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Needham maintain pressure at the top

PUBLISHED: 14:19 04 March 2002 | UPDATED: 11:29 03 March 2010

JEWSON SOCCER: All the latest news from our local team's in the Jewson League Division One.

JEWSON LEAGUE DIVISION ONE

Needham Market 2 Downham Town 1

NEEDHAM Market gained another victory in this match that never reached any great heights. Amongst the crowd was the local MP David Ruffley who was keen to see his constituency team perform well.

The game was spoilt by both teams being guilty of poor passing, and countless times play broke down as players' close control also let them down.

Five minutes before the break Needham took the lead when visiting central defender Nicol, in attempting to clear Ashleigh Hawes' cross, saw the ball balloon up into the top of his own net, when in reality he had time to deal with the cross with ease.

The second period followed a similar pattern. After 70 minutes Needham doubled their lead when skipper Dean Folkard rose high to powerfully head home Ben Woolnough's corner.

Downham, to their credit, kept plugging away in an attempt to get back into the game and scored five minutes from time through Hawes to set up a nervous few final moments for the home team and their supporters. They held out to remain second in the league and in essence the points gained were more important than the standard of the performance.

Somersham Town 2 Whitton United 1

CONFUSION reigned following the third 2-1 loss in eight days. Sitting in the Somersham clubhouse, the mood in the Whitton camp was at a low ebb. This was the fifth away game on the trot with a long journey to King's Lynn to come on Tuesday.

In a game of three penalties, with one each in the first half, Somersham were as shocked as Whitton when an assistant held his flag across his chest as a defender checked the forward's run to the by-line.

Somersham's second was a real sickener. Four players challenged for a deep cross on the six-yard line, the referee's whistle blew and he pointed to the spot. In truth, it seemed over fussy to say the least. Donaldson scored his second from a re-taken spot-kick.

Whitton were slow to get started but the best passage of play of the first half brought about the equaliser. Terry Layton played in winger Hurd's angled run only to be toppled to the ground by home keeper Laurie; Danny Eaton made no mistake from the spot-kick on 44 minutes.

Whitton's second half performance pegged Somersham back but an equaliser eluded them.

March 0 Haverhill 0

March and Haverhill fought out a goal less draw to leave Haverhill 11 points behind leaders Norwich and March with their fourth point of the season.

The most notable efforts came from Haverhill's M Hunt in the 20th minute, just firing over first time from the edge of the area, and namesake A Hunt in the 44th minute, his shot tipped over by March goalkeeper Skipworth.

Brandt was sent off for Haverhill in the 60th minute for retaliation before March came closest in the 85th minute, Fogg's free-kick from the edge of the area going over the away side's bar.

Warboys 0 Hadleigh 0

HADLEIGH went into this match with a 5-0 defeat earlier in the season to avenge. So a goalless draw was a satisfactory outcome for Louis Newman's side.

Both teams are placed just below mid-table and there was not much to choose between them with both goal keepers Neil King and Matt Paisley making good saves on the few occasions they were called upon.

The best chance of the first half fell to Hadleigh just before half-time when King pushed out a shot from Goulbourn. The ball fell to Arnold who drove it straight back in, but once again, King managed to keep it out.

In the second period, Warboys came close on the hour when Salmons let fly from distance but Paisley went full length to his right to push the ball around the post.

Late in the game, Hadleigh twice got the ball into the net but offside ruled out both efforts and at the end of the day, it was Hadleigh's defence which earned praise from manager Newman for its first clean sheet in eight matches.

Norwich United 2 Leiston 0

TWO errors, one from the visiting goalkeeper, the other from the assistant referee, condemned Leiston to a 2-0 defeat at league leaders Norwich United.

Three minutes into the game, Spurling intercepted Blyth's pass and laid the ball back to Leiston keeper Wagner but his weak clearance fell to Gannon who made no mistake.

The game was then delayed for 30 minutes when Spurling was badly injured following a clumsy challenge. The injured player was taken by ambulance to hospital and six minutes after the restart, Hunton, standing four or five yards offside, poached the home side's second goal. Leiston played some neat football but were unable to break down a well organised and resolute home defence. The home side were reliant on the long ball for their speedy front men to chase.

Leiston continued to press and Newson headed wide and Woodcock saved from Fryer and Jennings but the home side collected all the points to continue their stranglehold on the Division One title race.

Thetford 1 Stanway 3

STANWAY Rovers kept up their promotion push with a hard-earned three points at Thetford on Saturday.

But rather than the 10-0 they beat their opponents by last time they met, Stanway had to wait until the 70th minute before Curtis broke the deadlock.

That signalled the beginning of a goal blitz, with Curtis adding another eight minutes later and Andy Sapey scoring eight minutes after that.

Rayner got a late consolation for Thetford.


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