Newmarket Men’s 1s: 1-4 loss vs Norwich Dragons Men’s 2s (Home)
After last week’s disappointing loss to Norwich City 4s, Newmarket were looking to bounce straight back to winning ways. The game started with Newmarket playing at an unusually slow pace. With regular defenders Harrington and Hrebeniak missing, Town looked to be sitting very deep and thus leaving a void between them and the midfield. For the first 10-15 mins, Newmarket couldn’t seem to get any rhythm or flow to their play, features which they have been accustomed to leading up to the Christmas break. Dragons had most of the possession and deserved the goal which soon arrived, Norwich slotting past McCourt to make the score 0:1. Newmarket decided to shuffle the pak, Wilson moved to the left pack position and Andreou dropped to holding midfield. This gave Newmarket a more stable line-up, but Dragons had the momentum and managed to get past Newnes and Jenkins to score 0-2. The first half ended with the visitors in the driving seat and Town with mountain to climb.
At half time, the Newmarket players discussed their first half performance and knew that they could play so much better than they already shown.
Newmarket’s second half boasted a much better performance when compared to the first, the ball moving swiftly from the midfield of Skelton, Smith & Wilson to the wide positions occupied by Dawson and McTaggart. Newmarket were now pressing forward more and more but opportunities were mostly wasted. However, a quick play from Skelton to McTaggart allowed the pacy winger to beat the keeper from a yard out and bring the scoreline to 1-2. Newmarket were now looking far more positive pushed up to get another goal, but with them playing high up the field Town were caught on the counter and the Dragons forward fired past McCourt once more. 1-3. The final goal was not really a reflection of how the second half played out and came from a series of good passes by the away team who then managed to beat the diving home keeper from short range. Final score, 1-4.
Newmarket can look at this game as a learning curve, in that they must switch on from the start and when the game gets tough, keep on playing, no matter what.
MOTM – Skelton
DOTD – McCourt
Next week, Newmarket Men’s 1st XI are away against IES 2s, a game in which Town are hoping to gain some points against a team with whom they drew 1-1 at home.
Top: Legendary midfielder Alex Andreou lays the Dragons defence to the sword – unfortunately for Town though, not often enough. Bottom: Darren Jenkins (left) and Jordan Newnes watch on as keeper McCourt attempts to thwart an enterprising Dragons forward.
Newmarket Men’s 2s: 0-1 loss vs North Norfolk Men’s 2s (Away)
Newmarket M2s headed to the coast this week, down one of the countries biggest cul-de-sacs, where North Norfolk fully embrace the sea side spirit with their salmon pink and sea blue kit. Once famous for its pier, nowadays Cromer is best known for seal trips and as a source of crabs. As if haunted by those melancholy days of kiss-me-quick hats and the seaside fair ground, the ‘merry-go-round’ was in full swing at Newmarket M2s, several regulars being unavailable as we welcomed back youngster Ben Atkinson and slightly less-than-youngster Simon Everitt to the fold.
After a cancelling training session 3 days earlier in Newmarket due to a frozen pitch, Cromer gave us a glorious day of around 13°C and a lovely playing surface at Cromer Academy. This was a key game with both teams on 13 points fighting to avoid relegation, while Newmarket were hoping to do the double on North Norfolk having beaten them 3:1 at home.
It was an unusual game in some respects as both teams worked hard but created few chances. It was North Norfolk though that scored the only goal of the game after about 12 minutes when a scramble in the Newmarket ‘D’ resulted in a shot that was easily saved by the reliable Seth Bailey in goal, but as he lay on the ground, stick outstretched, the ball ran the length of his stick into the path of a young North Norfolk player, who had an easy tap into goal.
Newmarket rallied and worked hard, a fine example being set by MoM Johnny Bunker who ran for everything and everyone as we desperately looked to get something from the game. But despite all the effort and enjoying most of the possession, Newmarket were unable to convert in what was a very frustrating afternoon. That frustration was compounded by North Norfolk’s ill-tempered Richard from the Guess Who board game, apparently on loan from Hasbro Gaming. The disappointment briefly spilled into the terraces as Newmarket’s number 1 travelling fan and ‘12th man’ Jack Baker entered the field of play, apparently set on confusing a North Norfolk winger with the injection of a second ball. But after a brief stoppage, young Jack returned to his seat.
After winning MoM in the home game against North Norfolk, Rory Podd came a close second for DoD this week as he seems to confuse hockey with lacrosse. Plans are afoot to strap a lead weight to his stick and next week the team will be looking for Rory ‘Tri’ Podd to have 2 feet and 1 stick on the ground. But the decision for DoD was near unanimous this week in favour of previous recipient Peter Boyle, because……..well, because it was his birthday!
Newmarket now find themselves bottom of the league with everything to play for. Only 6 points separate 7 teams as we look forward to welcoming Ipswich 3s to the Leisure Centre next week.
Newmarket Ladies’ 1s: 3-1 win vs Lindum Ladies’ 2s (Away)
(Alderson, G. Evans, McDonnell)
Newmarket played out in Lincoln with a push back of 1.30pm against Lindum 2s. This was a must win match for both teams, as it was a bottom of the table clash. The first half was scrappy and neither team took control. Lindum scored first off a break and then Newmarket retaliated, Tracy Cockeril passing to top of ‘D’, finding Claire McDonnell who shot at goal. The ball bounced up off an opposition defender and ended up high in the Lindum net. Half time score 1:1.
