Thurlow Nunn League Cup

Needham Market won 4-2 on penalties

Wivenhoe Town paid the price for not making more of chances created as they bowed out of the Thurlow Nunn League Cup with a penalty shootout defeat by Needham Market Reserves.

The Dragons were undoubtedly the stronger side over the initial 90 minutes and created the better scoring opportunities, but only being able to convert one of them came back to haunt them as Needham equalised and went on to win 4-2 from the spot-kick shootout at the end.

Needham Market's reward is a home game against another division one south side - Burnham Ramblers - in the second round.

There was an encouraging start to the game by Wivenhoe and they had the bulk of the early possession without really troubling the Market goal other than a chipped effort from Myles Passley that was comfortably held by Needham keeper Brad Cook.

However, it was the visitors who had the first real sight of goal when the home defence switched off and allowed a cross from the left to reach striker Dan Hayes, who fired his shot over the bar.

Wivenhoe upped their work rate, though, and Passley, Charley Cook and Dide Showemimo combined well down the right to open a chance for Tonye Joseph.

His shot from the edge of the box took a deflection that wrong-footed Cook in the Needham goal, but an offside flag denied the Dragons the opener.

The rest of the first half saw most of the action taking place in the Needham half, although Wivenhoe almost paid the price for some slack defending at a corner when Tom Worendl glanced a header just past the home post.

However, they soon engineered the best chance of the half on 40 minutes when a strong run across the Marketmen’s area ended with Markel Greenidge curling a left-footed shot towards the top corner but Cook flew to his right and tipped the ball away with a good save.

And two minutes later, Wivenhoe were denied an opener for the second time by an offside flag.

It came as Passley flicked the ball on to Showemimo, who tucked it into the net only for the assistant referee to rule it out to leave it goalless at half-time.

It took less than five minutes for Wivenhoe to break the impasse after the break though, as they pressed the visitors’ back line and Greenidge drilled a low shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the area.

With the goal in the bank, Wivenhoe looked comfortably in control, but they were unable to grab a vital second and that proved crucial to the overall result.

Home keeper Aaron Reid's goal was rarely threatened by the young Marketmen, but lively winger Alfie Miles did graze the side netting on the hour mark and they hit their hosts with a sucker punch on 77 minutes when a fast break ended with Hayes slotting the ball in from wide on the left.

Wivenhoe upped the tempo and pressed for a winner and had substitute Connor Jones firing inches wide and Passley was denied by another good save from the Needham keeper after a clever througball from Charley Cook.

It meant the final whistle came with the sides locked together at 1-1, but it was Needham Market who proved more astute from the spot.

Meanwhile, in Thurlow Nunn League division one south action, Holland FC beat Brightlingsea Regent Reserves 1-0.

The Essex Senior League saw Stanway Rovers have a 3-1 win in the Gordon Brasted Memorial Trophy at Takeley.

Rovers had Lewis Staniall, Toby Blanche and Marley Andrews on target.