Long Sutton II 2 – 3 Newmarket I
Goal scorers: Mike Skelton, Will Wilson x 2
After the disappointment of Horncastle conceding the team’s last home game of the season the previous week, the team travelled for their last trip of the season to Lincolnshire, hoping they won’t have to visit the county at all next season! With their opponents having drawn at home with second placed Peterborough and beaten third and fourth placed Alford and Bourne Deeping respectively, the team expected a tough game.
Newmarket were fortunate that Long Sutton were able to provide two umpires so the game could take place. The day was unseasonably warm for March and the warm up was distinctly average, but Newmarket started well. With Dave Worrall re-filling the pen holders at work, Captain Will Wilson moved right winger Josh Dawson to full back and centre forward Mark Pears onto the wing.
Newmarket started brilliantly, almost scoring in the first minute after a wonderful passing move involving every player. Forwards Matt Holden and Mike Skelton linked up brilliantly with the midfield four of Pears, Ollie Wade, Chris Leggett & Alex Andreou. Newmarket through a combination of poor finishing and good keeping were unable to take the lead.
After about 10 minutes the game was stopped for an injury to Wade, he went in for challenge with the Sutton centre back, who Newmarket felt intentionally went through the man, knocking his front teeth out. With promotion secured and the second team fighting for promotion, Newmarket had only taken 11 players and were fortunate that Wade was able to play on.
Newmarket did take the lead from another free flowing move, Chris Leggett played the ball into Holden, who squared for Skelton to slam home. Newmarket continued to press for a second, Holden winning many short corners which when Long Sutton didn’t defend well Newmarket wasted. By their fifth short corner of the game the team almost got it right, Harrington rocket striking the defenders foot on the line, Wilson stepped up and converted the penalty flick doubling the lead.
Newmarket were reduced to 10 men minutes before the interval. Having beaten a man at the top of the D, Andreou wound up to shoot, just before he connected with the ball he was taken out by what looked to many as a spear tackle straight from a rugby field. Having been involved in one tussle already, it was perhaps a little surprising that some form of punishment wasn’t issued to the centre back. To rub salt in the wound Andreou was green carded for swearing, which was subsequently upgraded to a yellow, leaving many scratching their heads while the Long Sutton defender lined up to defend the short corner.
Newmarket held out when down to 10 and when Andreou returned pushed on for more goals, with the keeper beaten Skelton was unable to put it past the defender on the line, and others wasted good opportunities. One a warm day, Newmarket began to tire and the younger Long Sutton side started to hit Newmarket on the break. From one counter the umpire deemed a jab tackle from Wilson to have been a foul, Long Sutton’s drag flick expert stepped up and confused keeper Chris Routs with a slower ball to his bottom right corner.
Newmarket went back on the attack looking to re-establish their 2 goal lead. Holden won another short corner which Wilson flicked into the top left hand corner, making the score 3-1. To their credit Long Sutton didn’t give up and forced 3 or 4 more short corners of their own, one of which Harrington abandoned his post allowing Long Sutton to score in the other bottom corner. With the clock running down, Newmarket played possession hockey and kept the ball in the top left corner until the final whistle went. The score line suggests a close game, but if Newmarket could convert a higher percentage of the many chances they create, they would have been out of sight by half time.
Man of the match was Josh Dawson for an assured display at right back, dick of the day was Simon Harrington, for a combination of the DIY on his glove box and abandoning his post! Next week is the last game of the 4NW season away at St Ives. The team will be looking for their 20th win from 22 games, taking them to 61 points ensuring they are at least 16 points clear of whoever finishes in second place.
We are the Champions!
Newmarket I 1 Vs 0 Bourne Deeping II
Goal scorer: Josh Dawson
Newmarket went into this home match knowing a draw would secure promotion with four games to go and a win would clinch the championship if second placed Peterborough lost at third placed Alford. With the second team playing a promotion decider away at Cambridge South, Newmarket had just 11 players. With Mike Skelton locked in the beer shed the team were pleased a bronzed Alex Andreou returned from holiday.
