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Needham Market suffered a 3-1 loss to undefeated league leaders Real Bedford on a rather blustery day at Bloomfields.

A double by Natasha Fensome gave the runaway leaders a 2-0 lead at the break with both coming within a minute of each other midway through the half.

With the wind at their back Needham created more chances in the second period and although Fensome completed her hat trick it was a screamer from Amber Cantwell that captured the imagination.

The first half hour was very competitive with Needham defending well and keeping the free scoring league leaders comfortably at bay.

Conditions didn’t help for a pretty game, but the home side coped well playing into a strong wind trying to have a threat while looking solid at the back.

But the resistance was broken on the half hour mark, and it was self-inflicted as a mix up by Evie McKane and LexiePryke saw Fensome nip in to poke the ball over the line.

Seconds later it was two when Pryke miscued a cleared header which landed just outside the box and Fensome battling against her marker got another poke to beat the onrushing McKane to roll over the line.

Needham needed half time to regroup after being competitive for so long but were dealt an early blow in the second as Fensome completed her hat trick sweeping home first time in the middle of the box.

After that it was all Needham, and they were rewarded for their endeavours with a 30-yard screamer from Cantwell flying into the roof of the net.

It was a little too late as they couldn’t find that second that would make it a barnstorming finish, but they pressed hard forcing the keeper into a few late saves as they battled to the end.

It may have ended in defeat and with the league table as it is that is no disgrace but for long periods there was nothing between the two sides as they showed that there is enough fight, spirit and quality in this side to be successful in the future.




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