Needham Market Women score five to secure their first victory of the season over Newmarket Town

Needham Market Women won their first league game over Newmarket Town. Picture: Ben Pooley

Needham Market Women won their first league game over Newmarket Town. Picture: Ben Pooley - Credit: Archant

Needham Market Women produced a Five-star performance to get their first league victory thanks to a 5-0 rout over Newmarket.

Nia Evans celebrates the first goal of the game for Needham Market Women. Picture: Ben Pooley

Nia Evans celebrates the first goal of the game for Needham Market Women. Picture: Ben Pooley - Credit: Archant

First half goals from Nia Evans and Lois Balfour had the Marketwomen in charge before Amber Sparkes, Mia Etheridge and another for Balfour capped a perfect day.

It had been a slow start with both teams cancelling each other out with Needham controlling the possession but Newmarket looking more potent without troubling Danni Clarke in goal. When she was troubled, she made an excellent save and that the set the tone for the rest of the game with the away side taking control.

Needham penned in their hosts from a deep free kick and some lovely intricate play on the edge of the box released the 16-year-old Evans to show composure beyond her years to open the scoring. From that moment on Needham relaxed and started to really show their quality and they doubled the lead, from the spot, by Balfour after Francesca Rainbird was fouled by the keeper chasing an under hit back pass.

There were further chances including Balfour missing a sitter, but the away side were well in control at the break. In the second half they continued their dominance although it took until the hour mark to add more to the score line. Sparkes – returning from injury – made an impact within seconds as she converted after a clever one two with Balfour got her into the box. Evans then rattled the bar from 25 yards as the chances racked up before Sparkes again got clear and rounded the keeper but unselfishly allowed Etheridge to tap in.

Mia Etheridge taps the ball into the back of the net. Picture: Ben Pooley

Mia Etheridge taps the ball into the back of the net. Picture: Ben Pooley - Credit: Archant


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Sparkes had further chances to add to her impressive cameo but it was Balfour, who rounded off the scoring after it appeared that Nicole Pannifer had been wiped out in the box. The ref waved play on, but she made no mistake drilling it low past the keeper.

It was a win and a performance that will give Needham confidence that they can get a run going starting with a league cup tussle with Haverhill next weekend.

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Manager Warren Lewis-Claxton was gushing about his sides wonderful display as they made a statement to the rest of the league. “That was the best we played this season, everyone clicked and worked hard for each other and for me we couldn’t have asked more from them. I am absolutely buzzing.”

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