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Four goal Lois Balfour gave five-star Needham Market a comprehensive 5-0 win over basement club Harlow Town at a sunny Bloomfields.  

In a first half of very few chances Balfour scored from the one of very few pieces of quality to give the home side a deserved lead on the balance of play.

But in a game of two halves the second brought more entertainment and goals with Balfour adding an extra three to score four, while Lina Nagib also chipped in with her first of the season.

Needham started the game the brighter but failed to create many chances as a spirited Harlow pressed and harried the home side.

Paige Wakefield had an excellent chance from a corner, but she got on top of the ball and it flashed over, before the game got bogged down into a tight midfield battle.

But the ever-dependable Balfour – the clubs record goal scorer – made the breakthrough, calmly sliding it into the corner after great link up with Nagib.

Suddenly Needham had their tails up and almost made it two after the best move of game saw Wakefield set up Mia Etheridge, but her curling effort crashed off the bar and fell to safety.

The second period started like the first and Harlow - growing in confidence – gave Leonie Jackson her first save to make sure the home side kept their lead.

But as soon as Needham stretched their lead it was a matter of how many.

First Nagib scored after a sublime ball over the top from Lindsey Cooper before Balfour added her second with a beautiful first-time swept shot from an Eva Hubbard cut-back.

Balfour then completed her hat trick with a weak shot after a wonderful pass from Paige Wakefield but was helped by a slight fumble from the goalkeeper.

She almost had four but missed the easiest chance she had all afternoon as she blazed over from 6 yards after the ball rebounded off the post from a Hubbard shot.

But she wasn’t to be denied that fourth when she tapped home on the line from another pinpoint Hubbard cross as the final whistle blew.

The win makes it two from two at fortress Bloomfields and puts the Marketwomen up in 4th as they mix it up with the teams at the top of the table.




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