FA CUP PRELIMINARY ROUND
Needham Market 4 Felixstowe & Walton United 1
by Sam Murley at Bloomfields
NEEDHAM Market striker Danny Bloomfield was delighted to progress through the FA Cup preliminary round after victory against Felixstowe & Walton United in a real family affair at Bloomfields on Saturday.
The striker lined up against brother Joe as the hosts coasted through the match, dominating posession and limiting the visitors to minimal chances from start to finish.
The comfortable result eventually came courtesy of goals from Danny Thrower, Scott Chaplin, Sam Newson and Bloomfield himself, leaving the summer signing from Wroxham pleased to grab bragging rights.
“It was the first time we have ever played against each other and it was a bit weird to start with to be honest,” he said.
“However, as soon as the first few minutes were over, you’re trying to get involved in the game and forget about everything else.
“There was a little bit of banter beforehand but I tried to stay away from it and concentrate on the game. With us being in the league above, we had everything to lose.
“But now it is over we can have a bit of a laugh about it and I’ll be mentioning it a few times every hour.
“This competition is just about getting to the next round and how you get there is irrelevant.
“I don’t think we ever got out of second gear and that is no disrespect to them.
“We got goals at good times and that killed the game off. It was a very professional performance.”
Needham began the tie against their Ridgeons League Premier Division opponents strongly and took the lead as early as the 10th minute. Thrower played Bloomfiled into the area and the striker took advantage of lapse defending, picking out the midfielder as he continued his run, to finish from all of six yards.
The only real positive for the visitors was the impressive firsthalf display of striker Jamie Cole and the youngster almost grabbed an equaliser minutes later.
Racing onto a long ball, he dribbled his way past Pip Boyland but could not get the better of Andrew Plummer as the keeper pushed the strike away.
He was made to rue the missed opportunity in the 34th minute as Chaplin curled a free-kick into the left top corner after Sam Newson was brought down on the edge of the area, giving the Marketmen a convincing lead going into half time.
It was 20 minutes into the re-start before there was another chance of any note as the hosts extended their lead with a blistering counter-attack.
Central defender Miles Powell lost posession in Needham’s half and after Napier was released down the right, he found Thrower, who in turn played in Newson, who toyed with keeper Fred Howe, rounding him to place into an empty net.
Felixstowe & Walton were gifted a glimmer of hope 10 minutes later as they took advantage of a rare opportunity.
Seizing on a poor defensive header by Lewis Pemberton, Adam Hampson was able to drive into the box and drill a cross to the unmarked Ben Cranfield, who smashed the ball past Plummer.
However their hope would not last long as Needham had the final say on proceedings with 15 minutes remaining, as Bloomfield got in on the act in predatory fashion.
Defender Arran Sheppard could only watch in horror as his attempted header to Howe was pounced on by Bloomfield to round the onrushing keeper and tap into an empty, ending any chance of a comeback, and giving Needham an easy passage through to the first qualifying round.