Play-Off Contenders Needham Market welcomed title challengers Havant & Waterlooville for their first ever visit to Bloomfields for this afternoons vital Ryman Premier League fixture. In a game which could have ultimately gone either way, both sides had to settle for a point in what was a fairly even encounter played out in front of a healthy crowd of 434.
It was the guests who initially settled well into the game. Ryan Woodford thought he had given his side the all important break through but his strike was disallowed for offside.
The Marketmens goalkeeper Danny Gay continued to shine and Needham defender Sam Nunn provided a vital block to deny forward Jason Prior. With relatively few chances, the game was goalless at half time.
Needham Market 0-0 Havant & Waterlooville
Into the second period and it was the hosts who had the opportunity to break the deadlock. Billy Hollands flick on found an acrobatic John Sands whose attempt was over the crossbar when well placed.
Needham secured the footballing services again of Colchester United player Callum Harrison in the week. Harrisons shot from inside the penalty area forced a terrific save from Ryan Youngs. His finger tips pushed the ball onto the post before the lines were cleared, which denied him a perfect return to Suffolk.
With the game approaching the closing stages Havant & Waterlooville thought they had won this tie but Prior was once more denied by Gay. It was his quick reactions which ensured a crucial league point.
Full Time: Needham Market 0-0 Havant & Waterlooville
Match Sponsors: CLARKE FENCING LTD selected Needhams MOTM DANNY GAY
With just five more games remaining this season, this vital league point could well define The Marketmens play-off fate. Four points from a possible six against this Havant & Waterlooville is most certainly an impressive return.