Newmarket Mens 2’s v’s Ely: 1-0 win to Newmarket
With Newmarket’s promotion bid being stalled by the recent inclement weather, Saturday’s away trip to Ely could prove to be a vital game in that bid. Newmarket started strongly, with the midfield of Barney Bowens, Andrew Beardon, Adam Gallop and Mat Smith dominating the early encounters and this dominance continued throughout the match. With the front pairing of the two Wills (Balding and Hosegood) creating problems for the Ely defense an early goal seemed inevitable and without the intervention of an inform Ely goalkeeper this would have been the case. With early shots raining down on the goal it took some superb saves to keep Newmarket at bay. Halfway through the first period super subs Jordan Walker and Mark Simpson joined the fray and brought fresh energy to the attack, and success soon came Newmarket’s way with young Walker harassing the Ely defense into a rare mistake and setting up Hosegood to finally make the breakthrough that all the pressure deserved. The rest of the first period continued in the same way but Newmarket where unable to capitalise and the half stayed one nil to Newmarket.
With Newmarket in confident mood, the second half started the way the first half ended and Ely’s goal was put under constant pressure with Ely’s defense taking up a siege mentality to keep out a rampant attack, with nine of Newmarket’s players in the Ely 25 yard area. Ely wouldn’t give up however, and after soaking up all the pressure that Newmarket could put them under, they started to create break away opportunities. The Newmarket defense of Darren Jenkins, Adrian Atkinson, Marc Prentice and skipper Pete Boyle was more than a match for the Ely forwards however and quickly snuffed out any attack with keeper Chris Warren only touching the ball once during the whole game.
Despite the almost constant pressure the score-line remained one nil to Newmarket, this being mainly due to the Ely keeper who had kindly paid us a visit from Ely’s second team, and he was without doubt their savior. But with another win under their belts and with a strong team effort, Newmarket’s promotion bid is firmly back on course.
Newmarket Mens 2’s v’s Ely: 1-0 win to Newmarket
Newmarket Men I 7-0 Alford Men I
Goal scorers: Ollie Wade x 2, Josh Dawson x 2, Simon Harrington, Matt Holden & Mike Skelton
After snow enforced a winter break Newmarket played their first game for 3 weeks, the warm up was sluggish, but once the game started Newmarket fell into their stride and had their third placed opponents from Skegness under the cosh from the first minute.
The domination soon turned into goals, the first a lovely team goal starting with a ball from right back Dave Worrall, to Mike Skelton, he laid it off to Chris Leggett who fired the ball into the D, Matt Holden squared for Ollie Wade to put the ball into an empty net. Ollie Wade soon scored a second to double the lead.
Matt Holden scored the third goal, sweeping Leggett’s defence splitting pass into the far corner, leaving the opposing keeper helpless. This forced a change of tactics from the opposition, who switched to a half court press. This just heaped more pressure on their defence as they defended deeper and deeper, enabling Newmarket to force numerous penalty corners.
The practice the team put into short corners at this weeks training soon began to pay off, Josh Dawson scored twice from two different short corner routines before Simon Harrington scored the sixth from an improvised routine.
Just before half time, Alford forced a couple of penalty corners off their own, from one of these Chris Routs leapt like a salmon to deflect the drag flick for a long corner. The whistle went for half time, Newmarket had played well, but really should have had more goals to show for it! On reflection a mixture of near misses, good keeping and overcrowding the D were the main reasons.
The team were keen to extend their advantage and maintain their clean sheet in the second half, they managed the second part but in truth, didn’t get out of second gear and coasted through the half. Credit must be given to Alford who defended stubbornly and kept the number of clear scoring opportunities to a minimum.
The team were unlucky not to be awarded a couple of penalty strokes for shots that hit defenders on the line, from another sweeping routine involving Worrall and Will Wilson, Mark Pears was very unlucky when his shot deflected wide off the on rushing keepers helmet.
It took until a few minutes from the end for Newmarket to score the seventh, Wilson split the defence with a great pass, Holden’s shot was saved by the keeper and Mike Skelton finished high into the roof of the net.
Man of the match had a few contenders, Jordan Newnes maintained concentration well and marked the tricky centre forward out of the game, Ollie Wade was solid at left half, but man of the match was Chris Leggett for an outstanding display in the centre. His work rate and ball retention were crucial to the teams performance. Dick of the day was Mark Pears, who can consider himself very unlucky to be the recipient in a game with no match related contenders.
This was a solid display from Newmarket, with second placed City of Peterborough drawing at Long Sutton, the team have now opened a seven point gap between themselves and Peterborough. With third a long way back and playing Peterborough away next week, the team have the opportunity to put 10 points between them and second with five left to play.
