Shea left frustrated despite heroic goalkeeping display

FINAL FAREWELL: James Shea pictured during Needham Market's narrow defeat to Cambridge United in what proved his last appearance
FINAL FAREWELL: James Shea pictured during Needham Market's narrow defeat to Cambridge United in what proved his last appearance

James Shea was left disappointed after his FA Cup heroics narrowly failed to give the Needham fans the send off he feels they deserved.

The former Arsenal goalkeeper had looked to have handed the Marketmen a deserved fourth qualifying round replay with a fine individual display until Adam Cunnington struck with 10 minutes remaining to finally beat the custodian and deny him the clean sheet his performance richly deserved.

Despite being satisfied with his own showing, Shea was left distraught at not being able to take the Skrill Conference Premier Division leaders to at least as replay.

“I was happy with my own personal performance, but unfortunately it couldn’t give us that draw or victory that I think we deserved,” he said.

“I wish my saves would have forced at least a replay, I really do.

“I tried my hardest but I just couldn’t keep that ball out, it’s a huge shame.

“It was a great crowd and a great occasion and I’m delighted to have been able to be a part of it.”

In what proved his final outing for the Marketmen, after signing for Ryman League Premier Division side Harrow Borough, Shea — who still harbours ambitions of a return to the professional ranks — was pleased he did not disappoint, but remained frustrated he could not give the fans an ultimately fitting farewell with progression to the first round proper.

“I’ve loved my time here but my aim is to get back into the professional game,” he added. “If it was my last 
game than I’m glad I gave a good performance to say goodbye.”

“However, despite that I’m really gutted because it ultimately it does not 
matter how well I played personally if we don’t get through and that’s the annoying thing.”