In the second half, Newmarket finally got their heads into the game and Grace Evans managed a lovely strike into the goal, sending Newmarket 2:1 up. Eager to take the game to Lindum, Newmarket continued to push forward and created another, clinically dispatched by Kerry Alderson. The final whistle blew as short corner was awarded to Town, but sadly no goal was to come. Final score, Newmarket 3, Lindum 1.
Newmarket Ladies’ 2s: 0-6 loss (Boo!) vs March Town Ladies’ 1s (Away)
This week, the Ladies’ 2s travelled deep into the Fenland to play March Town, where disaster struck before they even ventured on to the pitch! No-one had warned skipper Holly Woods that Newmarket and March clashed colours, and with the away kit making its way up to Lincoln with the L1s, Newmarket were in a bit of a dilemma resulting in Woods and coach Chris Evans speeding their way to the nearest sports shop to buy the team different coloured socks, leaving vice-captain Jess Boyle to try and get the team riled up to beat a team they knew they could triumph over! In the nick of time, skipper Woods made it back for push back and the game started.
Newmarket dominated the first half well and truly. With some spectacular play from the midfield of Anna Sambrook (who managed NOT to fall over the entire game!), Helen Hansgate and Becca Barnes, Town found their way into the attacking third pretty quickly. Some great play down the left wing from Olivia Haste found Hannah Kelly at top D and Bea Jones waiting ready on the far post to nab the ball into the goal if needed. However, Town’s efforts were unrewarded as March managed to get the ball on the break. The defence of Holly Woods, Clodie Rolph, Jess Felton-Page and Jess Logan managed to stop March’s efforts on countless occasions, until one of their players managed to break and get a shot on goal, which as the famous Chris Leggett would say was absolutely ‘Buck Wild!’ Said player had a few more of these buck wild shots during the first half but the fearless Town managed to stop each and every one from going anywhere near keeper Boyle. It wasn’t until a short corner given 2 seconds before the half time whistle went that Town’s efforts were thwarted and March managed to sneak a goal in unfortunately skimming the leg of keeper Boyle before going in making the score at half time 1-0 March.
From a praising half time team talk from Coach Evans, Newmarket entered the second half raring to get an equaliser and potentially win. Strong from the off, Town managed to dominate the midfield once again. A quick pass from Felton-Page wide right to Logan (who had a complete stormer of a game) managed to find an awaiting Hannah Fox in the midfield who sought out an awaiting fast moving Jones in the front and earn Town a short corner. Once again however, Town’s efforts were unrewarded as March managed to get the ball and get on the break. The quick pace of a couple of March players outsmarted Town’s waiting defence as 4 goals managed to make their way past Boyle as the full time whistle encroached. Town battled their way right until the full time whistle, but before that came another goal snuck its way past Town and with the whistle going the final score was 6-0 March.
Newmarket played a spectacular game and as the weeks go by a totally transformed team can be seen compared to the beginning of the season! Man of the Match went to the phenomenal Jess Logan for some absolutely spectacular play throughout the entirety of the game! Dick of the Day this week (and for the third time this season) went to Bea Jones who attempted to start the game still wearing her hoodie and couldn’t understand why people were shouting at her!
This Saturday’s game is at home to St Ives who Town unfortunately lost 12-0 to at the beginning of the season at 12:00. All support would be appreciated as Town won’t go down without a fight! (#BlueAndYellowArmy)
Newmarket Ladies’ 3s: 0-2 loss vs Huntingdon Ladies’ 2s (Home)
Newmarket Ladies’ 3s fielded a full squad of 16 for their second match up against mid-table rivals Huntington 2s, with the welcome support of Jasmine Freed and Mel Podd joining the team to share their experience and further aid the development of the clubs’ youngsters.
Newmarket started the stronger side, quickly closing down the Hunts pushback and turning their advantage into the first attack of the game. Sam Brooke pressured the Hunts main playmaker, ably assisted by young centre-half Charlotte Abersteen, and made the first tackle of a closely contested match, having controlled the ball, Brooke squared the ball to right-half Abbie Farrow who played the ball down the line to right-wing Rachel Hogg, who crossed the ball to an eagerly waiting Podd only for the Newmarket advance to be foiled by the Hunts centre-back.
Play continued and possession equally shared between the 2 sides. Newmarket displayed some superb individual performances, with Jane Dryland, newcomer Milou Ottolini and Charlotte Wyatt linking up with some truly scrumptious interplay. Both teams closely contested each pass, tackle and run with the ball, the pressure on every player as soon as they received possession. Hunts took the lead through a well executed penalty corner on the stroke of half-time.
The second half followed a similar vein to the first, both sides taking it in turns to pressure each other’s defence. Georgia Rolls and Emily Fairweather worked hard to threaten the Hunts GK, but as the match progressed, the more experienced Hunts team began to press more into the Newmarket half. PoM GK Claire Spiers, youngster Jersey Bennett, Freed and the sister defence duo of Donna and Tiff Seymour kept the yellow and blues in the game, thwarting the Hunts attempts to double their lead. Unfortunately though, a deflection into the Newmarket D wrong-footed GK sub Bennett and gave Hunts a 0-2 victory, only to have full-time blown 5 seconds after the match restarted.
Newmarket are not to be disheartened; the Ladies’ 3s have a talented squad, full of fit youngsters who are eager to impress and develop. Under the continued guidance of coach Colin Seakins and Captain Rach Pegg, the squad’s confidence continues to grow as do their individual skill sets.
Above: Skipper Rach Pegg evades the challenge of a a Hunts winger.
Click here to view photographs of the match by Michael Bennett.