Bourne Deeping has been the only team to have beaten Newmarket this season and again with their experienced players were again a tough opposition to play against. Newmarket were clearly the better side, centre backs Simon Harrington and Jordan Newnes distributing the ball wide to either full backs Will Wilson or Dave Worrall. Bourne Deeping did try to press high, but this just created space for Chris Leggett and Andreou in the centre. With Ollie Wade and Josh Dawson working hard on the flanks, most of the game was played in Deepings half without Newmarket creating too many clear cut chances, all too often the final pass was rushed or not accurate enough, until the twentieth minute.
With the first real move of quality, Worrall played the ball into Mark Pears, he created space before playing the ball to Matt Holden who was running into the channel, and his pin pointed cross was met by Josh Dawson, who deflected it in on the far post at full stretch. Newmarket coasted the rest of the first half without looking troubled or likely to score themselves.
The second half was a rather scrappy affair, with both teams losing their cool and the game deteriorating as a spectacle. Bourne Deeping did force a couple of penalty corners, drawing keeper Chris Routs into one save, with the rest well defended by the team and particularly number one runner Newnes, who managed to close the top of the D down very quickly.
Newmarket’s short corners weren’t going well with the sticky ball proving very difficult to drag out on the dry Astroturf. Newmarket created quite a few opportunities but too often were unable to play the right final pass. Captain Wilson and midfielder Leggett were both shown a green card for one show of petulance too many as the game meandered to a conclusion.
The final Whistle went, it was a disappointing game, but it has been a fantastic season. With promotion assured, the team discovered in the bar afterwards as other results came in that they had clinched their second successive promotion with four games to spare, the first team in the East League to do so.
Man of the match was Ollie Wade, who was full of running and trickery in the left flank, he was pushed close by both Chris Leggett and Jordan Newnes. Dick of the Day was Simon Harrington to twice attempting and failing to hit the ball off the astro so the team could change it.
Next week the team are away at March Town, looking to score the 3 goals they need to be the first team to break the 100 goal barrier this season. The game starts in March at 4pm, spectators are welcome to come along, support and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere that next week opponents provide.
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.
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.
Newmarket 7 – 0 March II
Goal scorers – Ollie Wade x 2, Mark Pears, Mike Skelton, Matt Holden, Will Wilson and Adam Gallop
Newmarket were missing 3 regulars for this blustery November match, captain Will Wilson called up Will Balding and Adam Gallop from the second team and moved himself into midfield to rekindle last seasons effective central midfield partnership with Chris Leggett. They faced a March side with a poor away record so expected to rack up win number 9 from their tenth league game of the season.
Newmarket dominated from the off, creating and squandering many good chances. Man of the match Matt Holden wrecked havoc down the right hand side, combined with Mike Skelton and Mark Pears movement up front meant March couldn’t contain the team.
Wilson almost broke the deadlock, clipping the post from the top of the D before Mark Pears broke the deadlock. Mike Skelton slammed the second home at waist height shortly afterwards. Goal keeper Chris Routs was a virtual spectator, with the defence well marshalled by the experienced Simon Harrington. The big centre back has been working hard at improving his fitness and the team are starting to notice the benefit. Together with Dave Worrall, Jordan Newnes and Will Balding they moved the ball well round the back, changing the point of attack.
Newmarket were unlucky not to be awarded a flick when a March player stopped a Holden goal bound effort with his shoulder. Newmarket were 2 goals to the good at half time but were determined to extend their lead in the second half.
Matt Holden scored the third from a goal mouth scramble lifting the ball over the goalkeeper. Will Wilson scored the fourth with a flick from a short corner. Newmarket were now rampant and scored a great team goal for the fifth. A move that involved almost every player culminated with Ollie Wade beating his man, and cutting into the D where he beat the goalie at the near post.
Adam Gallop capped a solid display tapping home Skelton’s cross to finish another sweeping move. Wilson rattled the post again from another penalty corner before Ollie Wade capped a fine performance with his second and the teams seventh goal from a short corner.
In truth March battled well and didn’t give in but the game wasn’t really a contest, Newmarket expects much more of a battle in the next 2 games away against Horncastle and Boston. Two victories should send the team into Christmas with a bit of breathing space at the top!
Bourne Deeping II 3 – 1 Newmarket I
Newmarket travelled north to Deeping St James knowing that if they won and results went their way they would be 8 points clear by the end of the day. Bourne Deeping had other ideas and provided Newmarket with their stern test, and one ultimately they weren’t able to match.
