Missed Chances Costs Blues
Blues slumped to another disappointing defeat writes The Mariner
Blues had a number of opportunities in front of goal but it was their hosts who converted theirs and that was the difference between the two sides on Tuesday Evening
Callum Thomas making his debut between the sticks for the Blues was given a baptism of fire as Needham put five goals past him but you must have sympathy with the teenager stopper from Charlton who could not be blamed for any of the goals.Also making his debut was Stephane Ngamvoulou who looked impressive in the first period but faded in the second.
Blues made a bright start taking the game to their hosts forcing a succession of corners in the opening minutes, Ngamvoulou was making some intelligent pacy runs which the Needham defenders were having difficulty dealing with.
Etienne Kabobola came close with a good run and shot deflected for a corner but despite the early pressure it was Needham who went in front from virtually their first attack in the 10th minute.Simon Mensah allowed Needham wide man Robson too much time and space allowing the speedy winger to whip in a low cross to the near post where Booth nipped in and prodded the ball past Thomas.
Blues came back strongly and it was Ngamvoulou again the provider he outstripped his fullback and played in a low cross which failed to find a Blues forward.Adiyenka Cole tried his luck from the edge of the box but saw his effort drift wide of the post.
Blues were enjoying a good deal of possession without an end result,Needham though looked the more dangerous going forward,Ingram's turn and shot was deflected over,Wright had a golden opportunity with a header which sailed wide and then Brothers fired over when well placed.Brothers was again unlucky with a diving header seeing his effort cannon off the post.
Blues did get the ball in the net after good work again by Ngamvoulou he slid the ball into Lheureux Menga who's neat back heel beat Gay but not the eagle eyed Linesman who flagged for offside.Menga was involved again when Cole's cross just eluded the strikers lunge.
From the restart Ngamvoulou carried the ball forward playing the ball into Cole who held onto the ball too long allowing Needham to block his eventual effort on goal.
Needham were to increase their advantage in the 53rd minute after winning a throw on the half way line, Blues collectively switched off allowing the throw to find the unmarked Curtis who crashed an unstoppable shot past the exposed Thomas.
Blues still pushed forward with Jamie Mascoll seeing a lot of the ball making a number of intelligent overlaps,Cole had a golden opportunity to reduce the deficit,a teasing Mascoll cross eluded the Needham rearguard and found Cole unmarked at the far post but he blazed over with the goal gaping.
As if to add insult to injury just seconds later Needham got their third,a long punt forward was misjudged by debutant fullback Jordan Aghhastise allowing Robson a clear run at goal he had a choice of three Needham players to feed the ball to eventually finding Osei who swept the ball past Thomas although he did get a hand to the ball.
Blues were still looking to open their account but on too many occasions they found themselves with a goalscoring opportunity but either delayed the shot or the final ball lacked accuracy unlike their hosts who looked dangerous every time they went forward.
Needham added a fourth in the 79th minute Dobson who had caused problems all evening shrugged off his marker and ran unchallenged to the edge of the Blues area cleverly chipping the ball over the advancing Thomas. Six minutes later Dobson added his second and Needhams fifth,he was allowed to run fully 25 yards without challenge and fired past the once again exposed Thomas to compound Blues agony.
At the other end Menga turned well and brought a good save from Gay and then Appiah-Kubi finally got a consolation goal for the visitors rifling past Gay.
So another disappointing evening for the Blues in a game where in the first half they could have gone in at least level with their opponents,however the cumulative effect of poor finishing and and lapses of concentration cost them dear on the night.