Remi Sutton's first half strike was enough to secure victory for Thurrock this evening. Despite the dismissal of Adetayo Osifuwa after 68 minutes, Needham were unable to salvage a point from a game which they'll feel aggrieved to lose.
Picture shows Jake Dye advancing forward (Picture Credit: Ben Pooley)
Richard Wilkins handed Jamie Griffiths his first start and the striker produced an impressive performance.
In the opening exchanges, Billy Holland's strike from distance was parried for a corner by former Lowestoft goalkeeper Jessop.
Then moments later, the hosts has a chance of their own as Remi Sutton forced Danny Gay into a good save.
29| Jamie Griffiths turned his defender before cutting the ball back for Jack Simmons who shot over the crossbar.
With 32 minutes on the clock, The Fleet broke the deadlock. A superb cross field pass found Sutton. He had time to take a touch before firing a hard and low shot into the far corner out of the reach of 'keeper Gay.
38| An in-swinging corner found an unmarked Holland just yards from goal, but remarkably a touch evaded him as the ball went out for a goal kick.
On 40 minutes, Callum Harrison unleashed a dipping shot which was spilled by Jessop into the path of Holland. The shot stopper making an important block from the subsequent rebound.
Half Time: Thurrock 1-0 Needham Market
Harrison picked up a slight knock as well as a caution in the opening period and he was replaced by Ryan Gibbs at the break.
Into the second half and there were some encouraging signs for Needham. With 55 minutes played, Simmons and Griffiths combined once more, before the latter fired over the crossbar.
Wilkins was sent to the stands, but it wasn't long after this when Osifuwa was shown a second yellow card. His late foul on Simmons meant the hosts were reduced to ten men on 68 minutes.
Thurrock looked set to put bodies behind the ball and protect their narrow lead, with the referee failing to gain real control in a game which had many yellow cards.
Full Time: Thurrock 1-0 Needham Market
Next Up: Needham travel to South London to take on Dulwich Hamlet. It's also non-league day and a 'pay what you want' initiative is being offered by the high flying Hamlet.