Newmarket 3’s v Spalding: 3-1 win to Spalding
Newmarket lost no time in rescheduling this cancelled match from last week, and the weather had certainly taken a turn for the better. The match started well with Newmarket pushing towards the Spalding goal. Spalding soon retaliated and the Newmarket defence struggled to get the ball out of the D, before long Spalding scored their first goal and shortly followed it with a second. Newmarket became more determined not to be stuck defending the goal and attacked more vigorously for the rest of the first half, Spalding’s defence prevented most efforts from entering their D. It wasn’t until almost half time that Newmarket player Peri Green carried the ball from one end of the pitch to the other and scored with support from fellow player Nikki Cole. Newmarket started the second half with hope of a recovery, but still the Spalding defence Kept Newmarket away from their goal and even managed another one for themselves half way through the second half . Player of the match was well earned by Peri Green, and promising performances were shown by Fiona Milton a recent newcomer to the club and Jade Atkinson who played goal having only recently turned 13.
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.
With a two month break over the Christmas period, the threat of a little snow did nothing to deter a keen Newmarket mens’ 2’s side from getting on the pitch to play Cambridge South 4’s. With both teams trying to get in to their stride as well as battle the freezing elements, the first 20 minutes of the game looked to be fairly evenly matched if a little lackadaisical. Newmarket began to get in to the swing of things and find their feet with the Midfield of Beardon, Gottfredson , Bowens and Smith working hard to keep the ball in the attacking zone. The first goal from Will Hosegood saw Newmarket ahead at half time. A determined South were not giving up and proved themselves to be troublesome for skipper Boyle and his defence. Jenkins and Atkinson proved their worth by staying calm and cutting off any chance of South entering the D leaving Warren in goal with little to do. Left Back Mark Prentice showed a consistently strong performance throughout the whole game, only momentarily confusing Hockey for Football by going in for a 2 footed challenge (“honest Umps I was going for the ball not the legs!”). The goal of the game came from Will Baldings sharp reactions inside the D, the forward struck the fast moving ball at an almost impossible angle to be rewarded with the satisfying sound of the ball rattling the backboard. With fire in their stomachs (and icicles on their fingers) Newmarket stepped up a gear and Chris Evans played a lovely cross in to Hosegoods stick which found the goal again. Youngster Jordan Walker used his youth to keep the energy of the team up and found himself in some good positions which frustrated the opposition. Hosegood managed to beat the keeper twice more to rack up a healthy 4 goal spree which secured him MOTM. With the final whistle blowing Newmarket left the pitch feeling happy with a 5-1 result. With games in hand and only 1 point separating them from the top of the leaderboard Newmarket have their eye on the promotion prize and are ready to fight for the no.1 spot.
Newmarket I 6-0 Spalding II
Goal Scorers – Josh Dawson x 3, Ollie Wade, Mike Skelton & Will Wilson
Newmarket entertained Spalding at home in division 4NW of the East League on a chilly afternoon in January. With Newmarket having won all seven home games, conceding only 2 goals and keeping 6 clean sheets in the process, they looked forward to entertaining a Spalding team who had moved up to third in the league having won all but one of their away games.
The game started at a frenetic pace, Spalding pressed high and played with genuine wingers on both flanks, this created a very open game with lots of fast attacking play by both teams. Newmarket’s keeper Chris Routs was in action first, making a smart reaction save to keep the game scoreless. Newmarket began to organise themselves. Jordan Newnes marked the dangerous centre forward out of the game, leaving central defensive partner Simon Harrington free to pick up the loose ball and distribute well.
Newmarket began to dominate the game, with the space the Spalding formation allowed, Newmarket had plenty of space to hurt the opposition. The team forced several penalty corners after good play from forwards Matthew Holden, Mark Pears and Michael Skelton. Unfortunately the team were unable to capitalise. They took the lead through open play when Josh Dawson beat his man on the right wing, drove the line and squared for Ollie Wade to tap in. Spalding continued to cause Newmarket problems on the break, but with Alex Andreou and Chris Leggett working hard in the middle to win the ball back Newmarket were making their quality count. Andreou was distributing the ball to full backs William Wilson and David Worrall at great pace, giving them time to drive forward from deep, several more chances went begging before Dawson scored, deflecting the ball into the roof of the net from a penalty corner.
Wilson scored the third, beating a couple of players on the 25, Spalding parted like the Red Sea, allowing the defender into the D, he sent the keeper the wrong way to score with an undercut. Dawson then added his second, the games fourth after a goal mouth scramble. The half time whistle went with Newmarket four goals to the good.
