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It was a glorious day in Essex but not so much for Needham Market as they succumbed to a 3-1 defeat to Bowers & Pitsea.

Bowers hit the net four times in the first half with a brace for Whitney Locke and one for Millie Isherwood with an own goal giving something for Needham to build on but there was to be no more goals from the away side.

It was the worst possible start after only three minutes when a short goal kick was played to Lindsey Cooper in the box, but she got the ball caught under her boot and was disposed for Locke to smash home from close range.

Needham had looked dangerous going forward but were stung by another home goal as Isherwood took aim from range and it nestled in the bottom corner.

The tide had looked to be turning and the goal back came mid-way through the first half when a Lois Balfour corner nestled in at the front post for an own goal.

From there it was the Lina Nagib show with the inform forward denied twice by two brilliant tip overs from the home keeper before the woodwork twice came to the home sides rescue from long range efforts.

But the two-goal margin was to be restored before the break as Locke, who was very quick, this time sprung the offside trap and ran clear of the defence to drill a low shot under Yaz Walford in goal.

The second half was rather subdued in comparison as chances that were flowing regularly in the first half were at a premiumin the second.

Needham had early pressure but failed to capitalise on several early corners that were causing the home side problems.

And after that early flurry, Bowers slowly looked the more likely as they hit the woodwork themselves and had a period of pressure.

The game was already up when Nagib hit another powerful curler from range that for the third time crashed off the crossbar. It wasn’t to be her day and certainly not Needham’s either.



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