Newmarket Ladies 1’s v’s St Neots 1’s: 4-0 win to St Neots
With 5 regular first team players unavailable for last weekend’s match against mid table St Neots; Newmarket used the opportunity to introduce and showcase the club’s up and coming talent which produced fresh, exciting hockey in places.
Understandably Newmarket looked a little nervous from the outset as new and old players looked to gel on pitch and initially St Neots took advantage of this ploughing through the Newmarket midfield. Sue Bullimore owner of the Captain’s armband for the game had plenty of work to do in goal and launched herself from post to post denying the away side an early goal.
With plenty of youth and pace on the Newmarket team there were some fantastic fast breaks involving Zoe Bailey and 1st team debutant Cassie Ayms. Also looking sharp – Tracy Cockerill communicated well with her teammates and found plenty of space on the left wing, causing havoc for her markers.
Newmarket began to settle but unfortunately did not step early enough into tackles letting St Neots roam free, centrally into the D. More opposition chances were scuppered as Isabel Hooley combined well with Newmarket and 1st team newcomer Kat Burrell in defence.
After holding the score for most of the first half Newmarket were left a little disjointed as St Neots edged all of their players into their attacking half. A couple of quick goals with 5 minutes of the first half remaining gave Newmarket much to think about going into the second half.
Newmarket identifying that they needed to make tackles sooner looked to be dominating early in the second half and Claire McDonnell skipped past her markers to clip the ball forward for Becca Swift and Cockerill. With shots now flying for Town Ayms was looking to poach at the keeper’s feet but nothing fell kindly for her giving St Neots chance to knock the ball away.
The ball spilling loose in the D gave St Neots their 3rd after 8 minutes but Newmarket were still determined to fight back. Lydia Evans making only her second appearance in the Newmarket first team put in some exemplary tackles and picked out her free teammates on the wing.
Despite Town’s best efforts a central player burst into the D and hit the backboards again for St Neots, although there was dispute as to whether the player had kicked the ball before taking the shot resulting in a Town player being sent off for 5 minutes.
The final score of 4-0 matched the efforts of the 5-1 result against the same team on the away leg and Newmarket are still beyond the relegation zone of the table. Despite losing; the match was a great display of the commitment and promise from the developing players of the club.