NEEDHAM MARKET 1 DARTFORD 0
A second-half spot-kick from Luke Ingram was enough to send Dartford crashing out of the Buildbase FA Trophy, as Needham Market booked themselves a deserved place in the Quarter Finals.
The Southern League Premier Central Division side made their intentions clear immediately, when Callum Page tested Dan Wilks with a long-range drive within the first minute, which the Dartford goalkeeper collected with ease.
The visitors did begin to settle soon after, and began stringing a few passes together, as they looked for an opener themselves. They came close in the eleventh minute when Danny Leonard was played through. Racing into the box, he then spotted Jake Robinson and tried to set the striker up, but Robinson’s effort was blocked well by the Marketmen defence, as the home faithful held its breath in Bloomfields.
Yet, Kevin Horlock’s side came close two minutes later when Harvey Sayer found Luke Ingram with a dangerous free-kick, but the latter failed to test Wilks. The hosts followed that up with another good opportunity in the 20th minute, when Callum Page got the better of Kai Woollard-Innocent before finding Noah Collard inside the Dartford box. Thankfully, the latter’s chested effort hit Wilks’ post and the visitors managed to clear.
Goalkeeper Wilks would also be called into action to save a Page free-kick (29) and an Ingram flicked header (37) before the half-time whistle was blown by referee Mr Tom Bishop.
Meanwhile, Ade Azeez saw his 17th minute strike blocked by Daniel Morphew, and his 22nd minute header fail to test goalkeeper Marcus Garnham. Two minutes later saw the Dartford number fourteen receive a yellow card from Mr Bishop for one foul too many. Kieran Murtagh also got booked for a late challenge (28), before Danny Leonard forced a terrific save out of Garnham with a drive that was heading towards the top corner (30).
The second forty-five saw the visitors begin the stronger, as they passed the ball nicely while keeping the majority of the possession during the opening exchanges. However, it was the Marketmen who registered the first shot of the half when Harvey Sayer fired over Dan Wilks’ crossbar in the 51st minute.
Midfielder Luke Allen was the next player to receive a yellow card (57), before Garnham was called into action at the other end when he punched a Jack Jebb corner clear on the hour.
The lively Ingram then smacked the crossbar with a powerful effort (61), before Allen saw his long-range drive saved by Garnham (67).
Steve King was the first of the managers to make a change in personnel, as Ody Alfa replaced Ade Azeez (71), only for the hosts to be awarded a penalty after Daniel Morphew was fouled inside the Dartford box (76). Luke Ingram stepped up to calmly give the Marketmen a slender 1-0 lead, and came close once again when his tight-angled effort cannoned back off of the Dartford post soon after. Ben Fowkes tried to double their lead from the follow-up, but Dan Wilks was there to parry the ball behind for a Needham corner.
The visitors made a double change in an effort to salvage something, as Kalvin Kalala and Tyrique Hyde replaced Danny Leonard and Kieran Murtagh respectively (80). The changes almost paid dividends as the visitors ploughed forward. Alfa raced down the right-flank with blistering pace, before sending in a delightfully teasing cross. Jordan Wynter met it with a powerful header, but he could only watch as the ball flew agonisingly wide of Garnham’s upright (86).
With a minute of the ninety left, it was Kalala’s turn as he got onto the end of a delightful Jake Robinson flick. Unfortunately, the winger was unable to beat Garnham in the Needham goal, as the hosts saw out the remainder of the game.
The result sees Needham Market’s impressive cup run continue, while Dartford came away from Suffolk wondering what could have been.
NEEDHAM MARKET: Marcus Garnham, Jake Dye, Harvey Sayer, Kieran Morphew ©, Daniel Morphew, Callum Page, Noah Collard, Luke Ingram, Patrick Brothers, Ben Fowkes, Kyle Hammond.
SUBSTITUTES: Taylor Clark, Tom Fitzgerald, Tommy Northwood, Seth Chambers, Louie Kudiabar, Ben Harris, Ewan Johnson.
DARTFORD: Dan Wilks, Jordan Wynter, Kai Woollard-Innocent, Luke Allen, Kory Roberts, Connor Essam, Danny Leonard, Kieran Murtagh ©, Jake Robinson, Jack Jebb, Ade Azeez.
SUBSTITUTES: Tom Bonner, Tom Wray, Ody Alfa, Tyrique Hyde, D’Sean Theobalds, Kalvin Kalala.
By Chris Palmer