Newmarket Ladies 1’s v Sawtry Ladies: 4-4 Draw
The ladies first team went away to play Sawtry for their last league game of the season.
Sawtry were sitting second last in the table so Newmarket were confident of a victory although only won narrowly on their last meeting.
This complacency may have been to blame for Sawtry running at Town in the first minute and smashing a shot into the backboards. Newmarket were in shock after this and realised they would have to work harder to overcome their opposition.
With renewed passion great interlinking between the midfield and wingers drew Sawtry in tight; with space to the left Hayley Stoneman passed to Jenny Richards who forced a short corner after putting a defender under pressure. The two then combined again as Stoneman took first strike and Richards skillful deflected into the roof of goal to level the score.
Now feeling more comfortable about the situation; Newmarket began to distribute with confidence and Captain Gail McDonnell urged her team forward.
Beth Wombwell picked up the ball on the halfway line; went on a rampant run and found Tania Fisher – she did incredibly well to lose her defender and with no hesitation struck true into goal to take Town in front.
With their noses in front Newmarket were sturdy in defense, Isabel Hooley and Jazz Wombwell distributing well around the back line. Angel Fayers created space for herself on the right wing, drove hard and found a defender’s foot. Stoneman opened her account for the day from a free strike at top D giving Newmarket a 3-1 lead going into half time.
Sawtry were not looking to let this score rest and the second half was truly dominated by the home team. Newmarket perhaps looking a little tired struggled to get back after quick breaks and Sawtry scored within the first 5 minutes. They were quick to strike again from a short corner after a Newmarket player showed excellent sportsmanship in owning up to a foul – overturning the umpires decision to award a defensive free hit. Honesty didn’t pay on this occasion as Sawtry executed a perfect short corner to level the score.
With the pressure now on and with Sawtry in full flow, Newmarket were wishing the time away. Another quick break left the backline under pressure Sawtry’s chance was temporarily halted as Jess Boyle slid into action from the goal-line to stop the first shot – but the second was too well placed and Town were in danger of losing their last match. With less than five minutes to go Newmarket looked stronger again and looked like they were going to rob Sawtry of max points and Richards was perfectly placed again to slot a ball into goal. With the final play being a short corner – all Town players came forward to pen the ball in the D. The strike was stopped on the line by a foot. A penalty stroke was awarded – Fisher was eagerly elected by her teammates. This final roll of the ball would determine whether Sawtry were safe from relegation. Fisher pushed low and fast right however the Keeper guessed correct and deflected out to end the game 4-4. Sawtry safe from the bottom of league spot and Newmarket will end second in the league by at least 3 points.
The League Cup game will be played on the 21st April where Newmarket will meet Spalding to see who claims the silverware.