Newmarket Ladies’ 1’s v’s Cambridge University 3’s: Cambridge Uni won 3-1.
Newmarket Ladies 1st team faced Cambridge University 3rd team for a rescheduled league game which had a massive impact on their title campaign.
Cambridge have shown a springboard improvement since the Christmas break and Newmarket were prepared for a tough fight for points despite missing a key player.
The University side were on fine form from the opening whistle looking sharp on the ball. Within 5 minutes they had had several shots on goal with a superb right-hand overlap producing a textbook goal.
Newmarket are used to conceding early and remained calm looking to get one back. Fine work from Gail McDonnell and Isabel Hooley at the back ensured that Jess Boyle was not overwhelmed by opposition in front of goal and Jazz Wombwell also showed excellent commitment in tracking back with lose players.
The newly laid Cambridge pitch was incredibly bouncy with both teams finding it hard to get the ball under control; however Cambridge had the edge on this and had the confidence to pass the ball around. With a lovely central maneuver Cambridge scored again giving Newmarket an even tougher challenge.
Town battled on and started to relax into new positions and worked as a unit. Beth Wombwell found herself with acres of space and galloped up the field with the ball. She unselfishly passed to Di Thomas who belted the ball into the goal from mid range 10 minutes before the end of the half.
Again the University side were swift to gain control after the break however Newmarket were able to read their passes now and Hayley Stoneman was quick to react when Cambridge struggled under pressure. Stoneman played a lovely ball up field to Zoe Bailey, she darted round a defender and shoved a ball towards goal. Her shot trickled within a foot of goal and was saved on the line by a defender. Another unlucky attempt fell to Stoneman who hit the post on a shot corner re-bound.
Cambridge were hungry to secure 3 points as they continued to push forward. They were awarded for their determination with another close range goal putting the game to bed.
Newmarket still find themselves at the top of the league due to other teams still yet to play postponed fixtures and with a dip in form since Christmas their title win is under threat as they have 4 tough league games still to play. Next week they face bottom of the league opposition Peterborough 3’s at home so they hope to put in a solid performance to secure some points.