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Needham Market finished off their away campaign with a 5-1 defeat again Luton Town in Bedfordshire.

Luton led early on thanks to Tsaianne Leander with Paige Wakefield heading in an equaliser before two quickfire goals from Jess McKay put Luton in a commanding position at half time.

Needham could have reduced the lead early in the second period, but a lack of substitutes started to tell, and Gabriella Spillman scored twice in the final quarter to round off a big win for the home side.

There was no time to breathe when Luton lead as Leanderbeat the offside trap and knocked into the far corner after only a couple of minutes.

Needham grew from there and looked threatening from set pieces and the equaliser duly came from a brilliant Lottie Barker corner that was powerfully headed into the far corner from Wakefield.

But just as they were back in the game Luton struck twice in a matter of minutes with captain McKay causing so many problems down the right-hand side – first cutting in and smashing one into the roof of the net and then clean through 1 on 1.

The game settled after that, but Luton always held a threat especially the pace of McKay.

Luton had a chance to make it four but from that early point it was Needham with the best chance, falling to Keira Topple, whose powerful drive just cleared the wrong side of the bar.

But any chance of a comeback was extinguished in the final quarter as Spillman ran through several defenders and lashed home from close range.

To the team’s credit they didn’t give up in trying to grab a consolation, but it was Spillman who rounded off the scoring as she reacted quickest to give her a second and Luton’s fifth.

The team acquitted themselves the best they could with a depleted squad and against a tough opponent that will likely finish in the top three again this season.



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