DIVISION ONE NORTH
Needham Market 2
Erith and Belvedere 1
Needham Market got back to winning ways following back-to-back league draws with a hard-fought win over Erith and Belvedere.
The Marketmen dominated the first half without being able to make the crucial breakthrough against the well-organised visitors.
The nearest the hosts went to scoring was on 23 minutes when Sam Nunn, running in powerfully, flicked a corner kick with his head on to the underside of the bar.
The second half initially followed the same pattern, but Needham finally got their reward as Ollie Fenn, in his 100th appearance for the club, rose highest from a free-kick to loop a header home in the 51st minute.
Ten minutes later, Ryan Charles showed some dazzling footwork to create space and put in Ian Westlake on the left flank.
A powerfully-hit cross-cum-shot saw Andrew Young dive and parry the ball towards the onrushing Sam Newson, who rifled the ball into the roof of the net for 2-0.
Needham’s dominance then appeared to receive another boost when the visitors’ substitute George Savage was shown a red card for a foul on Ian Westlake.
Despite being a man down, Erith and Belvedere came to life, testing Andrew Plummer on a number of occasions before Mo Conteh reduced the deficit with a cool finish.
However, it proved nothing more than a consolation as Needham held on for three points.