A Day Out At: Needham Market

Darrell Allen continues his journeys around the women’s football clubs of East Anglia with a trip to Needham Market yesterday for their Eastern Region Women’s Football League Division One North game with Newmarket Town.

Above: Needham Market on the attack at Bloomfields yesterday.

A Bank Holiday Sunday train trip saw me take in the Eastern Region Division 1 fixture at Bloomfields between Needham Market and Newmarket. An excellent trip on the train making a 30 minute journey to Stowmarket before changing trains and going the one stop and four minute journey to Needham Market before a lovely eight minute walk to Bloomfields for the match.

Needham Market is a wonderful facility with the women’s team playing on the 3G. One small stand overlooks the 3G with a balcony/cafe area next to it above the dressing rooms. 

As always the welcome at Bloomfields was fantastic with Freya Noel (Happy Gaffer) coming to say hello before the game and lots of the players also making an effort to welcome me before kick off. Amazing kindness considering I have no connection to the club and have only been on two previous visits. 

Above: Newmarket Town with the throw on. Photo: Darrell Allen.

Needham Market came out of the blocks firing as Jo Brawn turned over from an Eleanor Rossiter cross inside the first minute. Newmarket began looking lively and forced a safe from Needham goalkeeper Danielle Clarke on four minutes. Jo Brawn continued to look lively and should have given the hosts the lead but the keeper tipped her shot onto the bar.

It was the 13th minute when Needham Market took the lead as poor defending from Newmarket failing to clear the corner allowed Eleanor Rossiter to slot the ball into the bottom corner and give the hosts a deserved lead. Lina Nagib thought she had doubled the lead but had her goal disallowed on 19 minutes.

Newmarket grew into the game after this and it became very competitive with their number 9 forcing some good saves from Needham Market keeper Danielle Clarke. Further chances for Eleanor Rossiter, Jo Brawn and Lois Balfour followed but Newmarket stayed resolute and the score line only was a single goal lead for the Marketwomen at the break.

Needham Market came out firing just as they did in the first half with Lois Balfour and Eleanor Rossiter both hitting the crossbar inside the first minute of the second half. It is noticeable that whenever I have seen Needham they are obviously always coached to attack the start of the half early and that was noticeable once again at Bloomfields yesterday. 

Needham finally got their second just after the hour when Jo Brawn got her deserved goal after many chances and continued perseverance got her the goal on 61 minutes.

Above: Needham Market launching an attack. Photo Darrell Allen.

Two minutes later Jo Brawn added her second and Needham’s third with a fantastic goal heading home from Eleanor Rossiter’s cross. 3-0 and totally deserved for the hosts.
Freya Turner gave Newmarket hope with an elevated finish but it was always going to be nothing more than a consolation. It was poor Needham defending though and the hosts will be disappointed not to see a comfortable performance through with a clean sheet. Turner was able to execute an elevated finish into the net but like I said it was just a consolation. 

An instant response saw The Marketwomen go on the attack and an penalty superbly finished from Abbie Fisher gave the hosts a good 4-1 victory. 

Final note must go to the Newmarket keeper who suffered an ankle injury towards the end of the game but despite her heroic efforts and desires to carry on her colleagues decided she should go off and an outfield player continued in goal for the final 10 minutes.

Thank you to both teams for an enjoyable afternoon. A ground I will certainly be visiting again in the future. 

Teams: NEEDHAM MARKET: Clarke, Pannifer, Thomas, Catchpole, Rossiter, Henderson, Balfour, Fisher, Brawn, Moore, Nagib. Substitutes: Mills, Copping, Hansen, Mortimer, Hall.

NEWMARKET TOWN: Team not published.

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