Re: Needham Market
Really good day today.
First up, Needham Market is a lovely place to visit. Really good set-up, lovely little ground with plenty of character and extremely friendly people right through the club. I hope they go well this season.
It was difficult during the latter stages of the first half to express in 140 characters just what we were witnessing. 2-0 up, and not only in total control, but such had been our dominance of possession that every time we won the ball back (or perhaps, more accurately, were given the ball back), players found themselves in acres of space without any red shirt pressing them at all.
After netting the second goal on 31 minutes, the official allowed a drinks break. At that point, a Needham Market player was heard to say 'I'm parched, too much chasing the ball'. This is the key. The preceding quarter of an hour had seen Hendon pass the ball really nicely, letting the ball do the work and grinding the opposition down. Bear in mind that this was a Needham Market midfield containing Karl Duguid and Kemy Izzett - 500 plus football league appearances between them? - they couldn't get near us. By the final ten minutes of the half the game was played at training ground pace.
Credit to our hosts, though. They put in a much better shift after the break but we still looked the more likely to score - something Shulton duly did with a lovely low strike from 20-25 yards out.
This was a more complete and dominant performance than any league performance I saw from us last season, and bodes really well. I don't think any player lost their individual battles and each starter put in a minimum of 8/10. Still really liking what I'm seeing from Russell Short at the base of midfield, and the added energy of Sam Murphy gives us an added dimension. The other plus point, with Morgs now suspended, was the return of Kezie late on.
East Thurrock are always tough and Leiston are going well too. The next seven days will be a big test of our credentials. However, we do seem to be really well set with plenty of options and most importantly, more than one game-plan.
Well done all.