Needham Market’s pursuit for a treble is over after they were beaten 3-2 by Stevenage in a tight league cup semi-final at Bloomfields.
Stevenage took the lead from the spot thanks to Amy Makewell but the tie had been completely turned around by two Lina Nagib spot kicks before the away side levelled right on the break from Becky Shephard.
The home side had chances in the second half but in what become a tight second half it was Stevenage who came out on top from a long-range Rosy Wodhams Strike.
Very little could be distinguished between the two sides in the opening exchanges but the away side took the lead from the spot as Makewell converted after a mistimed Ele catchpole tackle led to the award.
Needham turned it around though thanks to two spots kicks of their own.
The first came from some neat passing at the edge of the Stevenage box and a loose ball was collected first by Amber Cantwell as she was taken out by the keeper – Nagib stepped up and buried it into the bottom right corner.
The turnaround was complete around the half hour mark when Needham won another penalty as Ellie Rossiter ran her full back and saw her cross blocked by an arm – again Nagib stepped up and converted into the same corner.
The home side looked to go into the break ahead but with seconds to play there was an equaliser as Stevenage punished a misplaced pass with Shephard rifling one into the roof of the net.
Both goalkeepers had to make important saves in the second period with Ellie Rossiter and Paige Wakefield denied.
Stevenage struck in the final quarter with a brilliant long-range effort from Wodhams that looped into the far corner.
Time was against Needham, but Wakefield rattled a header against the crossbar and substitute Jodie Sharp missed as the home pushed for a late leveller.
In the end Evie McKane had to make a wonderful save from the fourth spot kick of the game to keep things alive although seconds later the ref blew to the disappointment of the home faithful as our 10 game winning streak finally came to end.
The development team were also at home and played on the main Bloomfields pitch but succumb to a narrow 3-2 defeat against AFC Kesgrave.
Charlotte Sayer was on target with a double as Needham led twice but were pegged back on each occasion before suffering late heartbreak as – like the first team game – they were on the end of a late Penalty award, which was converted with virtually the last kick of the game.
A tough season but one they can take great experience and lessons from as they relished there day on the main pitch.