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Needham Market Women’s FA Cup Campaign continued as they made history and reached the 1st round of the FA Cup for the first time after a hard thought 2-0 win over Harpenden.

On a very wet day in Hertfordshire both teams struggled to play in challenging conditions with very few chances in the first half.

But second half goals from Paige Wakefield and birthday girl Lois Balfour saw Needham comfortably through.

The game was 20 minutes in, when the first clear chance fell to Eva Hubbard, but her shot was blocked by the keeper.

Then it rained making conditions - to an already heavy pitch – even harder for both sides to get anything going.

Needham ended the half stronger and had a few chances thanks to first Molly Hall before Niamh Thomas was unlucky to see her header crash the bar in stoppage time.

The home side struggled to create chances and were under pressure from the start of the second period as Needham stepped it up a gear.

It had been a frustrating game, but a moment of quality broke the deadlock as Wakefield weaved her way past several challenges before getting into the box and sliding the ball into the far corner.

Harpenden had their only chance with 20 minutes left but dragged it wide as they struggled to make an impression on the Needham goal.

The game was over with 15 minutes to go as Balfour took aim from outside the box and her looping effort dropped over the keeper and into net to give her and the team the perfect birthday present.

There were more chances to increase the lead, but the job was done and with the final history came ultimate history as the team celebrated the enormity of their achievement.

A run in the FA cup isn’t just financially beneficial but also brings the club into the national limelight – whatever the men can do the women can do just as well!

The journey continues!





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