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Needham Market Women bow out of Eastern Region Women's Football League Cup in thrilling tie against higher-league Wroxham at Bloomfields




Needham Market Women bowed out of the Eastern Region Women’s Football League Cup to higher-league side Wroxham on Sunday, after just missing out 4-3 in a thrilling tie.

It was a valiant performance by the home side, who compete in Division One North, but they narrowly came up short against a team flying high in the Premier Division.

Needham dominated the first half but could not force the lead, despite Amber Sparkes cancelling out a fortuitous opener by Wroxham captain Anna Larkins.

Football: Women's Cup..Needham Market Women Vs Wroxham..Needhams Sasha Diston shoots at goal ..Photographer Ben Pooley. (26576319)
Football: Women's Cup..Needham Market Women Vs Wroxham..Needhams Sasha Diston shoots at goal ..Photographer Ben Pooley. (26576319)

Wroxham took control in the second half thanks to Larkins again and a brace by Lauren Bullard.

A comeback didn’t look on the cards but with at least 10 minutes of stoppage due to two long injury delays there was still time.

And just after 90 minutes was up the game came alive as Abbie Wilkinson tapped home before Northwood did the same minutes later to set up an exciting finale.

Football: Women's Cup..Needham Market Women Vs Wroxham..Needhams Abbie Wilkinson rounds the keeper to set up needhams 3rd goal..Photographer Ben Pooley. (26576321)
Football: Women's Cup..Needham Market Women Vs Wroxham..Needhams Abbie Wilkinson rounds the keeper to set up needhams 3rd goal..Photographer Ben Pooley. (26576321)

Unfortunately time just ran out, but the home side can be proud of their efforts against higher but certainly not superior opposition.

Head coach Warren Lewis-Claxton, who took charge in the absence of manager Freya Louis, said: “Going into this game we were the underdogs on paper, but from our performance you wouldn’t have thought so. With cup games anything can happen regardless of what division /league you’re in.

“From the get go we showed hunger and desire to prove ourselves, and really upset the opposition. We pressed them high, dominated possession and created the majority of the chances in the game.

“Credit to Wroxham, they capitalised on the chances, and provided us a very entertaining cup game.

“Our aim has always been to get the club playing at the highest possible level, this game for me showed we are not far from pushing up to the next level, being the Eastern Region Premier. We’re on the right track for sure.

“All the players can come away with their heads held high as they really did do themselves proud, I couldn’t have asked for much more.”

Needham are once more in cup action this weekend in the quarter-finals of this season’s Suffolk Women’s Cup, at home to Beccles Town Ladies (2pm).

Meanwhile Suffolk Women’s League side Needham Market Women Reserves also remain in the county cup and are due to face divisional rivals Brettvale (2pm).

They will be looking to bounce back from a 3-1 defeat at home to Woodbridge Town on Saturday.