DANNY Laws described holding Ipswich Town to a 1-1 draw at Bloomfields on Wednesday night as “a great night for the football club”.
A crowd of 553 witnessed the Marketmen give the Championship outfit a real scare in front of Blues manager Paul Jewell, who went from the stands to the dugout for the second half with a look of concern etched on his face.
And Laws was particularly delighted with the performances of former Ipswich Town Academy midfielder Ollie Fenn and ex-Whitton United defender Darcy De’ath, who both signed up for the club this week.
Fenn, 22, who has been playing in Ireland with Galway United, immediately endeared himself to the Bloomfields faithful with a goal against the club where he started out to give Needham the lead after 26 minutes.
“They are young, they have enthusiasm for the game,” said Laws of his new additions. “Darcy has an infectious personality, he has the physicality and you can see he eats everything up in the air.
“The long throw is effective, and it is him and James Evans fighting for the ball.
“Ollie has started his young career at a professional football club and has been out of it for various reasons and he has got that hunger.”
After Monday night’s 5-0 home defeat to League Two Southend United, Laws was delighted with the way his side bounced back with a battling performance to take an Ipswich Town side, who featured Tamas Priskin and eight other players with first-team experience, all the way over the 90 minutes.
“We learned some lessons from Monday night, Southend got us with a couple of sucker punch goals and we caved in a bit in the second half,” said Laws. “We have definitely shown that capacity to take information on board and learn and grow from it with an improved performance against Ipswich.
“It was a good night for this football club. I actually felt last 10 it might have been us who won it.
“We bombed a few long throws in there and a few corners and I was delighted with the boys on the pitch.”
Despite Ipswich dominating the early stages, Needham took a shock lead when Fenn robbed Luke Hyam of possession and curled a left-footed shot inside Arran Lee-Barrett’s right-hand post from the edge of the area.
But eight minutes into the second half Ipswich, who only made one substitution all game, levelled when Pip Boyland, who had been magnificent shackling Hungarian international Priskin to that point, sliced a Jaime Peters cross for the former Watford marskman to take full advantage by dispatching at the far post.
Laws, who has not ruled out strengthening one more position with a new addition, added: “We had a couple of chances at the end and Lee-Barrett made a great save point blank against Danny Bloomfield and on another day they go in. It felt like a real game and the fans had come to see a real game so that is why I didn’t make many changes and hopefully they have benefited for it and we definitely have.”
Needham, who lost striker Nathan Stone to Leiston this week, continue their pre-season with a trip to Hitchin Town on Saturday (3pm) before hosting Wroxham at Bloomfields on Tuesday (home), games which assistants Neil Reader and Andy Gould will take charge of in Laws’ absence.