Boston 2 – 3 Newmarket
Goal Scorers – Will Wilson, Ben Gotfredsen, Josh Dawson
Newmarket travelled away to Boston, their sixth away game before Christmas. With the closet away game having been against Peterborough everybody is looking forward to much shorter journeys in the New Year.
After a very sharp warm up Newmarket started well, dominating possession from the start, Mike Skelton and Mark Pears moved off the ball well, and it soon became clear that it was the Boston strategy to defend deep and to try and prevent Newmarket playing through them. After a swift attack featuring Chris Leggett and Josh Dawson Newmarket won their first penalty corner of the game, Will Wilson rattled the backboards from the top of the D.
Newmarket continued to dominate but as in previous weeks the team often made the wrong decision in the final third of the pitch. With the defence of Will Balding, Simon Harrington, Jordan Newnes and Ollie Wade pushing high, Newmarket were undone with a aerial over the top down the middle of the pitch, Boston broke at pace to beat keeper Chris Routs and forcing an equaliser.
Unperturbed Newmarket went forward again and soon went back in front, good work by Ollie Wade down the left created space for Ben Gotfredsen, his cross was deflected into the net by a Boston defender for his first goal of the season. Newmarket expected to go on now and assert their authority, Holden won another penalty corner, which was slipped to wade, and his pass was deflected in by Dawson through the keeper’s legs.
The half time whistle went with Newmarket leading by three goals to one. Captain Will Wilson demanded that his team sent a message to the league by going into the Christmas break having not let themselves down in the last league match of the year. In fairness the team listened to his words and dominated possession for the second half, but they were incapable of scoring. At some point it almost became a competition to see who could miss from the closest distance.
The first candidate was Gotfredsen, Wilson beat a couple of men and drove the line, the keeper guess the ball was being cut back, Wilson rolled the ball along the line for Gotfredsen who seemed to freeze and only react when the ball had passed the far post, when he then pushed the ball wide. The team looked round in disbelief, certain that they had made up their mind who was going to win the prestigious dick of the day award.
Minutes later Mark Pears decided to stake his claim, Wilson intercepted in the left back position before playing the ball down the line, Pears kept it in and released it to Skelton who played a quick pass to Holden whom returned it to Pears down the right wing, the ball was out of reach of the on rushing keeper and just in front of Pears who took a few touches without ever gaining full control of the ball and managed to dribble the ball into the side of the goal. The last miss was unbelievable, this one was just comical. Gotfredsen breathed a huge sigh of relief!
Boston punished Newmarket when they broke from another Newmarket attack, the young midfielder running from his own half beating a couple of players, Keeper Chris Routs and centre back Harrington’s despairing dive still allowed him to slot it into the far corner. It was now game on and Newmarket were fortunate that keeper Routs made another sharp stop to keep Town in front.
There was then a flash point in what had been an otherwise good tempered game, after a short corner had broken down, the Boston keeper head butted Mike Skelton, the umpire saw the offence and issued a straight red card. Resulting in an interruption to play whilst a substitute keeper was kitted up by Boston. There was still time on the clock and Boston continued to put up a spirited display that belies their position at the bottom of the table. The game remained tense, but drifted to a conclusion, Newmarket got the three points they craved, but hadn’t pulled up any trees.
Newmarket’s inability to take their chances has been a real feature over the last month, the game wasn’t helped by the local football team who seemed able to frequently kick the ball on the pitch whenever Newmarket where threatening. A bigger issue was missing two open goals and converting only two of sixteen penalty corners. This is something that really needs to be worked on for 2012 to make sure the team ram home their advantage and achieve the promotion they crave.
Man of the match was Chris Leggett for an outstanding use of the ball and covering every part of the pitch, dick of the day was Mark Pears. The next league game is at home against Peterborough on Saturday 14th January 2012.