SETH Chambers’ five-goal salvo to fire Needham Market into the semi-finals of the Endeavour Automotive Suffolk Premier Cup was reward for his recent improvement as a player.
So said the Marketmen’s assistant manager Tom Rothery after the 22-year-old striker netted five times in their 7-0 victory over Stowmarket Town in Tuesday’s quarter-final tie at Bloomfields.
Chambers opened his account with an acrobatic overhead kick after just six minutes, before Tevan Allen made it two eight minutes before the break.
Luke Ingram saw his spot kick saved by Charlie De Lara Bell at the end of the half, but Chambers made it 3-0 in time added on.
The interval scoreline was tough on Stowmarket, who were without skipper Jack Wilkinson through illness, meaning they fielded a completely different starting line-up to last season's side that lost to Needham Market in the final. The visitors' young side had been competitive and created chances of their own, with Jamie Bennett providing a threat down the left.
The second period was a much more one-sided affair, Chambers completing his hat-trick with a far post header from Allen’s left-wing free-kick in the 64th minute.
He netted his fourth with a near-post header from a Callum Page cross nine minutes later, before tapping home from close range after 76 minutes.
Stowmarket Town goalkeeper Charlie De Lara Bell saves Needham Market striker Luke Ingram's penalty at the end of the first half. Main photograph: Seth Chambers (red shirt, partly hidden) taps home his fifth goal from close range. Photographs: Paul Voller
Ollie Fraser completed the scoring in the 83rd minute, nodding home a deep curling cross from out on the left by Jamie McGrath.
Rothery said of Chambers: “In the last seven or eight weeks, Seth’s really come on. He’s starting to use his size better. It is difficult playing up front on your own. We started with two up front, but generally we do play with one up front and it’s a tough role to play.
“As a young lad it’s hard as he’s not always starting, he comes off the bench, and it’s hard in 15 or 20 minutes to learn the game really, but in the last seven or eight weeks he has really come on and progressed and kind of got his reward tonight, so I am really pleased for him as he is just a really good lad.”
Although pleased to progress, Rothery admitted Needham were far from their best in the opening 45 minutes, and it was a strange team talk to deliver at half-time as they were 3-0 up.
He said: “I didn’t think we were brilliant in the first-half especially, but we were quite clinical and deserved to win, but I thought Stowmarket did quite well first half, to be fair to them.”
“I did say that to the lads, and I always tell them the truth, it was a bit of a strange one as we were 3-0 up and I wasn’t particularly pleased how we had played really.
“I thought we needed to be better and just wanted us to be more professional in the second half and not take our foot off and it becomes scrappy, and we end up winning 4-1. I was more pleased with the second half than the first half in truth.”
Seth Chambers (red shirt, No.15) opens his and Needham Market's account with an acrobatic overhead kick after six minutes against Stowmarket Town. Photograph: Paul Voller
Needham Market join Felixstowe & Walton United, Ipswich Town Under-18s and Leiston in the semi-final draw which will be broadcast on BBC Radio Suffolk on Friday between 6pm and 7pm.
Holders AFC Sudbury also enjoyed an emphatic victory in the Veo Suffolk U18 Midweek Cup, putting ten goals past hosts Framlingham Town without reply.
They will now be away to Kirkley & Pakefield in the second round on Thursday, November 23rd.
Endeavour Automotive Suffolk Premier Cup Quarter-Final: Needham Market 7 Stowmarket Town 0.
Veo Suffolk U18 Midweek Cup First Round: Framlingham Town 0 AFC Sudbury 10.