Needham maintain promotion push

JEWSON SOCCER: The latest news and views from the Jewson League First Division.

JEWSON LEAGUE DIVISION ONE

Needham Market 2 Whitton Utd 1

NEEDHAM Market, on their quest to stay in the promotion shake-up, were nervous throughout this game played in front of a crowd of over 100.

In the first minute Whitton United had the ball in the net after Wright got the finishing touch to a move started by Eaton, but Wright was well offside.

It was a case of the visitors not having luck in front of goal as well, because soon afterwards Diogo blazed over an open goal when all he needed to do was compose himself and tap home.

The home side had a few openings themselves but they lacked any real thrust and the visiting defence held out well.

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Whitton United were unlucky to be only level at the break as they had created the better openings.

In the home side's best period of the match, just after the interval Colin Sinclair got in some good crosses and skipper Dean Folkard headed home one of his corners to give Needham the lead.

Then Robbie Hill was on hand to head home a second from Sinclair's right-wing cross to double the lead on the hour. But Whitton failed to lie down and with Eaton prompting most of their good work, they deservedly pulled a goal back when Diogo headed home Eaton's corner.

But after that goal Needham Market held out the final nervous minutes to take the points including a shot from Hurd that just cleared the bar.

At this stage of the season it was a case of the result being more important than the performance, but on Wednesday Needham Market will be hoping that they can lift their game and overcome Leiston, because it will be a case of whoever wins stays in the promotion race and whoever loses drops out.

Also on Wednesday evening both Needham Market and Leiston will be hoping that Whitton United can show the same drive and commitment at Histon Town Reserves, another promotion hopeful, and cause an upset.

Leiston 5 Halstead 0

SAD Halstead continue to sink deeper and deeper into the proverbial slough of despond, with this five goal thrashing at a lively Leiston, but it was a strange game with Halstead conceding in the first minute of each half and two more in the final minute.Yet in between they gave as good as they got, but it must be said, the last four scorers were clearly unmarked, and Halstead were duly punished for being second best in most of the challenges.

Nevertheless they did have their moments, Paul Williams twice hitting the woodwork, while Aidan Theedom shaved a post minutes after the home side went ahead when Robbie Kirtley tapped home the rebound after Lloyd Pentney pushed a left wing cross on to the post.

The lively ball on a bumpy pitch caused a few problems, but Leiston made light of the conditions and John Chenery made it two after 10 minutes calmly tapping come a free kick from the right with the visitors' defence appearing transfixed.

Any thoughts of quickly getting back in the game were removed almost from the restart when defender Stuart Dineen joined in the attack and with acres of space took the ball on the crash past the stranded Pentney.

From here on Leiston comfortably defended their three-goal margin, although in a goalmouth scramble both Peter Emerick and Ian Taylor wasted chances before the woodwork denied Williams.

Halstead brought on all three subs; Danny Chinnery, Ian Webber and Tom Owen for John Chinnery, Theedom and Kendall, respectively with 15 minutes in an effort to salvage something.

A dramatic last minute saw Leiston score twice through the Chennery brothers, Trevor and Carl, who both planted unmarked headers from Kirtley's left-wing corners, with not a sign of a Halstead defender covering on the far post.

Brightlingsea United 0 Norwich United 2

THE VISITORS, who have all but clinched the Division One title, took the lead in the 20th minute when Hunter headed home.

They sealed their win with eight minutes to go when Murphy's deflected shot went home.

Histon Reserves 7 Stanway Rovers 2

THERE was little warning of the slaughter to come when Stanway took a shock lead after just 21 seconds when Curtis thumped home a cross.

In the eighth minute Simes limped off for the visitors Goodwin made their position look even more comfortable when he made it 2-0 on 32 minutes.

With the interval looming the hosts got back into it when Mee tapped home.

There was then more injury woe for Stanway when Bell was unable to take to the field for the second half.

King equalised for Histon on 57 minutes when he capitalised on a mix-up in the Stanway defence.

The injury-hit Essex side then capitulated in the remaining minutes and the scoring floodgates opened.

Murray helped himself to a hat-trick as the goals rained in, and John Leete bagged a brace.

Wisbech Reserves 4 Hadleigh 3

HADLEIGH failed to maintain the promising start which they made to this match and in the end they were beaten, with Wisbech scoring the deciding goal in the fourth minute of stoppage time.

In the first minutes Broomfield headed against a post for Hadleigh and they went ahead when Grant's free kick was headed home by Godbold in the eighth minute.

Wisbech then hit back with too well-struck goals by Harris after 16 and 25 minutes and they scored a third when Cobb broke clear three minutes into the second half.

Hadleigh, to their credit, then regained their earlier form and Dennett scored a great solo goal in the 57th minute. Broomfield then drilled in the equaliser two minutes before the end and a share of the points looked a certain outcome.

However, Wisbech clinched Victory seconds before the final whistle as Hyde climbed highest to nod just inside the goalkeeper's left-hand post.