The Marketmen put in a spirited performance at table topping Bognor Regis Town this evening, but despite taking a first half lead they slipped to a 2-1 league defeat in West Sussex.
It was in fact the visitors who had the better chances in the opening exchanges. On 10 minutes Reece Dobsons header flashed wide of the target after Luke Ingrams cross from the right hand side.
With 18 minutes on the clock, Needham drew first blood. Kem Izzets lofted ball over the top of The Regis defence was raced onto by Dobson. The on-rushing Dan Lincoln brought down the striker in the penalty area and Izzet confidently dispatched the resulting penalty by sending Lincoln the wrong way from 12 yards.
However, the goal acted as somewhat of a wake up call for the hosts. Minutes later a sweetly struck, dipping effort from distance by Doug Tuck was well saved by goalkeeper James Bradbrook to ensure Needhams narrow advantage. On 23 minutes Tuck set his sights at goal once more but a poor shot was off target and posed as little threat.
With half an hour on the clock, Bognor captain James Crane saw his header blocked before being rebounded onto the woodwork. A gilt-edged chance as The Suffolk side rode their luck.
Half Time: Bognor Regis Town 0-1 Needham Market
After a long spell of possession, The Rocks equalised on 59 minutes through Jimmy Muitt. A stunning, curling shot from outside of the penalty area into the top corner.
With the match evenly poised, Needham were dealt a blow as centre-half Sam Nunn hobbled off through injury on 65 minutes. His replacement was Darryl Coakley and this brought about a slight formation change. Joe Whight moved inside to partner Ian Miller at centre-half with Coakley going to left back.
Bognor completed the second half turn around with a close range header into the bottom corner on 74 minutes. James Fraser was the goalscorer after a cross from Alex Parsons.
On 77, manager Mark Morsley made a second substitution as goalscorer Izzet was replaced by Callum Harrison.
Three minutes after the change and The Marketmen were denied what would have been a stunning equaliser. After Dobsons twists and turns he rattled the woodwork from some 25 yards out with Bognor keeper Lincoln thoroughly beaten.
Full Time: Bognor Regis Town 2-1 Needham Market
Next Up: A season defining month continues on Saturday as Needham are on the road once more this time facing second placed Havant & Waterlooville