Market’s day at Oval
Bedworth beaten in season opener
Bedworth United 0
Needham Market 4
By Colin Stoner
BEDWORTH’S first match back in Step Three proved one to forget after a dismal first-half handed Needham Market a three-goal advantage.
Manager Stuart Storer spoke beforehand about his dislike of pre-season but his mood was hardly improved after lacklustre Bedworth conceded twice in 22 minutes and then a Delroy Gordon own goal just before half-time further confirmed Needham’s superiority.
The Greenbacks, back in the Premier after winning the promotion play-off final last May, had more urgency and attacking spark in the second half and pushed the visitors back for a good half an hour, without finding a way past keeper Jake Jessup.
But having survived the onslaught, Needham added a fourth seven minutes from time.
The goals were well-taken, but Bedworth’s own defensive frailities were equally culpable.
The first came on eight minutes when the Greenbacks hesitated in trying to clear a Callum Sturgess corner and central defender Keiran Morphew tucked home from eight yards.
Bedworth responded with a Daniel Dubidat being parried and a Kieron Brehon cross was just cleared but Needham struck again on 22 minutes.
Midfielder Joseph Marsden seemed to have been halted by a challenge five yards outside the penalty box but he reacted quickest to the loose ball and curled a clever low shot into the bottom corner.
Greenbacks No 1 Dan Crane prevented a third to stop Luke Ingram’s close-range effort and the keeper saved another effort from Jamie Griffiths, while, at the other end, Gordon met two crosses from Luke Rowe with headers, forcing a sharp save and sending another flashing over.
Unfortunately for the summer signing from Stamford, he did find the net three minutes into stoppage time, only to divert a Gareth Heath corner into his own goal as Jeremiah Kamanzi waited to pounce.
Bedworth needed to raise their game and after strong half-time words from Storer they did so, pressing the visitors back.
Midfielder Reece Blackmore was really unlucky when his half-volley from the edge of the area struck the inside of the post and Jessup pushed aside efforts from Rowe and Levi Rowley.
Sub Ryan Baldwin, signed in midweek from Barwell, provided a real spark when he was introduced with 20 minutes left and he came so close to getting a goal from the best Greenbacks move of the match, only to fire inches wide from Elliot Parrott’s pass after tricking his way past his marker.
But, having repelled the hosts, Needham ended strongly.
Crane excelled to keep out Heath one on one but the keeper was again left exposed on 83 minutes when midfielder Marsden shrugged aside two challenges and slotted home a fourth from the edge of the area.
BEDWORTH: Crane, Whitmore, Rowe, Fitzharris, Gordon, Sharpe, Brehon (Baldwin 67), Blackmore (Parrott 73), Dubidat, Troke, Rowley (Christie 73). Subs not used: Tonge, Albrighton.
NEEDHAM MARKET: Jessup, Dye, Sturgess, Kamanzi, K Morphew, Wilson, Marsden, Heath, Ingram (Exworth 85), Griffiths (D Morphew 84), Mills (Dobson 67). Subs not used: Rose, Cook.
Referee: Wayne Barrett.