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First half goals from Callum Page and Reece Harris, both with their second goals of the new season, continue the Marketmen's unbeaten record at home to Hitchin Town.

The win also sees the Marketmen go unbeaten in their last 3 games in all competitions, with 2 wins and a draw, with Kevin Horlock's side making 2 changes to Saturday's 0-0 draw at home to Halesowen, Seth Chambers and Luke Ingram (injured) starting on the bench in place of Jamie McGrath and Jacob Lay. 

But it was the visitors Stratford who dominated the opening ten minutes, with Horlock admitting post match that his side started a 'little bit tentative,' as Diogo Freitas Gouveia's strike towards the edge of the box, fired towards the roof of Marcus Garnham's net, was well held by the Needham shot-stopper after 4 minutes. 

Hitchin then saw the post and smart reactions from Garnham thwart them from breaking the deadlock two minutes later, as a great low left wing Hitchin cross wrapped around the defence found Idiakhoa in the centre whose 4-yard poked effort towards the bottom left-hand corner cannoned across the line off the inside of the post and into the diving Garnham's gloves.

After that ten minute spell, Needham grew into the game well and established a foothold into the match, firmly making their opportunities count when they arrived.

A great long ball released Jamie McGrath down the left wing before holding up possession well and teeing up the arriving Kyle Hammond whose 30-yard strike curled over the top right-hand corner after 13 minutes.

At the other end a minute later, Stephen Gleeson found space to shoot from outside the box but the ex-professional's shot took a deflection for a comfortable gather for Garnham.

The Marketmen then broke the deadlock with a well worked team goal on 24 minutes, great play down the right wing saw Jake Dye race onto the byline to latch onto a great one two before crossing low on a plate for former Academy graduate and ex-Ipswich Town Callum Page from 7-yards out to sweep home unmarked into the gaping bottom far corner, 1-0 Needham.

Goalscorer Page then saw a clever left wing corner creeping underneath goalkeeper Charlie Horlock's crossbar tipped away by the Canaries' goalkeeper on 36 minutes, while the Marketmen doubled their lead a minute later.

Reece Harris spotted Horlock off his line to float a long range right wing free-kick into the bottom near corner, for his second league goal for the club, 2-0 Needham.

Then on 44 minutes, Freitas Gouveia's free-kick, from a dangerous position, was hit over the crossbar, while Kyle Hammond caught Horlock off his line in the 4th minute of first half stoppage time, although the midfielder's ferocious strike from the half-way line went just over onto the roof of the right-hand side of the net. 

The second half meanwhile saw very little action of note, with the Marketmen defending solidly with just a handful of noteable chances happening after the restart. 

Kyle Hammond quickly found space on the edge of the box on 47 minutes, but the ex-Ipswich midfielder's ferocious strike was blocked. 

Tommy Smith on the other hand was fed smartly into space out on the left wing, whose audacious low cross into the six yard box saw McGrath just unable to get his shot off on 61 minutes.

Hitchin then fired a shot over from distance on 77 minutes, before a neat break onto the right-hand byline saw the visitors find Syme close to goal, at the near post, whose low shot was deflected and held comfortably by Garnham down well at his bottom near corner four minutes later. 

Hitchin though had the last chance of the night on 90+5 minutes, albeit the 30-yard strike was fired just over the crossbar. 

Needham travel to Coalville Town on Saturday (3pm, coach leaves Bloomfields at 10:15am).


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