MATCH REPORT | Needham Market 2-1 Wealdstone
Updated: Dec 19, 2021
Wealdstone were dumped out of the FA Trophy by Southern League Premier Division Central side Needham Market in a 2-1 defeat at Bloomfields.
The hosts took a two-goal first half lead thanks to strikes from Callum Sturgess and Luke Ingram. Substitute Matt Buse halved the deficit in the second half but the Stones could not find an equaliser.
Stuart Maynard made two enforced changes from the side that lost to FC Halifax Town last week, with Will Dennis and Jayden Sweeney both recalled by their parent clubs Alfie Marigliani stepped in the sticks for his full debut and Connor Stevens also returned to the eleven.
Stones afternoon in Suffolk got off to the worst possible start when Sturgess cut in from the left unopposed to strike past Marigliani on eight minutes.
The home side enjoyed a dominant first half and almost doubled their lead when Harvey Sayer's shot just flashed past the post.
On 34 minutes the hosts grabbed a deserved second. Stones carelessly lost possession of the ball before it eventually fell to Ingram who chipped his effort over Marigliani and in.
Stones boss Maynard had seen enough and made two first half changes with the introduction of Jay Bird and Ira Jackson.
And it was Jackson's craftwork that almost allowed Josh Umerah to grab a goal moments into the second half, but the striker fired his effort over the bar.
Bird almost scored just a minute later, heading just wide after a great cross from Ashley Charles.
Buse almost had an instant impact. He saw an effort tipped over the crossbar by Marketmen keeper Marcus Granham within a minute of coming onto the pitch.
The sub then did grab a goal five minutes later, firing into the bottom corner to give the travelling Stones faithful something to cheer as the visitors went in search of an equaliser.
Chances came for the Stones through Umerah. First he looped a header just over the bar and then fired wide after an excellent knockdown from Jack Cook in the box.
Granham performed more heroics in the Marketmen goal. Denying Buse a second with a brilliant point-blank save.
The Stones almost went level through captain Jerome Okimo on 85 minutes but the defender fired over the bar from six yards out, evidence that it wasn't to be for Wealdstone in the FA Trophy this season.
With the FA Trophy run over at the first hurdle, Wealdstone's focus shifts immediately back into league action when Maidenhead United are the visitors to Grosvenor Vale on Boxing Day at 3pm.
WEALDSTONE: Marigliani, Stevens (Buse 59), Cook, Okimo (c), McAvoy, Charles, Dyer, Cooper, Mascoll (Jackson 42), Fasanmade (Bird 42), Umerah.
Subs not used: Quigley, Balogun.
Report by Chris Woods