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Needham Market lift the Suffolk FA Premier Cup

Needham Market players and management celebrate their Suffolk FA Premier Cup success at Colchester United FC Picture: Ben Pooley
Needham Market players and management celebrate their Suffolk FA Premier Cup success at Colchester United FC Picture: Ben Pooley

Needham Market manager Mark Morsley and captain Kem Izzet bowed out from their respective roles in style tonight, as the Marketmen defeated Lowestoft Town 3-2 to win the Suffolk FA Premier Cup at Colchester United.

The Trawlerboys, who finished two places lower in the Ryman League Premier Division table than Needham, in 11th, had won the county's top cup competition for the previous three years.

But first half goals from Luke Ingram and Jack Simmons and a third from John Sands shortly after the restart, was enough to end Lowestoft's domination of the trophy in what was Morsley's last game of his long managerial career before taking over in a chairman role at the club.

It was also a special farewell for club captain Izzet, who completed the whole 90 minutes at his former Colchester United home, before lifting the cup in front of a crowd totalling 575.

Ingram gave needham a dream start with the opener in the third minute, his 20th of the campaign, sticking a foot out to steer Simmons' low shot following a corner past Jake Jessup.

But no sooner had the celebrations began to die down and Lowestoft had levelled when more poor defending saw a free-kick in the sixth minute not cleared and fall for left-back Frazer Blake-Tracey, who watched it well onto his boot before providing a dipping finish.

A breathless opening continued with Blake-Tracey cutting inside only to fire wildly over, while at the other end Simmons' lob had to be cleared off the line by the covering Travis Cole.

Ingram was causing Lowestoft big problems from the right in a 4-2-3-1 setup and got beyond the defence in the 16th minute, only to see his angled shot fizz past the far post.

Danny Gay was called into action at the other end soon after, reacting well to push away Joel Glover's shot, which had deflected off Sam Nunn.

John Sands forced Jessup to parry around his far post and Daryl Coakley was also pushed away as Needham looked to regain the lead their play deserved.

After Sands was fortunate not to be booked looking for a penalty after his free-kick had curled over, Mark Morsley's side took a lead into the break courtesy of a stunnning dipping volley into the top corner from Simmons, which was struck from around 22 yards out. It came after referee Chris Pollard had played a good advantage.

It only took Needham four minutes after the re-start to extend their lead when Simmon's excellent hanging cross proved too elusive for Jessup and Sands was left with the simple task of converting with his left foot at the far post.

With the Bloomfields outfit well in control, the contest lost some of its punch.

Callum Harrison missed a glorious chance to make it 4-1 when he shot straight into Jessup's legs when one-on-one.

And it looked like it could prove costly when Lowestoft finally scored a crucial second goal to set up a grandstand finale when Blake-Tracey powered home a header from a left-sided corner six minutes from time.

But in the remaining minutes it was Needham who looked the more likely to score, with The Trawlerboys unable to trouble their goalmouth to ensure manager Morsley departed from his days in the dugout with a final piece of silverware.

NEEDHAM: Gay, Dye, Coakley, Morphew, Nunn, Ingram, Izzet (c), Harrison, Sands (Dobson, 76), Simmons. Unused subs: Miller, Bradbrook, Crisell, Booth.

Free Press Man of The Match: Luke Ingram.

Attendance: 575

* See Friday's Bury Free Press for more reaction and pictures.

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