Needham Market Women have won their first ever Eastern Regional Premier League game after a hard fought 2-0 victory away at Wroxham Women.
Bouncing back from defeat on the opening day at Haringey, the Marketwomen battled hard in tough conditions, taking a 1-0 lead into the break thanks to Jo Brawn.
The second half continued to be tight with very few clear-cut chances for either side until Lois Balfour’s late header made sure of the points.
It was challenging start as Wroxham’s pitch was heavy and had a slope that Needham were playing up during the first half – as well as it being another uncomfortably hot day.
Also, after last week’s injury to Danni Clarke there were question marks of who would fill such a pivotal role?
Newly signed Development keeper Emily Cockrill stepped up and made a stunning stop early on when in true Clarke fashion she came out and made herself big to block the Wroxham forward.
Without making much impression on the goal, Needham slowly worked their way back into the game with neat passing and hard work.
And that hard work paid off in the 37th minute, when Brawn pressured a Wroxham defender into a mistake, taking the ball off her and then rounding the keeper to put the away side ahead.
Cockrill was called into action again and Ele Catchpole made a fantastic sliding last ditch clearance off the line as they hung on until the break.
The second period was quieter with both sides struggling in the final third to make that final pass that would either lead to an equaliser or kill the game off.
Needham always looked a threat on the break – especially with the pace of Ellie Rossiter – and that was rewarded deep into injury time when Abbie Fisher got space to whip in a beautiful cross and Balfour with the finest of headers found the bottom corner.
Wroxham were 4th in this division last season so it’s a big statement of intent from the Marketwomen as they get up and running in the league.