FIRST QUALIFYING ROUND
Needham Market 1 Ely City 1
by Sam Murley at Bloomfields
NEEDHAM Market manager Danny Laws was left disappointed as Ely set up a deserved replay in their FA Cup first qualifying round tie on Saturday.
The lacklustre hosts took the lead in the 23rd minute through Deakin Napier’s wonderfully curled effort, but after failing to create another meaningful chance and James Evans’ dismissal for a second booking, Sam Parkinson snatched a late leveller from the spot to claim a deserved draw, leaving Laws to reflect on a frustrating afternoon.
“It is always disappointing to concede a penalty late on, but we didn’t play well and everybody could see that,” he said. “We didn’t move and switch the ball quick enough and all over the pitch we were a bit flat.”
Ely’s Richard Chadwick dragged a 22nd-minute shot wide and he was made to rue his miss just a minute later when the Marketmen took an undeserved lead through lone striker Napier.
Picking the ball up on the left-hand side, he cut in before unleashing an unstoppable curled effort into the top left corner, leaving Lee Pacey with no chance.
Despite the setback, the visitors continued to create chances and almost drew level through Luke Parkinson moments before half-time.
After the interval, both sides struggled to seize the initiative, before Ely again went close to drawing level in the 65th minute when Nick Impey flashed a drive wide.
James Evans was dismissed for two bookings and, as the game drew to a close, the visitors finally got their reward for their constant pressure as referee Carl Pearse awarded a late penalty for an adjudged handball by Ryan Foster.
Sam Parkinson took the responsibility and made no mistake, placing the ball into the bottom left corner.
And they almost snatched victory in stoppage time as Plummer was called into action, tipping over Impey’s point-blank header to spare the hosts’ blushes.
Needham: Plummer 7, Evans 5, R Barber 6, Foster 6, De’ath 6, Johnson 6, Chaplin 6, Wright 6, Napier 7 (Bussens 85, 6), Bloomfield 6 (Pemberton 68, 6), Thrower 6. Subs not used: Capocci, Wade, Newson, Fenn.
Shots on target 3 2
Shots off target 1 8
Woodwork 0 0
Corners 3 6
Offsides 3 1
FK conceded 12 13
Bookings: Needham: Evans (kicking ball away) Ely: Collins (foul)
Red Cards: Needham: Evans (second booking)
Referee: Carl Pearse