Balfour and Northwood score braces as Market Women make it three league wins on the bounce
- Credit: Archant
Needham Market Women made it three league wins on the bounce with a vital 4-2 victory away at Newmarket Town on Sunday, writes Liam Young
They dominated the first half and went into a commanding 3-0 lead at the break thanks to dynamic strike duo Annie Northwood and Lois Balfour.
But Needham were punished by sloppy play from Amber Leeks to gift Chloe Slater an open goal before Northwood added a sumptuous second to seemingly make the game more comfortable, but Newmarket pulled another back thanks to Lauren Deller to make it a nervy final few minutes.
Needham had started strongly and went ahead in the 14th minute as a pinpoint Francesca Rainbird ball played in Northwood to latch onto and emphatically fire past the keeper.
Chances came and went, but it was a matter of time before they doubled their lead, which came courtesy from Balfour as she reacted quickest to hammer home after an Amber Sparkes free kick rebounded off the post.
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Northwood and Balfour's link up play was exceptional throughout and it was this combination that gave the latter her second as her strike partner's perfectly weighted ball gave her room to immaculately bury into the corner of the net to make it 3-0 at half time.
The home team started the second half the stronger and forced two good saves from Amber Leeks, but Needham weathered the storm and looked the more likely to score again.
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But they shot themselves in the foot as Leeks, who had done the sweeper keeper role brilliantly, missed controlled a ball into Slater's path, who chipped from 35 yards to beat the retreating keeper.
Northwood added her second with a wonderful half volley but it still didn't wrap things up as Deller slid in at the back post from a Newmarket corner but Needham saw out the final ten minutes to return to east Suffolk with all the points.