Needham win boosts promotion push

JEWSON SOCCER: All the news from the big matches in the Jewson League First Division.


Needham Market 3 Wisbech Res 1

ON a bumpy pitch and on a windy day conditions were not ideal for flowing football.

In fact both teams were guilty at times of poor passing and ball control because of the difficult conditions. This match was a replayed fixture as Wisbech had played an un-registered player. Wisbech won that original fixture 5-1 on the first day of the season.

In a scoreless first period the home side had the majority of the territorial advantage without scoring.

Ben Woolnough, Adam Rickwood and Marc Wake all went close for Needham Market and Hillier came the closest for the Fenmen with a snap shot.

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Both defences were dealing well with Richard Denison and Graham Pooley in the home back line controlling play well.

Soon after the break, a lapse in concentration by Needham's defence was fully punished by youngster Harris, who shot past Matt Fenn to give Wisbech the lead.

Two goals in a minute on the hour turned the game Needham's way. Firstly Marc Wake side- footed home Stewarts poor headed clearance after Ben Woolnough's cross had caused problems to the visiting defender, and then an instinctive snap shot from Colin Sinclair from eight yards in a crowded area gave Needham the lift they required.

Wisbech keeper Brooks then made a couple of fine saves before Marc Wake slotted home a third after Woolnough had two shots charged down in the move leading up to Wake's final shot. Neil Cole was unlucky not to add a fourth but keeper Brooks dived full-length to tip the ball away.

Hadleigh 1 Downham 0

HADEIGH left it late before scoring the vital goal which brought their first win in eight matches. Seven minutes of stoppage time had been played when Paul Bignell managed to break the deadlock with his first senior goal.

Substitute Bignell had only been on the pitch for four minutes when he collected the ball wide on the right and his low shot flashed through a crowd of players and into the net.

Earlier Hadleigh had gone close when Grant's free-kick was well saved by Motteram and again when Welton volleyed over the top from close range before Goulbourn fired against the bar.

At the other end Hadleigh goalkeeper Godbold made fine saves from Hillier and Williams before Hillier received a red card early in the second half. Robinson then hit the bar with a free-kick for Downham.

Haverhill 5 Brightlingsea 4

HAVERHILL bounced back into second place after overcoming their opponents with a last-gasp winner in a nine-goal thriller.

The away side took the lead in the seventh minute, J Chatters' shot being saved but Morris bundling the rebound home.

It became 2-0 in the 13th minute, Haverhill goalkeeper Walton miscontrolling a backpass and J Chatters taking advantage. The home side grabbed a goal back five minutes later, a Duke free kick setting up Jenkin, who curled the ball past the goalkeeper from 20 yards.

Brightlingsea regained their two-goal lead in the 38th minute, T Chatters side-footing J Chatters' cross into the bottom corner. The travelling team made it 4-1 in the 68th minute, J Chatters shooting through Walton's legs and into the bottom corner.

It was 4-2 four minutes later, Cogger's cross volleyed in from near the penalty spot by Miles.

Brindley smashed the ball home after Miles' 25-yard chip came back off the bar in the 82nd minute, Jenkin making it all square at 4-4 in the 88th minute, heading Cogger's cross inside the near post. The winner came in the 90th minute, Jenkin fouled in the area and putting the penalty into the bottom corner for his hat-trick and the win for the home side.

Halstead 1 Norwich United 3

YET another home defeat was suffered by Halstead, who were deservedly doubled by league leaders Norwich, following Easter Monday's reverse by the same score

There was only a sparse crowd on a bright, sunny afternoon with a cool breeze which saw Norwich have the slope advantage in the first half, while Halstead were still without the suspended Justin Pearce and Grant Strong with Lynton Evason sidelined by injury.

Norwich were first on the attack with Gavin Morais winning an early corner following a timely tackle by Matt Chinnery, however Morais left the action within 10 minutes with a leg injury to be replaced by Blyth.

On 15 minutes Halstead won their first corner which was quickly cleared by the Norwich defence, the ball finding John Harding, but under pressure he was forced to pass back to keeper Lloyd Pentney who was penalised for the back-pass, but the home defence stood firm from the resulting free kick in the box.

The first half-an-hour saw both sides attack in turn, with leaders Norwich showing little to justify their lofty position, while Halstead missed a great chance, Steff Kendall firing straight at keeper Rob Woodcock after cleverly side-stepping defender Brian Payne.

Inevitably Halstead were punished when, from Norwich's fourth corner, they went ahead. Scott McIntosh headed home when Halstead failed to clear Neil Bugdale's flag kick, but although Halstead rallied they could make no headway and they still trailed at the interval.

On resumption Norwich hit back strongly and were denied when Pentney saved well from Greg Murphy, then Halstead forced three corners in a row, and from the third the ball dropped nicely for John Chinnery to have a crack but he was slow to react. Overall play was mostly in the Halstead half as the visitors played the ball round well, Jamie Hunton and Bugdale particularly catching the eye.

Midway through the second half Norwich went further ahead when Neil Prior fired home following three futile home efforts to clear and from here on it was a comfortable stroll for the leaders.

However with 10 minutes left Halstead cut the arrears when Matt Chinnery hooked a shot on the turn over Woodcock and then came a spell of home pressure during which time Kendall missed an absolute sitter with his head from Tony French's cross and Halstead were suitably punished when Norwich broke away and McIntosh's header settled it with number three.