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Needham women put half a dozen past league rivals Walsham-le-Willows in first of double header in Suffolk Women's League

Needham Market Women kicked off 2019 with a solid performance in the first of two back-to-back league matches against fifth-placed Walsham-le-Willows Ladies.

In their first game back after the Christmas break, the Suffolk Girls’ and Women’s Football League side in second place, showed exceptional passages of play as they secured a 6-0 home win on Sunday.

It bodes well for their next match this Sunday, the reverse fixture where they will travel to face Walsham on their home turf (2pm), looking to make it four wins in a row.

The comfortable win also saw player-manager Freya Louis make her debut in goal, keeping a clean sheet on her first 90 minutes between the sticks.

Needham played with a full squad of 16, to take advantage of the roll-on-roll-off substitutes to allow equal game time for the squad, playing intricate passing to create chances.

Central midfielder Amber Sparkes scored the opening goal in the first 10 minutes of play, from a smooth assist from striker Abbie Wilkinson.

Sparkes added a fantastic second score just a few minutes after.

Needham received a penalty for handball, scored by forward Lois Balfour to put Needham three goals to the good. A fourth score was added by captain Milly Carter from the right wing, after faultless build-up play, for a 4-0 half-time score.

Balfour scored the Marketwomen’s fifth goal in the second period as it looked almost guaranteed that the result would be a winning one for the home team, before Sparkes secured her hat-trick for a massive 6-0 lead.

Walsham also gave away another penalty after a poor tackle on Needham’s Jemma Wessels which would have made the final score 7-0, but Balfour unfortunately missed her chance for her own hat-trick.

Head coach Warren Lewis-Claxton said: “It was really encouraging to see some good football being played. It shows how far the squad has come in such a short space of time.”

“Our aim for the remaining season is to continue to build on the good football and finish as high as we can. Any silverware would be a bonus.”

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