Premier Cup Final Needham Market Felixstowe & Walton April 2024 1

Four Premier Cups in a row for Needham

NEEDHAM Market made it four Suffolk Premier Cup wins in a row on Tuesday night.

TWO second-half goals against ten-man Felixstowe & Walton United saw Needham Market make it four Endeavour Automotive Suffolk Premier Cup wins in a row.

A Luke Ingram penalty after 64 minutes and a close-range Jamie McGrath finish seven minutes later settled the outcome in Tuesday’s final at Bury Town FC after the Seasiders had Josh Hitter sent off.

The second period was only two minutes old when Hitter over-aggressively contested the award of a goal kick instead of a corner after the ball was headed out by a Needham defender.

The midfielder, who had been booked after 38 minutes for a foul, received a second yellow card and subsequent red after running towards referee George Laflin to protest.

Premier Cup Final Needham Market Felixstowe & Walton April 2024 2

Luke Ingram beats Felixstowe & Walton United goalkeeper Danny Crump from the penalty spot to put Needham Market 1-0 up. Main photograph: Needham Market celebrate making it four wins in a row. Photographs: Paul Voller

Felixstowe, who had matched their higher-league opponents up to that point, were pushed back and Needham eventually made their numerical and territorial advantage count.

The holders and new Pitching In Southern League Premier Central champions almost went ahead in just the second minute when left back Tommy Smith’s floated delivery came back off the crossbar.

Seth Chambers, who had scored ten goals in this season’s competition, then lobbed just wide of the Seasiders’ goal after a mistake by Kyran Clements.

The defender redeemed himself with a superb goalline clearance a minute before the interval when he hooked clear a header by Chambers following Kyle Hammond’s right-wing cross.

The Pitching In Isthmian North promotion-chasers had a couple of chances of their own, Josh Mayhew firing straight at keeper Marcus Garnham, while Sam Ford’s low left-wing cross was just out of the stretching Mayhew’s reach.

Following Hitter’s dismissal Jacob Lay missed a gilt-edged opportunity to open the scoring for Needham, lifting his shot over the bar, before the unmarked Chambers headed wide from another Ingram cross.

Premier Cup Final Needham Market Felixstowe & Walton April 2024 3

Jamie McGrath (yellow shirt, No.14) turns home a cross for Needham Market’s second goal against Felixstowe & Walton United. Photograph: Paul Voller

The breakthrough came in the 64th minute when goalkeeper Danny Crump, deputising for the injured Josh Blunkell, bowled over Chambers as he tried to tackle him.

The ever-reliable Ingram scored from the spot and seven minutes later it was 2-0 when McGrath expertly turned home Smith’s low cross at the near post.

Felixstowe manager Stuart Boardley, who was yellow carded himself after his frustrations got the better of him, made a triple substitution in the 74th minute.

Although Felixstowe rallied late on there was no denying Needham, whose goalkeeper Garnham has now won the competition a remarkable ten times.


The Teams

Felixstowe & Walton Utd: Danny Crump, Lamell Howell, Stuart Ainsley, Billy Holland, Kyran Clements, Leon Ottley-Gooch (sub Tom Bullard, 74 mins), Sam Ford, Noel Aitkens, Josh Mayhew (sub Zak Brown, 74 mins), Josh Hitter, Henry Barley (sub Callum Harrison, 74 mins). Unused subs: Andre Hassanally, Joe Whight.

Needham Market: Marcus Garnham, Tommy Smith, Kyle Hammond, Kieran Morphew, Dan Morphew, Luke Ingram, Dylan Williams (sub Byron Lawrence, 82 mins), Jacob Lay (sub Reece Harris, 65 mins), Tevan Allen, Jamie McGrath, Seth Chambers (sub Adam Mills, 65 mins). Unused subs: Ollie Fraser, Hugh Cullum.

Referee: George Laflin.

Attendance: 604

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