St Neots II 0 – 9 Newmarket I
Goal scorers – Matt Holden x 2, Mike Skelton, Josh Dawson, Mark Pears, Chris Leggett, Dave Worrall, Alex Andreou, Will Wilson.
Newmarket travelled for a local away game at St Neots, but road works on the A14 ensured they spent almost as much time in the car as some of the long away trips before Christmas. Captain Wilson demonstrating his customary poor time keeping skills missed the start time at started from the bench. Fortunately he had a full strength squad at his disposal and Ollie Wade slotted in at left back.
Having won the home game 13-2 Newmarket expected to dominate, but were wary of the lively centre forward who put St Neots in front during that game. Jordan Newnes did a fantastic job marshalling him from the back, restricting St Neots to one effort on target that was acrobatically saved by Chris Routs in goal.
Newmarket retained possession well with Chris Leggett and Alex Andreou spreading the ball wide form the middle of the pitch. Mike Skelton and Mark Pears were finding lots of space up front, With Josh Dawson and Matt Holden playing so high out wide the team was almost playing 2-4-4 rather than 4-4-2.
It was only a matter of time before Town took the lead, the ball was played into Skelton, who drew the man before playing Holden in, he finished emphatically into the roof of the net. Skelton soon added a second, taking a good first touch and firing the ball into the far corner on his reverse.
Wilson then rattled the bar from Pears pull back, with Andreou heading to South Africa in February to work on his tan, Simon Harrington was promoted up for short corner duties, unfortunately this proved no more productive than previous weeks, until the stroke of half time, when the ball was played square to Wilson, he drove the line and set Dawson up with a tap in. At half time Newmarket were only three goals to the good, but determined to add to their tally in the second half.
Early in the second half Mark Pears added a fourth, Skelton holding the ball up and putting Pears through to beat a defender and guide the ball into the far corner.
Ollie Wade turned provider for the next two goals, the first of which he squared the ball to Chris Leggett, who took a touch into the D and blasted it into the bottom right corner. For the sixth Wade ran down the left wing, beat the right back before picking out Holden whose first effort hit a foot on the line, the ball bounced back to him, the umpire played advantage and he scored at the second attempt.
Dave Worrall scored the seventh, his first hockey goal since 2003, collecting Wilson’s pass he beat 2 men before finishing above the on rushing keeper into the roof of the net. Alex Andreou added the eighth, majestically beating a couple of men, his effort was on target but took a cruel deflection of a defenders foot wrong footed the St Neots keeper.
Captain Wilson added the final goal, after a sustained period of pressure in the far right corner, Dawson and Skelton’s movement bamboozled the defence, allowing Worrall to pick our Leggett in midfield, he squared to Wilson who finished into the far corner.
Man of the match was Mike Skelton, for his movement and link up play. Dick of the day had a few contenders, the ever late Wilson, Ollie wade for missing an open goal from a yard sending a water bottle flying in the process. The winner was Simon Harrington for being outpaced by a man of more mature years with a healthy appetite.
Dave Worrall was so chuffed by scoring after 7 years travelling in Spain he invited everybody to his house to watch Harry Potter and eat Welsh rarebit. Next the team are at home to Spalding, they have moved up to third and another victory will go a long way to securing Newmarket’s promotion push. The game starts at 3:30 at Newmarket Leisure Centre, as always spectators are welcome.
St Neots II 0 – 9 Newmarket I