Needham Market pick up a deserved win for the first time in six matches at home to AFC Rushden & Diamonds on Tuesday night.
Manager Kevin Horlock made 3 changes to Saturday's fifth straight defeat at Mickleover, Luke Ingram, Jacob Lay and Keiran Morphew all starting in place of Jamie McGrath, Daniel Morphew and Hugh Cullum.
The Marketmen dominated from the start and arguably had the first better chances. Luke Brown was first to work goalkeeper Loris Marcimain after 12 minutes. The forward, making his home debut, looked to catch the shot-stopper out with a fiercely taken low free-kick on the left-hand edge of the box, only for the goalkeeper to comfortably gather.
Ten minutes later a superb goalkeeper from the visiting goalkeeper denied the Marketmen the breakthrough they craved, first Kyle Hammond's rasping driven shot, after driving into space onto the right-hand edge of the box, was beaten away well by the goalkeeper diving down well to his bottom far corner, while Marcimain was on hand to then deny Luke Ingram's unmarked, far post, header from close range at his bottom left-hand corner following an audacious left wing cross from Jake Dye from the rebound of the initial save.
The Marketmen meanwhile had a great chance to break the deadlock on 34 minutes, Luke Ingram broke through down the right wing, the forward then picked out Dylan Williams with a great low pass into the box, the midfielder, who was in acres of space, unselfishly teed up Luke Brown whose first time low strike was well blocked by the Rushden defender.
At the other end, a smart save from Marcus Garnham meanwhile denied the visitors on 36 minutes, Joel Anker found space on the left-hand edge of the box to try his luck low at goal, only for his deflected effort towards the near post to be matched by a good reaction Dave from Garnham to beat it wide into the side-netting.
The Marketmen however crucially broke the deadlock on 43 minutes, Luke Ingram latched onto a brilliant defence splitting pass from Noah Collard in acres of space down the right-hand side of the box to slam home into the bottom far corner from a tight angle, for his 6th goal in all competitions this season, 1-0 Needham.
The Marketmen started the second half were they left off, Patrick Brothers' peach of a left wing cross found Luke Brown from close range whose free header appeared to be deflected wide of the near post on 49 minutes, while the latter glanced a back post header from a right wing delivery wide for a goal-kick three minutes later.
The Marketmen went agonisingly close to the all important second goal of the game on 64 minutes, Luke Brown started the move with a sumptuous crossfield ball to thread Luke Ingram through down the right wing, the goalscorer then broke through onto the byline before dinking a brilliant ball to the former free at the near post, whose attempt from a yard out was deflected just wide of the near post for a Needham corner.
Needham continued to create the better chances, as the Reds forced a decent stop from St Albans loanee Marcimain two minutes later, the shot-stopper was down quickly and smartly to smother away a low fierce strike from the edge of the box. Luke Brown though was quickest to the loose ball before feeding Jacob Lay in acres of space, from close range on the left-hand side, but the winger's shot was well smothered away by a combination of a defender and goalkeeper.
Sixty seconds later, Needham doubled their advantage courtesy of a ferocious strike from Luke Ingram to double his tally for the night. The Needham all time record appearance maker edged ever closer to the club's all time goalscoring record as his fierce strike from the right-hand edge of the box was deflected into the top near corner, leaving the goalkeeper rooted to the spot, 2-0 Needham.
Although that was the end of the scoring, Horlock's side weren't finished yet as Kyle Hammond ran onto a great ball from 30-yards only to thunder his shot just past the top right-hand corner on 70 minutes.
Patrick Brothers did similarly, albeit the midfielder's rocket of a strike went just wide of the top left-hand corner from the edge of the box eight minutes later.
A much needed win for Kevin Horlock's side, who move up to 16th (32 points) in the table ahead of the visit of 8th placed Ilkeston Town (42 points).