Last minute strike robs Blues

RYMAN DIVISION ONE NORTH

NEEDHAM MARKET 1 BRENTWOOD TOWN 1

NEEDHAM Market took a point when Kieran Leabon equalised with virtually the last kick of the game at Bloomfields on Saturday.

Brentwood had led from the third minute when Darren Blewitt headed in a Greg Cohen corner and, after surviving an onslaught from the home side early in the second half, it looked as though they would return from Suffolk with all three points until Leabon slammed a loose ball into the roof of the net with the three minutes of stoppage time almost completed.

With goalkeeper Elliot Justham having departed to Ryman Premier East Thurrock United, Blues had 19-year-old Spurs loanee Jonathan Miles making his debut in goal.

He was untroubled in the early stages as Brentwood, who were otherwise unchanged from their last league outing against Ware, dominated from the kick-off. The home side made an uncertain start and conceded an unnecessary corner from which Blewitt got a clear header to put his side ahead.

Alex Read had a chance to increase the lead in the tenth minute from Daryl Robson’s pass but Brentwood’s leading scorer shot well over the bar.

Miles was not in the action until the 20th minute when he had to come out smartly to deal with an awkward back pass and he then showed some good handling as the Marketmen at last got into the game and began to hit some dangerous balls into the Brentwood penalty area. Needham goalkeeper Louis Johnson then saved well just before the half hour when Cohen set up Abs Seymour.

The home team took the game to Blues after the break. Danny Bloomfield shot wide from in front of goal in the 52nd minute as Needham tried to capitalise on a rare weak back pass from Blewitt. A fierce volley from James Evans flew just off target and Miles then made an excellent save from Leabon.

As the pressure stayed on the visiting defence, Blewitt and Ryan Doyle made excellent blocks but Blues had a lucky escape when a corner was deflected goalwards and they survived thanks to a combination of the underside of the crossbar and the head of Robson on the goal line.

Brentwood brought on recent signing Lewis Frost and fit-again Steve Butterworth and threatened to increase their lead in the later stages of the game.

In the 85th minute Butterworth and Frost set up Read for a shot that was just wide and Ted Llewellyn then fed Butterworth whose shot just missed the top corner.

Read forced a save at the near post from Johnson as the game went into stoppage time but there was still time for same late pressure from Needham Market that led to that late equaliser.

Brentwood Town: Miles, Doyle, Llewellyn, Robson (C.Witherspoon 76), Blewitt, West, Thompson (Butterworth 79), Bantick (Frost 55), Read, Cohen, Seymour. Unused subs: C. Witherspoon, Stokes, Rees.

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