Newmarket Men’s 1s: 5-0 win vs Sudbury 2 (Home)
(J. Atkinson, Holden, Jenkins, Wade, Wilson)
NEWMARKET BREEZE PAST SUDBURY!
Newmarket continued their domestic swagger and made it 4 games unbeaten with a comfortable 5-0 victory over Sudbury on Saturday. The home side worked quickly into their stride with Michael Skelton forcing the first save of the game with a clean strike down the keeper’s left hand side. Josh Dawson was next to put pressure on the visitors, seeing his shot go wide. However, Newmarket continued to move the ball about at pace and finally saw their efforts rewarded as Skelton fed the ball to Matthew Holden, who drove it into the D to score the opener on his third attempt, having watched his first two shots saved. A quarter of an hour later and Newmarket had doubled their lead from a short corner that saw William Wilson’s first shot at goal parry straight back to him to flick into the the right hand side of the goal.
An unchanged defence of Louis Hrebeniak, Jordan Newnes, Wilson and Darren Jenkins successfully set up to frustrate the opposition strikers as they kept goalkeeper Martin McCourt to single save in the first half. Captain Holden was also able to hand Ollie Wade, who came on as a substitute against Pelicans the previous weekend, a starting berth in place of Chris Leggett.
Half time was fast approaching but the Blue & Yellows did manage to find a third. This time Sudbury lost possession of the ball deep in Newmarket’s half, allowing Skelton to break forward and find Wade, whose clever pass released the marauding Holden. He then fed Josh Dawson down the inside right channel, before a lovely crossed ball was collected and struck home by James Atkinson.
Chances were few and far between in the opening 15 minutes of the second half but Newnes did manage to drive forward, flashing a cross across the D and just out of the reach of Atkinson. However, the frustration did continue for Sudbury, as Ollie Wade got forward, and with a bit of smart skill, put the ball past the keeper to make it 4-0. Newmarket should have grabbed a fifth goal 10 minutes later, with Harry Bell squaring the ball to Atkinson, but he rifled his strike over the goal having slipped over a piece of Broccoli. Then, with 5 minutes remaining, Skelton, who was a thorn in the Sudbury side all game, found space to run into and pass to fullback Darren Jenkins to slot home from close range for his first senior goal.
The result sees Newmarket stay in third spot, tied on points with Bury St Edmunds after picking up 15 from six games.
Newmarket Men’s 2s: 2-2 draw vs I-ES 4 (Away)
Newmarket Men’s 2s were away at Ipswich to play against IES 4s. It is fair to mention that IES 4s team’s average age is slightly lower than the Men’s 2s but Newmarket’s more than make up for it in superior experience and class. From the start whistle IES reacted quickly on the attack and were fast to claim their first (of many) short corners. Newmarket effortlessly defended the attack and gained possession of the ball, holding onto it like a favourite soft toy as they shared it around the players attempting to find a gap in IES’ fresh legged defence. After a couple more short corners (and an old school bully off taken by Harrington, who taught a lesson to the younger player that went against him) Newmarket poked a gap in the oppositions defence and after a lightning pass from the set up king Mark “Arsenal” Pears the ball was tucked into the inside of the bottom left post by Matt Lister. 1-0 to Newmarket. The rest of the game remained 50/50 in possession and effort, a few more short corners and some impressive, not to mention important diving saves from the keeper, the first half ended at 1-0 to Newmarket. The team talk consisted of compliments to Jonny “Smokey” Bunker, Ollie Trent and Matt Lister along with the comment from Simon Harrington that drew attention to “how long Seth has gone without doing something monumentally stupid”. The second half was played very much on Newmarket’s side of the pitch allowing the experienced back line consisting of John Benna…Benndiktc…Benedicctsz… B-E-N-E-D-I-K-Z and the reappearing Simon Harrington, Andrew Baker and Adrian Atkinson forming the Density’s child defensive line, who did a good job smothering IES’ repetitive attacks and having the goalkeeper’s back after he made some sliding saves that put him too far from the goal. However the keeper did also make some decent single, double and even triple saves that left him being pulled up by the helmet and exonerated as if he had just jumped on an exploding grenade. Eventually due to the rules of probability IES finally managed to score a levelling goal through an unorthodox short corner routine that bounced off the previously flawless goalkeeper’s foot and into the goal, spilling ink onto his well-maintained clean sheet. The shouts