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Needham Market Women opened their home account with a battling 4-3 win over Bedford Ladies on another uncomfortably hot day at Bloomfields.

It was 1-1 at half time thanks to Jo Brawn’s brilliant pressing work but the home side were pegged back on half time when Aliya Bhatti found space to put in a clever finish.

But it was goals galore in the second period with Molly Hall grabbing a brace and Lois Balfour nipping in but again Bedford never gave up and kept pegging them back thanks to a wonder strike from Zara Carroll and Ella Meadowcroft with a late tap in.  

The game started quite scrappy with both teams giving the ball away cheaply and it was how Brawn opened the scoring – blocking a clearance and running through on goal to coolly tuck under the keeper.

In a half of few chances the away side levelled with five minutes to the break when Bhatti was given too much space and she put in a fine finish into the bottom corner.

Needham came out strong in the second half and quickly gave themselves a 2-goal buffer thanks to Hall and then Balfour with instinctive finishes from two Ellie Rossiter crosses.

But Bedford were not to be shaken off and out of no-where they reduced the arrears thanks to a 30-yard wonder strike from Carroll.

It was going to be a nervy final 15 but suddenly that liftedwhen Hall scored her second – another tap in from a pinpoint Eva Hubbard cut back.

Again, Bedford dug in and still had time to bring back the nerves when Meadowcroft tapped in with just two minutes remaining.

There wasn’t to be any more and that provided Needham with their first home win and back-to-back victories in the league as the club start to gain some momentum after that opening weekend defeat.

A positive day with many players missing through injury and illness meant more development squad players were added to the squad but they played a massive part in helping gain these 3 points to show the strength in the women’s provision at the club.


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