DIVISION ONE NORTH
Needham Market 0
Chatham Town 1
Debutant Tom Dew is determined to keep hold of his place in Needham’s starting line-up after making his debut in Tuesday’s defeat to Chatham Town.
The midfielder gave a promising performance wide on the right, but couldn’t prevent the Marketmen slipping to yet another defeat as substitute Harry Smith’s 21st-minute opener proved decisive, maintaining the hosts’ unwanted sequence of failing to record a win at Bloomfields this season.
The evening also saw a penalty miss apiece from the returning Sam Newson, missing the chance to level, while Town captain Matt Jolly spurned the opportunity from the spot to double the visitors’ advantage with five minutes remaining.
And despite not being able to cap off his first appearance in winning fashion, Dew, who started this season on loan at Thetford Town, reflected on a special evening for himself and remains adamant he doesn’t intend to relinquish his starting place ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Harlow Town (3pm).
“Obviously the result was a bit disappointing, but for myself it was great to be out on the pitch,” he said.
“I’ve been here since an apprentice and hopefully now I can get a few more games and help the team start winning again.
“I thought I was out on loan for the season so when the manager said he wanted me back at the club it was a massive confidence boost and I’m delighted to be involved.
“My aim now is to stay in the starting line-up and play as much as I can to progress further.”
The home side started brightly and came close to breaking the deadlock after 13 minutes, but Ollie Fenn could only head Dew’s pinpoint cross from the right-hand side agonisingly wide of the near post.
Despite Needham’s dominance, it was the visitors who opened the scoring eight minutes later with their only shot on target of the first half.
Jolly released substitute Smith into the area and he made no mistake, rifling a right-foot shot past the motionless Louis Johnson.
Danny Laws’ side continued to dominate proceedings and after Dew fired narrowly wide from the edge of the area after 30 minutes, Newson came even closer to levelling seven minutes later, but somehow managed to volley Matthew Redgrave’s cross over from all of two yards as they went in behind at the break.
The second half started as the first ended with the home side on the attack.
Successive chances fell to Kieran Leabon after 65 minutes, but the striker failed to take either, lashing a right foot shot against the post from inside the area, before heading over from Bradley Barber’s cross five minutes later.
Needham’s fortunes continued to flounder as Newson saw a 75th-minute penalty saved by the legs of Tim Roberts following a handball by Jolly, while Patrick Bexfield could only watch on his left foot effort curled narrowly over the bar with 10 minutes remaining.
Jolly then missed the chance to put the game beyond doubt in the 85th minute, seeing his spot kick superbly saved by Johnson low down to his right, after Pip Boyland was harshly adjudged to have brought down Smith.
However, it made no difference as Chatham played out the four minutes of added time to secure victory.