Needham Market pick up a well deserved second win of the road this season, and first win on a Saturday since October, with a 1-0 win at 18th placed Bedford Town, which takes Needham five points ahead of their hosts.
Kevin Horlock made changes to Tuesday's Suffolk Premier Cup win over Felixstowe, Tom Fitzgerald and Christian Frimpong started in place of the suspended Patrick Brothers and injured Jamie McGrath while Ross Crane returned to the bench.
The home side though started brightly, with Needham weathering the Eagles' 20 minute spell well, as the hosts were denied by the woodwork after 4 minutes. Howe was fed into space on the left-hand edge of the box only to see his shot across goal cannon back into play off the crossbar, while Keiran Morphew was on hand to clear low ball in across the face of goal away from the goal line two minutes later.
Another crucial goal line clearance from the Marketmen, wearing their yellow away kit, denied the Eagles from striking early on, as a towering header from a left wing corner was cleared off the line, before Marcus Garnham was on hand to punch away the rebound on 8 minutes.
Needham though grew into the game well and had a good chance to break the deadlock in the 20th minute, Luke Ingram spotted the goalkeeper off his line only to see his 35-yard strike go just over the crossbar.
Five minutes later, a good save from home goalkeeper Elsom denied the visitors from opening the scoring, the ball fell to Tom Fitzgerald whose shot from six yards out was well smothered away by the goalkeeper, after Noah Collard was fouled inside the box.
The chances though kept falling for the away side, Christian Frimpong threaded Jake Dye through down the left wing in acres of space, the full-back floated a great inviting ball into the danger area which Kyle Hammond could only loop his close range header just over, onto the roof of the net after 34 minutes.
Dylan Williams meanwhile looked to emulate his stunning free-kick goal in the win over Felixstowe on Tuesday, albeit this time curled an excellent 30-yard set-piece just over the top near left-hand corner off the crossbar, in the second minute of first half stoppage time.
The Marketmen started the second half how they finished the first, though Christian Frimpong's shot, in space down the left-hand side of the box, was comfortably held by Elsom at his near post on 52 minutes.
Six minutes later, Needham found the all important breakthrough of the preverbial six pointer, a brilliant crossfield ball from Luke Brown threaded substitute Ross Crane, who had been on the pitch all of 3 minutes, racing through one on one down the visitors half. The winger drew Elsom off his line smartly before seeing his attempted chip over the goalkeeper fall to the arriving Luke Ingram to instinctively volley home, his 6th goal in his last four matches, from a yard out at the far post, 1-0 Needham.
The goal opened up the game, with Needham then looking to break on the counter attack, with one such occasion seeing Luke Brown go a whisker away from doubling Needham's lead on 75 minutes. Tom Fitzgerald threaded Ross Crane through smartly down the right wing, the winger then weaved through dangerously into space before smashing a brilliant low ball across the six yard box, on a plate for anyone arriving, but just evaded the onrushing Luke Brown.
A big save from Elsom then denied Ross Crane from doubling Needham's advantage two minutes later, the winger worked space to shoot from 18-yards out, on the right-hand side, only to see his low shot smothered away by the shot-stopper, rebounding just past fellow substitute Jacob Lay, who was lurking from close range.
While Luke Ingram dragged a shot narrowly wide of the bottom right-hand far corner on 87 minutes, Tom Fitzgerald was arguably unlucky to not see his stunning finish not stand on the stroke of stoppage time. The midfielder drove into space onto the edge of the box before bending a sumptuous effort seemingly into the the net off the underside of the crossbar.
A crucial confidence boosting win for Horlock's side, who host another team towards the bottom of the table in Stratford Town at home on Saturday.