Spalding came out for the second half with a similar intent to the first, pressing high up and pitch and attacking at pace whenever the opportunity arose. Newmarket managed to score a fifth from a short corner routine, Dawson tapping in Wilson’s pass.
Spalding then caught Newmarket on the break to overload the defence and score a deserved goal of their own, but it didn’t disrupt the flow of the game. Mike Skelton added the sixth after playing a succession of one twos between himself and Mark Pears before finishing into the corner. Newmarket could have added to their tally, had the last ball been a little more accurate on more than one occasion.
Despite the score line, Spalding provided Newmarket with a stern test and on this form, Spalding must be an outside bet for Promotion. Man of the match was Mark Pears. He was everywhere, tireless running the channels, bringing team mates into the game, Skelton’s goal, for which Pears played a major role must have been on the of the team’s best of the season. Ollie Wade ran him close, the left midfielder is really developing and gives great cover for his fallback while also offering plenty going forward.
Next week the team are away at Long Sutton, who themselves have a very strong home record, with second place City of Peterborough drawing Newmarket have extended their lead to 5 points as they look to get promotion to 3NW wrapped up as quickly as possible.
Newmarket Ladies 1’s vs. Cambridge South 1’s: 2-1 win to Cambs South
After last week’s emphatic win Newmarket ladies 1st team suffered a bitter defeat against the league’s 6th placed team Cambridge South.
Having played this team twice already and winning convincingly 8-1 on both occasions Newmarket should have been able to secure 3 points comfortably but this was not to be.
It took Cambridge South only 5 minutes to unlock the Newmarket defence – they scored from a mid D shot after a break down the right wing.
Newmarket heads already began to hang and instead of upping the level, the team failed to convert promising moves. Cambridge South’s confidence continued to grow as Newmarket looked behind the play leaving their oposition unmarked.
Against the run of play Newmarket were awarded a flurry of short corners and Claire McDonnell smashed a ball into goal to give Town a glimmer of hope. This injected some fighting spirit into her team mates and for the final passage of the first half Newmarket looked in control of the situation.
Alas, this did not continue into the second half; Cambridge South came out motoring and again scored within minutes of first touching the ball. Newmarket were again thrown into disorder and could not get the ball into goal despite some good build up play. Newmarket fought hard towards the end of the game but time ran out for Town and they lost for only the second time this season.
This leaves them just 2 points clear at the top of the table with some tough opposition ahead. Next week they have a crunch Cup match against Wisbech as the winners of the game will go on to the League Cup Final.
Newmarket ladies first team showed top form as they overturned bottom of the league St Ives – 6-1 last Saturday.
Pre match jitters appeared when 3 of the Town players were struggling with illness but were determined to play on for the good of their team.
St Ives started the game but immediately lost possession after Claire McDonnell made a fine tackle. The visitors struggled to find space as Newmarket players were marking tightly and seizing any loose balls. Space began to appear for Town allowing them to head goal-wards. The first shot was from Hayley Stoneman who narrowly missed the target. The first goal was created from a short corner. The initial strike failed to find the back of the goal but Di Thomas was in front of keeper and used her trade mark reverse stick flick to take Town in front.
Looking the stronger of the two teams Newmarket were beating St Ives on all areas of the field. Again using the space down the wing Lydia Evans crossed to McDonnell who found Thomas on the P spot – she casually slotted the ball home.
Not letting their heads go down, St Ives batted on and after an un-tackled run their central striker powered a shot in to goal taking it to 2-1. A disappointing goal that caught Town off guard.
The next goal was crucial for both teams and thankfully it was Newmarket who took the opportunity – Di Thomas completing a hat-trick after a string of accurate passing from the team, she managed to slot the ball between the keeper’s legs.
With a two goal lead this did not feel enough for Newmarket, as St Ives are known for fighting hard regardless of the score.
The second half was a chance for Newmarket to give the crowd more to cheer about. Now looking totally controlled Town were able to relax and fully work as a unit to score again. Gail McDonnell and Jazz Wombwell were able to move up the field from defence to get involved in the action. Jenny Richards used her calm intellect on the ball and passed to Isabel Hooley – the ball was now pinging round the D and the pinpoint shot came from Claire McDonnell who converted through a shot that found the bottom right hand corner.
Next to find a true strike was ‘goal machine’ Lucy Brown she broke clear from her defender to meet the ball perfectly and deflect into the net.
