TILBURY’s recent run of poor results continued on Saturday when they went down 2-0 to ten-man Needham Market, writes Anthony Mercer. 

The game saw the return of influential Dockers midfielder Joe Christou after injury and suspension. Both sides had early chances.

The visitors’ Ryan Crisp hit over after nine minutes and a minute later Piers Wixon had a shot at goal. But the game finally exploded into life in the 19th minute when both Ryan Blackman and David Cowley tussled.

Cowley kicked out in front of the referee and was dismissed for violent conduct. With the game lacking chances, Needham did go close in the 36th minute when Sam Nunn curled his effort only to see it strike the post. Needham took the lead when a cross from Brothers found Crisp who flicked his header home.

Tilbury dominated for long periods after the break, without scoring. And the talented Harry Cook went close on a number of occasions.

Christou had to defend well on the hour when he headed a goal bound effort away for a corner. With 20 minutes remaining Christou saw his effort well cleared for a corner and from the resulting kick Joe Nightingill headed just over the bar.

Tilbury had plenty of possession but Needham defended well. With a minute to go Cook was again in a good position but ballooned over, before a penalty was awarded four minutes into added time when Blackman fouled substitute Newson and Kem Izzet scored from the spot to see Needham keep up their play-off hopes.

Tilbury: Marrable, Glasgow, Obersteller, Nightingill (Folarin 85), S West, Wood (Waters 26), Christou, Blackman, Aldwinckle (Niles 46), Cook, Wixon.