Magnificent seven for goal-crazy Needham

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Needham Market 7 Potters Bar Town 0

by Russell Claydon at Bloomfields

IT WAS seventh heaven for Needham Market on the opening day of the Ryman League season as the Marketmen ran riot.

The whitewash included four goals from Sam Newson, his best return in a Needham shirt, which left him declaring promotion is very much on the cards, despite the loss of talisman Craig Parker.

Newson, joined on the scoresheet by debutants Deakin Napier and Danny Bloomfield as well as Danny Thrower, said: “Last year we faded away towards the end if I’m honest so we know how important it is to get points on the board, so to get seven goals on the first day of the season makes it a happy day.

“I’ve got four today, but the wingers, Percy and Deaks, have got a goal and goals are going to come from everywhere for our team this year so I think we are more than capable of promotion.”

Manager Danny Laws, serving the first of a two-game touchline ban, was without captain Rhys Barber (ankle) and Duane Wright (calf) and fielded five new signings, including Bloomfield playing off Newson upfront.

It only took his new-look side two minutes to storm into a lead, with James Evans drilling a crossfield pass to Thrower, who fired home from an angle inside the penalty area.

Six minutes later, a Pip Boyland header went through to Newson, and with his back to goal, he skillfully turned his man before giving the keeper no chance.

The home found themselves 3-0 ahead and cruising after 25 minutes, Napier’s low free-kick taking a deflection off the wall and squirming in at Ryan Burbridge’s near post.

Potters Bar’s first effort on goal saw Bradley Barber forced to head off his own line before their task became even more unlikely when Newson made it four after 37 minutes. A Thrower free-kick from the right ran through to Barber at the far post, whose deflected shot fell to Newson to despatch from an acute angle.

Andrew Plummer, making his competitive debut in goal for Needham, had been a virtual spectator in the first half but had to earn his corn at the start of the second with several good saves before Needham broke away to crush any hope of a comeback.

With 66 minutes on the clock, Napier went on a surging run before laying the ball out to Newson on the right, who cut it back to the onrunning Bloomfield. His first shot was deflected, but the second from seven yards out found the net.

It only took three minutes before the hosts had another, a long punt out from the back put Newson through who took the ball to the keeper’s right before expertly chipping over Burbridge.

And the striker was not finished terrorising the Hertfordshire side’s backline, as he grabbed his fourth after Thrower’s cross came off substitute Scott Chaplin, presenting him with a simple chance from six yards to complete the rout on 90 minutes.

Free Press man of the match: Sam Newson.