from the opposition clearly illustrated the achievement of getting a ball over the line especially considering the amount of attempts they had, a couple of which got tantalizingly close to the goal line only to be stopped by the a-flame keeper. Newmarket retaliated and after a surprising turn in Smokey Bunker’s ball pace and speed, he put a ball through to Ollie Trent who put the ball tactically on the reverse to place it into the taken aback keeper who was still trying to process the speed at which the attack had come at him. 2-1 in the latter part of the second half and IES did not like this one bit. The home side continued to bombard Newmarket’s defence and in the end fired a powerful shot into the backboard bringing it to 2-2 in the last third of the second half, it was at this point that the goalkeeper’s enjoyment of the game decreased slightly and all of Newmarket’s heads seemed to go down. The rest of the half showed some great play by Captain Drew Wood, spinning round the opposition like a South African leopard crossed with a Tasmanian devil passing the ball through to Ben Barclay who showed that, for him, hockey is not too dissimilar to walking. Unfortunately the game finished with a 2-2 draw but IES were definitely the beaten side, with an unbelievable 27 short corners in their favour but converting one on the score board. Now, I’ve done the math and that is a 3.7% success rate or for Newmarket a 96.3% chance of saving. Looking at those numbers you can now see why every person on the hockey pitch, including the oppo keeper, congratulated the Newmarket keeper Seth Bailey who earned himself man of the match and another “fine” into the kitty. Newmarket were fairly evenly matched against IES and now have a good idea on all of the possible ways to give away a short corner, Density’s child could maybe write a dummies’ guide on how to award the opposition with one.
Newmarket Men’s 3s: 6-1 win vs Felixstowe 4 (Home)
(B. Atkinson 2, H. Frost 2, Andreou, Podd)
Newmarket Men’s 3s comprehensively beat Felixstowe 4s 6v1 in their first home league game. In front of a partisan home crowd, 2 goals apiece from Henry Frost and Ben Atkinson with further goals from Alex Andreou and Rory Podd were too much for Felixstowe as the 3s played their best hockey of the season.
Newmarket Ladies’ 1s: 3-4 loss vs Alford & District 1 (Home)
(G. Evans 2, Thomas)
Having won two games on the bounce the Newmarket Ladies 1st team were feeling confident as they faced league levellers Alford & District 1s.
However the opening 10 minutes were the oppositions with 2 goals hitting the Newmarket backboards, showing the visitors were not afraid to travel.
Leading the retaliation charge-Grace Evans, Town’s in form striker swept a ball into the net from mid D with no hesitation.
Newmarket still looked a little loose on the ball and were not picking out teammates cleanly.
Battling commenced and Claire McDonnell made a swift run down the right wing. She found Di Thomas prowling the back line who then turned, passed 3 players and unleashed a shot the keeper could not reach.
This score line remained until five minutes in to the second half where Grace Evans finished superbly again – a move initiated by a confident defensive display from Gail Parkins, Faye Andreou, Rebecca Barnes and Stef Howard.
Emma Russell-Price, Lydia Evans, Calli Cannon and Hayley Stoneman worked hard to create forward momentum but Alford were able to break and force an equaliser.
The game failing to flow; particularly in the second half and produced as much a mental test as physical. It was Alford who got the final chalk on the board after intercepting in midfield and firing in from close range. This was enough to take away all 3 points and the opportunity of Newmarket sitting top three in the table.
Newmarket Ladies’ 2s: 3-6 loss vs Haverhill 1 (Away)
(Bailey, Fox, Jones)
Newsflash! 3 goals in one match. 3! Goals! In one match!
Ok, so the opposition insisted on scoring more but only 3 more. That’s our best goal difference all season!
It seems L2s have remembered how it feels to hear ball against back board. Long may it continue!
If exclamation marks are rationed, I may be in trouble. One very happy captain (!!!!!)
Haverhill did, quite frankly catch Newmarket blinking, let alone napping and scored within seconds of pushback. For the first half, every loose ball was met by a Haverhill player, forcing Newmarket’s back 4 (realistically 3, we had a fidget) to defend hard. Some attacks were met outside circle, a fair few dealt with in the D but sometimes crowding Keeper Jersey Bennett so clear saves could not be made. It was one such attack which led to Haverhill’s second goal as the ball, initially blocked, was put in on a rebound and rose off a stick above the defender and dropped just under the cross bar and out of Jersey’s reach.
