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Needham Market Women won their last away game of the season against Royston thanks to second half goals from Lois Balfour and Mia Etheridge.

The first half was even although Needham created more chances it was the home side with the best chance when they rattled the bar.

Royston started the second period well but fell behind thanks to Balfour’s calm finish before Etheridge’s fine back post header.

Needham started the first half the better and created a couple of early chances forcing the keeper into a decent save.

It took a little while for Royston to settle but when they did, they started to see more of the ball in dangerous areas outside the box.

That led to the best chance of the half when Gemma Croucher found room after some neat passing and her shot cannoned off the bar.

Lina Nagib almost scored but saw her awkward shot held by the keeper as the game went into the break all square.

Royston started the better in the second half and should have gone ahead but they missed the golden chance and were made to pay minutes later.

Lindsey Cooper hit a long free kick forward and with a deft flick on by Paige Wakefield she played in Balfour to calmly tuck in to give Needham the lead.

Nagib was denied a quick second, but she helped produce a second with a beautifully whipped corner that found Etheridge at the back post to bury her header from close range.

After that Needham could have a hat full with Nagib missing two great chances to score that would have been the least she deserved.

The second half performance should act as a great springboard leading into next weeks fourth Suffolk County Cup final in five years as they aim to bring the silverware back to Bloomfields for the first time.




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