants Liam Botten and Adrian Copsey and fourth official Oliver Morris-Sanders – donated their fees to Suffolk Mind.
Needham Market: Marcus Garnham, Kyle Hammond, Trialist (sub Hugh Cullum, 69 mins), Trialist, Trialist (sub Trialist, 72 mins), Dan Morphew, Taylor Clark (sub Flynn Crosthwaite, 85 mins), Tom Fitzgerald, Seth Chambers (sub Trialist, 57 mins), Noah Collard (sub Trialist, 52 mins), Trialist. Unused sub: Archie Exworth.
Ipswich Wanderers: Craig Brand, Owen Hammond (sub Mark Roper, 58 mins), Lewis Kincaid, Anton Clarke (sub Kai Dyer, 58 mins), Adam Dunnage (sub George Mrozek, 46 mins), Kris Rose (sub Charlie Howlett, 72 mins), Jacob Lay, Jack Madley, Matt Blake (sub Ollie Dunlop, 60 mins), Josh Folkes (sub Field, 74 mins), Teon Leggett.
Referee: Liam Chinnery.