Market forces see Blues 13 game unbeaten run comes to an end in Suffolk
A debut goal from Taylor Morrison can't stop the Blues from losing their first game under Thomas Baillies stewardship
Match Report by MARK BICKLEY, Match Stats by ROD ABRAHAMS, Photographs by GRANTY
The unbeaten run stretching back to 15th September came to an end in Suffolk when Town conceded two preventable goals in the first half despite having several opportunities to get ahead.
Town were forced into a couple of changes due to injuries following Tuesdays FA Trophy replay victory. Chris Cox and Ross Oulton were both missing so Lewis Wilson dropped into Right Back and Jimmy Fry moved back into midfield. There was a debut for Taylor Morrison at left back with Shawn Richards one of the substitutes.
A competitive affair saw Town create several chances in the opening 20 minutes. Albi Skendi had a long range effort well saved by Jessup in the Marketmens goal and another goalbound effort deflected wide. Jimmy Fry's shot lacked power after he was set up by Carvalho and a Grocott cross found Mike Taylor but he couldn't get the direction on his header.
At the other end Walton saved well after a goal mouth scramble, but the hosts took the lead against the run play on 22 minutes when a low cross wasn't dealt with and the ball fell to Heath who fired home.
Undaunted Town continued to look for the equaliser, Kynan Isaac had a powerful drive superbly tipped over the bar by Jessop but Town were caught again and went 2 down. Some more hesitant defending saw the ball given away on the edge of the box and Mills shot was well saved by Walton but the ball fell to Baker who rifled it home from the edge of the box.
The second half continued in the same vain but Needham set up to not concede and made it difficult for Town to create any clear cut chances.
Manager Thomas Baillie made changes with Fry and Isaac being replaced by Richards and the fit again Dias. The tempo increased and Town pushed with greater urgency and the pressure told when with time running out Mike Taylor was fouled on the edge of the box.
Up stepped Grocott and Morrison but it was the debutant who fired it home into the bottom corner. But it proved to late as the home side held firm and came away with 3 points.
Town have chance to start another run on Tuesday night when they take on Aston Villa in the Birmingham Senior Cup followed by a big home game in the FA Trophy on Saturday against South Shields.
"Man of the Match - Albi Skendi, head and shoulders the best player on the pitch another dominant performance in midfield"
Match Stats by Rod Abrahams
| Needham Market|| Stratford Town|
| 11||Goal Attempts|| 14|
| 7||On Target|| 7|
| 1||Blocked Shots|| 1|
| 0||Hit Woodwork|| 0|
| 4||Corners Won|| 9|
| 9||Crosses into Box|| 7|
| 9||Fouls Conceded|| 11|
| 2||Off Side|| 0|
| 2||Yellow Cards|| 0|
| 0||Red Cards|| 0|