Needham ITFC Premier Cup SF Feb 2024 1

Holders reach their fourth final in row

NEEDHAM Market left it late before reaching this season’s Suffolk Premier Cup Final.

NEEDHAM Market left it late before securing their place in this season’s Endeavour Automotive Suffolk Premier Cup Final.

They trailed Ipswich Town U18s 2-1 with 20 minutes remaining in Tuesday night’s semi-final at Hadleigh United FC, before scoring three times to win 4-2.

Jamie McGrath had put the holders ahead after 11 minutes, but captain Tom Taylor equalised for the Academy side in the 25th minute.

Ipswich then took the lead just before the interval through Jesse Nwabueze - a lead they held until the 72nd minute when Tevan Allen restored parity.

Osman Foyo, who had been influential in the Ipswich midfield, received a straight red card for an off-the-ball altercation three minutes later.

Needham, who fielded a virtual full-strength side, got their noses in front through Chambers after 79 minutes and the striker added his second and Needham’s fourth in stoppage time.

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Needham Market’s Kyle Hammond (red shirt) takes a tumble under a challenge from Ipswich Town's Tom Taylor (blue shirt) in Tuesday's semi-final tie. Main photograph: Seth Chambers scores past Charlie Binns from close range to put Needham Market 3-2 ahead. Photographs: Ben Pooley

Chambers maintained his record of scoring in every round and has now netted ten times in this season’s competition.

He scored twice as a substitute in their 4-2 victory over Bury Town and once in the 3-2 victory at Long Melford, before finding the net five times in the 7-0 demolition of Stowmarket Town in the quarter-finals.

Needham Market, who have won the competition in each of the past three completed seasons, will face either Felixstowe & Walton United or Leiston in this season’s final. They meet in the second semi-final at Ipswich Wanderers FC on Tuesday, March 12th.

Needham manager Kevin Horlock said: “I thought Ipswich played really well first half. They passed it around well. They showed good strength, quite direct, and they landed on the ball in advanced areas.

“They were running at us, but I just thought we possibly showed them a little bit too much respect. We didn't really put ourselves on the game and show our strength. So, we addressed that at half-time.

“I thought the second half was a really good performance. We created lots of chances and could have scored more. I know Marcus made saves first half, but second half, we were pretty comfortable and obviously the sending off helps. But I think by that stage, it was pretty clear that we were probably going to go on and win it.”

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Needham Market’s Tommy Smith (red shirt) takes on Ipswich Town’s Matt Ward (blue shirt) during Tuesday’s semi-final match at Hadleigh United FC. Photograph: Ben Pooley


The Teams

Ipswich Town U18s: Charlie Binns, Nik Nkansa, Afi Adebayo, George Iorpenda, Curtis, Towler, Ward, Foyo, Taylor, Morgan, Nwabueze. Unused: Fleischer, Graham. Used subs: Kevan Domi, Chuks Uzor-Grey, Jamie Mauge. Unused subs: Alan Fleischer, Alex Graham.

Needham Market: Marcus Garnham, Jake Dye, Tommy Smith, Byron Lawrence, Keiran Morphew, Dan Morphew, Luke Ingram, Jamie McGrath, Seth Chambers, Jacob Lay, Tevan Allen. Used subs: Kyle Hammond, Patrick Brothers, Eddie Barker.

Referee: Alex Shipp.

Attendance: 132.

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