DIVISION ONE NORTH
Maldon & Tiptree 1 Needham Market 2
NEEDHAM Market made the one change from Saturday’s draw at Romford with Darcy D’eath replacing Scott Chaplin for the visit to Maldon & Tiptree.
The pitch looked superb and deserved more than the meagre 74 attendance.
Needham kicked off and were soon in action, with Sam Newson heading a Rhys Barber cross wide after just two minutes and Deakin Napier going wide from a Bradley Barber free-kick five minutes later.
Jose Espinosa headed Newson’s cross wide after 16 minutes before Newson’s shot failed to test the hosts’ keeper Cowler a minute later.
Maldon came back into the match with the Needham defence having to defend stoutly with important blocks from Pip Boyland and Rhys Barber before Andrew Plummer had to make a good save on the half hour when Wall lost his marker, and Lawson did well to head over from close range a minute later.
Needham went ahead after 34 minutes when Bradley Barber headed home Danny Thrower’s corner and looked comfortable taking the 1-0 lead into the break.
As expected, the hosts started the second half well and Yao missed a good opportunity within four minutes before Abbott went in to the book for a cynical foul on the breaking Newson after 53 minutes.
Pearman’s well struck shot was straight at Plummer after 54 minutes as Needham were under pressure.
Needham took a two goal lead after 70 minutes when Barber fired home a 25 yard free-kick.
Back came the hosts and Plummer made a fine save to deny Yao in the 75th minute.
Yao pulled a goal back with 10 minutes to play from a Pearman cross before Needham tightened up again.
Maldon continued to push forward and Plummer had to make a good save with his feet to keep Yao out three minutes ahead of the 90.
Needham ran the clock down to see out a fine deserved win against a good side. The Marketmen are back on the road to Wembley in the FA Cup tomorrow, at home to Nuneaten Town (3pm), following a good performance.