Rutland Men’s 1st XI 2 – 4 Newmarket Men’s 1st XI
Newmarket travelled to the affluent setting of Uppingham School, just south of Rutland Water, for an early 11am push back against one of the three remaining unbeaten teams in the league. Newmarket came up against a mobile and youthful opposition whose oldest player was 24, only a year or two older than our youngest player, but in the end guile and experience won the day.
Newmarket intended to hit Rutland hard, get their heads down and play a solid first 15 minutes, in fact the reverse happened, Rutland swarmed from the back, overloading midfield, but they lacked the quality required to make it count in the final third. Newmarket’s back four of Will Wilson, Jordan Newnes, Simon Harrington and David Worrall were compact and resolute throughout, on the odd occasion in the first half they were breached keeper Chris Routs was on hand to block and clear.
Newmarket took the lead against the run of play, intercepting in midfield, Josh Dawson was released down the right, and he fired the ball square into the D where Mike Skelton was on hand to sweep high into the roof of the net. Rutland looked stunned and Newmarket capitalised, ruthlessly scoring a second a minute or two later, this time Harry Bell drove the right flank, crossing for Skelton to double the lead in copy book fashion.
Newmarket then started to dominate Ollie Wade, Alex Andreou and Chris Leggett intercepting countless passes in the Rutland half, freeing the forwards to carve out either goal scoring opportunities or penalty corners. From the first penalty corner, Matt Holden injected Skelton stopped and Wilson flicked the ball inside the left hand post, three nil and Town were in control.
Just before half time Rutland forced a heavily debated penalty corner of their own, not to be outdone their outstanding central midfielder drag flicked it into the top left corner beyond the dive of despairing Routs. This spurred Rutland on who one another penalty corner on the stroke of half time which rattled the post and bounced to safety.
At half time coach Nic Thorpe rallied his troops, everybody knew that the next goal would be crucial and Newmarket were determined it would be theres, they didn’t disappoint. Andreou robbed the defender in midfield, found Skelton who played a one two with Holden before finishing into the bottom corner to make the score 4-1.
The game should now have been safe, but to their credit Rutland didn’t give up, but they struggled to breach Newmarket defence in open play, they did managed to force a handful of penalty corner, the best of which Routs tipped round the post at full stretch. Rutland did leave themselves vulnerable on the break and were fortunate that their goalies made 3 or 4 outstanding stops from open play to keep the score down, uncharacteristically Newmarket could even afford to waste two trademark Dawson penalty corner routines.
Rutland scored a consolation with 10 minutes to go, overloading the right flank, pulling the ball back, Routs blocked the shot but it agonising rolled just over the line before Wilson or Newnes could reach it.
Michael Skelton was man of the match for notching a hat trick and defending like a lion from the front. Other mentions should go to Chris Leggett in centre midfield and Chris Routs for rolling back the years and leaping like a salmon in nets. Dick of the Day had a few contenders, powerful forward Matt Holden marked his deserved recall from the seconds with a green card for descent, Harry Bell played fine pass to Chris Leggett with his pitching wedge, but the team opted for their skipper Wilson, for skewing a rather pathetic aerial over the fence!
All in all a tough game, but in truth for a talented team they forced towns keeper into very few saves from open play, Newmarket know that they need to improve their fitness, but the promotion charge is very much back on!
Next week the team face their old foe Ely, 3:30 push back at Newmarket Leisure Centre, support is always welcome!
Newmarket 2s v Cambridge Nomads 2s
1 – 0
Top of the table Newmarket 2’s started playing a scruffy and shaky game; failing to enter their attacking half for a good ten minutes.
Movement of players and self belief meant they upped the anti. Becca Swift & Anna Parker working the opposition’s defence. Balls were now making their way up the pitch. Great link play from the Atkinson sisters – Jade and April, through to Verity MacMahon. Nomads were now thinking they needed to also work harder.
Lucky for Newmarket Sue Bullimore was on form and flurries of saves meant half time was still 0-0.
Town Settled into a smoother second half with Cassie Edgar-Ayms and Zoe Bailey proving they were now ready to fight hard with great one/two link ups; one of these Edgar-Ayms swift, smooth pass from the half way line found Tracy Cockerill on the left wing. Cockerill worked her way up pitch and fired a shot from top D into the corner of the goal. Nomads not happy being a goal down fought hard with corners coming their way thick and fast, but Swift wasn’t having any of it and continued to defend keeping any chance they had to wish-full thinking, gaining herself a unanimous man of the match.
Newmarket Ladies 1’s v Huntingdon Ladies 1’s: 3-1 win to Newmarket
Newmarket faced low end of table opposition Huntingdon at home this week.
The match was hard fought with both teams moving quick from defensive plays to their attacking D’s.
Newmarket wanted to improve on their performance and get a win to keep them at the top end of the table. Huntingdon proved a lot tougher oposition than their league position suggested. Despite this Newmarket were first to score through a penalty as Angel Fayers’ strike was stopped by a foot on the line. Louise Downs kept her cool and scored confidently. Huntingdon did not find reply for the first half but it was them who capitalised after the break from a fine angle after drawing Town’s keeper out of goal.
Beautiful link up with Gail Parkins, Tania Fisher and Hayley Stoneman gave Di Thomas a rebound shot at goal which took Newmarket ahead.
The pressure was now on for Newmarket to keep and extend their lead not allowing Huntingdon a sniff of any points. The possession battle was now won by Newmarket and movement was very positive. Isabel Hooley fired a beauty out of defence to Kerry Alderson on the wing-she passed to Stoneman who channelled the ball well passing to Beth Wombwell who expertly swept the ball in.
Tired legs began to show but Newmarket were in full control of the game the final score remaining 3-1.
The team now have a week off match play and then will face Spalding away on the 3rd November.