Haverhill’s players circled our hit outs well, capitalising on a short stop and scoring once more. Steph Heslop and Jazz Wombwell persisted in attempting to release the ball from defence and from one such release, Hannah Kelly worked the ball up the right side of the pitch, passing to Bea Jones, who just inside the D, struck the ball keenly between Haverhill’s keeper’s pads bring the score to 3-1 just before half time.
Newmarket emerged from their half time talk like a different team: determined, feisty, communicating, passing, moving, supporting. Must have been the previous night’s partying wearing off for some or a really special batch of sweets. Special mention must go to Emily Russell who was a dynamo in centre of attack, chasing back when Haverhill broke our attack, putting herself in prime positions and placing the ball for her team mates, Hannah Fox was first to use this assistance, seeing home a ball from the penalty spot.
Newmarket found a new liking for the opposition’s D and though Haverhill did break and score twice more: Newmarket L2s did not give up. Helen Hansgate owned midfield, intercepting Haverhill cross-pitch passes and finding Emily Russell who took the ball back up the field, passing and receiving from Lydia Willmott on the edge of the D and feeding the ball again to the penalty spot, where Newmarket attackers and Haverhill defenders pinballed until Captain Zoe Bailey, with her back to the GK dropped low to guide the ball under her left elbow in a forceful spinning push. Time stood still and then Newmarket cheers erupted as the score-line improved to 5-3.
Haverhill retaliated with one last goal but the fact remains L2s have now scored 70% of their last season’s goal tally, have a top goal scorer (streaking ahead with 2) and have reduced their match goal difference for another week running. Onwards and upwards.
Newmarket Ladies’ 3s: 1-1 draw vs Royston 2 (Away)
Newmarket Ladies’ 3s drew 1v1 with Royston 2s. After an even first half Royston took the lead with a rapid counter attack. From this point on Newmarket dominated both possession and chances with their efforts rewarded with an equaliser from Laura Excell.
Newmarket Ladies’ 4s: 1-9 loss vs Cambridge Nomads 2 (Home)
After an unfortunate away loss to Bury last week, Newmarket ventured into this week’s home game against Cambridge Nomads with their heads held high. Still sitting mid table, Newmarket knew that losing this game would cost valuable points which they did not want! After losing regulars Gabi Asker, Emily Fairweather and Gerogia Atherton for multiple reasons, taking the team to just 11 players, it was time for Darcy Keates and newbie Anne Romanivk to make their mark on the ever progressing ladies 4s team.
After gaining first pushback, Newmarket dominated the first 15 minutes. With some great midfield work from Millie Howe, Milou Ottolini, Darcy Keates and Anne Romanivk, Newmarket began to find their way into the attacking 23. Unfortunately however, the Nomads defence were just as strong and managed to claim composure and venture their way right back up the pitch into the watchful eyes of the back 4 of Jess Allen, Janie Harrington, captain Jess Boyle and Helen Atkinson, plus the ever eager eyed James Atkinson, whose sole purpose of the game was to try and take out as many if not more players than he did at Bury last week (3 in counting if I’m not mistaken!). Nomads managed to sneak in an early goal against Newmarket, but this was soon counteracted from a superb 16 yard hit out from Boyle which managed to deflect not only off a Newmarket stick but a Nomads stick into the awaiting path of Sophie Kelly who had a clear run on her own up towards the keeper. Her shot on goal thwarted by the Nomads goalkeeper but rebounded spectacularly off Howe making the score 1-1 with roughly 10 minutes to go before half time. Nomads managed to score another before the half time whistle making the score 2-1 but a lot of scrappiness and captains overruling umpires decisions (no not Newmarket captain obviously!) lead to this goal being given.
After a productive half time team talk by skipper Boyle, and a goalie change seeing Helen Atkinson don the kit, Newmarket held their heads high hoping they could at least scrape a goal back to draw and potentially even win. This however was not the case! As Newmarket struggled on with all 11 players blowing so hard they could knock down the 3 little pigs house made of bricks, Nomads managed to thwart each and every single player and stick another 7 goals past H. Atkinson in the second half, leaving the final score 9-1 loss to Newmarket.
Man of the Match went to Sophie Kelly for some spectacular play! Dick of the Day was awarded to Helen Atkinson for a cracking dive towards the goal which could only be described as leaving her like a turtle on its back. Next week the ladies 4’s face Cambridge City away at 3:00.