TWO late goals saw Needham Market make it three successive Suffolk Champions Charity Cup wins.
A Jake Dye diving header and substitute Seth Chambers’ penalty after 88 and 90 minutes respectively finally ended Framlingham Town’s resistance at Bloomfields on Tuesday night.
Although they huffed and puffed, Endeavour Automotive Suffolk Premier Cup holders Needham deserved their 2-0 victory to retain the charity cup.
CNet Training Suffolk Senior Cup winners Framlingham were far from overawed and, despite the result, were the happier of the two teams at full-time.
The first chance of the match, which was in aid of the British Heart Foundation, came in the 14th minute for the home team, Dan Morphew’s raking pass picking out Ollie Fraser, who cut inside a defender and saw his curling effort tipped away by Edyn Cummings.
Needham’s Jamie McGrath smacked his shot against outside of the near post after a neat interchange inside the penalty area after 35 minutes.
Needham Market's Jamie McGrath (red shirt, No.14) sees his shot strike the outside of the near post in the first half against Framlingham Town. Main photograph: Needham Market celebrate their victory. Photographs: Paul Voller
Dylan Williams made a good run across the Framlingham box before shooting straight at Cummings in the 53rd minute, before both sides made a string of substitutions.
A defence-splitting pass by Flynn Crosthwaite set up fellow substitute Callum Page, but he sliced his shot wide of the visitors’ goal in the 72nd minute and Williams fired over seven minutes later.
Substitute Shane Hambling squandered the Castlemen’s only clear-cut opening of the second period, dragging his shot wide of the far post with eight minutes of the regulation 90 remaining.
Just as a penalty shoot-out started to look likely, Williams collected the ball after his free-kick had been charged down and crossed to the far post for Dye to break the deadlock with a diving header which went in off Framlingham centre back Joe Berry.
Two minutes later Chambers picked himself up to comfortably score from the spot after he had been bowled over in the box by Berry, who had defended well up to that point.
Chambers almost added a third in the five minutes of added time, but his low cross-shot was pushed away by Cummings.
The cup was presented by Karl Coppack, the British Heart Foundation’s Fundraising Manager for Norfolk & Suffolk.
Needham Market assistant manager Tom Rothery said afterwards: “Give Framlingham credit as they played well.
“They battled well and they moved the ball well in the first half, so fair play to them, but we are disappointed with how we played and we have got to look to be better than we were tonight.
“We had players missing, so we tried a different shape, but in the first half we didn’t play at a good tempo or move the ball well enough and all over the pitch we were not good enough.
“We were better in the second half, but still not good enough for what we are looking to achieve.”
Needham Market full back Jake Dye (red shirt) stoops to head home the opening goal against Framlingham Town at Bloomfields. Photograph: Paul Voller
Framlingham manager Liam Abraham was pleased with how his side played but was disappointed they lost to those two late goals.
He said: “Tired legs towards the end was a factor for us. They were always going to have more of the ball, but it was nice to see us create some chances.
“With how close it got to the end of the game before they scored their goals, it would have been nice to take it to penalties.
“However, tonight was not about the result, but the performance and I could not be happier with how we played.”
Needham Market: Marcus Garnham, Jake Dye, Tommy Smith, James Letts (sub Flynn Crosthwaite, 46 mins), Dan Morphew, Tevan Allen, Dylan Williams, Jamie McGrath (sub Callum Page, 46 mins), Jamie Smith (sub Seth Chambers, 64 mins), Jacob Lay (sub Clayton Osborn, 64 mins), Ollie Fraser. Unused sub: Reece Harris.
Framlingham Town: Edyn Cummings, James Ross, Niki Shopov (sub Alfie Norman, 75 mins), Johnny Kerridge (sub Will Aldis, 88 mins), Cyrus Thorpe, Joe Berry, Ethan Whittingstall (sub Shane Hambling, 68 mins), Josh Tysoe, Max Willett (sub Oliver Smith, 84 mins), Archie Exworth (sub Hayden Freeman, 75 mins), George Exworth (sub Shane Murphy, 70 mins).
Referee: Liam Botten