Jess Boyle still had some work to do in the Newmarket goal and despite it being infrequent she was alert to the challenge and dealt with it calmly.
The last high pace move started centrally from Stoneman. She worked with Fayers to move up field. Again providing a text book cross – McDonnell passed to Thomas who bundled the ball over the line ahead of her defender to add a fourth to her tally just before the final whistle. Next week Newmarket play local rivals Cambridge South who sit sixth in the league, at home. All supporters welcome.
Newmarket I 3–0 City of Peterborough VI
Goal scorers: Mike Skelton x 2, Ollie Wade
Newmarket hosted a Peterborough team they only seem to play in extremes of temperature, having played in October during a heat wave they were fortunate that this game was one of the few locally not to have been postponed due to a frozen pitch.
Newmarket almost scored in the first minute, Matt Holden robbing the centre back at the top of the D and forcing a smart stop from the keeper. The team expected a high energy start but as in the first match, they found Peterborough well organised and difficult to break down. The next 15 minutes or so were very even, Newmarket kept possession better than they have in previous weeks and managed to maintain possession in the other half without trying to force the ball too frequently. By keeping the ball the team forced a succession of short corners, which Peterborough either defended well or Newmarket wasted.
Gradually Newmarket began to wear down Peterborough’s stubborn resistance, by working the ball round the back and pulling the defence out switching the point of attack. Dave Worrall drove forward from right back and after a slick move featuring Matt Holden, Josh Dawson and Chris Leggett, Mike Skelton finished neatly into the bottom corner on his reverse stick.
Newmarket soon scored a second from a similarly flowing move, this time the ball started with the right back and went through Simon Harrington, Jordan Newnes, to left back Will Wilson, the ball was played up the pitch involving the whole midfield before it was played back to Wilson, who’s reverse stick cross was tapped into an empty net by Ollie Wade.
Josh Dawson thought he had scored a third but it was disallowed for a foot, the half time whistle went with Newmarket keeper Chris Routs reduced to a rather cold spectator. The second half continued in the same vein, Dawson’s great movement enabled Wilson to pick him out with a defence splitting pass, he was clattered as he rounded the keeper, with the ball rolling to Mark Pears the umpire played a good advantage as Pears squared to Skelton for his second of the game. Dwarf Dawson had another goal disallowed from a short corner for apparently impeding the large goalkeeper meaning the top scorer was unable to add to his tally today.
The whistle set to draw to a close a very solid Newmarket performance, the score line didn’t reflect the team’s dominance, but with keeper Routs not touching the ball for the third game this season the team are starting to the lay the defensive foundations they may need in future seasons.
In the bar afterwards Man of the match was very close, Chris Leggett played very well in the middle, Simon Harrington was commanding at centre back, Mike Skelton moved well up front, but Dave Worrall clinched it for an outstanding display at right back.
Dick of the Day was pretty one-sided, Wilson won it hands down for pulling his aerial pass over his shoulder narrowly missing a host of parked cars. Next week’s game is away against St Neots, after putting 13 past them at the start of the season the team are very much looking forward to it!
Newmarket Ladies 1’s v Rutland Ladies’ 1’s: 3-1 win to Newmarket
After a close battle pre-Christmas Newmarket were prepared for a youthful Rutland side in the League Cup competition.
With a full Newmarket side the team started confidently and made some big tackles to turn the play goalwards. It took a little time for both teams to settle, play also looked a little rusty but Town began to move up a gear.
Lydia Evans and Angel Fayers showed great movement on both sides of the pitch giving room for Isabel Hooley and Claire McDonnell to drive the ball forward. It took 25 minutes for Town to score – Hayley Stoneman finding the target after her own shot rebounded on a shot corner.
Leading 1-0 at half time Newmarket were looking to stay in control and justify their top of league position. The second goal came from Di Thomas who sneaked a ball inside the right post after a good central build up from Jenny Richards.
It was then Rutland who picked up a gear. After a surging right sided run, a skillful forward player slapped a ball into goal. Nerves were now jangling and when a ball hit a Newmarket player’s foot preventing a Rutland goal – a penalty flick was awarded. Jess Boyle stood strong and guessed the direction of the shot, keeping Town in front – it also gave her the Player of the Match Award. Newmarket were encouraged by this and after a Rutland short corner broke down Zoe Bailey seized the opportunity to move the ball quickly to Angel Fayers. She crossed the ball to Claire McDonnell who found Beth Wombwell; with no hesitation she swept firmly into goal to compete an exquisite move. This was to be the final goal, the score remaining 3-1. The team are still unbeaten in the Cup Competition and are aiming for the final at the end of March.