With Worrall unable to play due to work commitments and Dawson in Lapland seeking work for the festive period, Newmarket took a bare eleven to Deeping. They started well carving out a great opportunity in the first 30 seconds. Newmarket eventually took the lead in the 10th minute. Alex Andreou’s hit from outside the 25 rebounding of the post leaving Mark Pears with a tap in. Matt Holden was instrumental in winning numerous penalty corners, Deeping defended them well with 2 of Andreou’s strikes being cleared of the line.
Deeping mounted a few of the own attacks mainly down their right hand side, from one attack goal-keeper Routs made a sharp stop, deflected into the forwards foot, he squared to a team mate who scored. Newmarket felt aggrieved as it was a clear foot, but Deepings umpire didn’t see the offence and couldn’t give something he hadn’t seen. Deeping soon scored a second goal, Newnes was harshly adjudged to have intentionally put the ball over the backline, from the resulting short corner, Harrington went missing at the far post and Deeping capitalised.
Newmarket created plenty of chances of their own, Pears could have done with more composure in front of goal, twice missing first time efforts when he had time to take a touch. Skelton had the opportunity to finish of another move but took too long to get his shot of allowing a defender to clear with the goal gaping. Deeping then made it three from another short corner when the strike wriggled through the logging keepers pads into the back of the net.
The half time whistle went, Newmarket did feel that the umpires hadn’t applied the rules consistently on the first half but were determined to re double their efforts in the second half. Newmarket had the majority of the game, despite having Chris Leggett deservedly sent off for dissent. The team wasted a couple more penalty corners, before Will Wilson glanced the post with a flick from the top of the D. When Chris Leggett returned to the pitch they continued to dominate, Skelton won a penalty flick, which Captain Wilson wasted allowing the keeper to make a save. Newmarket started to feel it wasn’t their day.
This was compounded with 5 minutes to go when both teams had a man each for sent off, Andreou was fouled by the Deeping centre midfielder several times. With the new self pass rule, preventing the opponent tackling for 5 yards sometimes giving a decision can now be an advantage. As it was both players suffered as a direct result of the umpires not taking charge of the game. With the opponent towering over him Andreou tried to get off the floor, only for the Deeping player to try and head butt him. For some reason the young umpire felt both players deserved a red card, leaving Newmarket and many spectators scratching their head in disbelief.
This should detract from the Market Deeping performance, they took their chances and therefore warranted the victory. Newmarket made many individual errors and didn’t take any of the numerous chances on offer. The only players to come out with credit were stand in right back Ben Gotfredsen, left midfield Ollie “keep it positive” Wade and man of the match Mike Skelton.
Next week Newmarket are at home to March, the team will look to get over this week’s blip and return to the championship form they have demonstrated all season.
Newmarket town 4 Peterborough Town 0.
Newmarket kept up their 100% start to the leagues season with a convincing win over 3rd placed Peterborough.
With Ben Gottfredsen unavailable due to work commitments Will Hosegood was drafted in for his first team debut.
Newmarket started brightly and dominated precession from the outset. As the understanding between Pears and Skelton develops each week Newmarket’s front two were yet again a constant threat.
Town took the lead through Will Wilson when the skipper rifled home a loose ball after a short corner broke down.
Peterborough came back into the game for a period but had no outlet as Jordan Newnes dominated their lone forward.
A quick exchange of passes in the midfield followed by a wonderfully waited through pass from Skelton set Pears on his way. The forwards electric pace took him through on goal, his composure took him round the keeper and only a Peterborough foot on the line prevented a second. Pears stepped up and coolly converted the resulting penalty stroke.
At 2 -0 up Peterborough may well have had a lifeline but the agility of Chris Routs in the Town goal. Largely a spectator for so many games this season Routs took the opportunity to remind everybody of his class. Further smart saves, including a brilliant diving save with his stick earned him a well deserved man of the match award.
As the half drew to a close Dawson made it 3, arriving late to tap in following yet another flowing move.
Both teams let them selves down in the second half. Ill discipline resulted in a flurry of cards which saw Worral, Andreou who and 2 Peterborough players spend periods on the side line.
Newmarket continued to dominate and Skelton capped another fine performance with the town fourth.
Next week Newmarket travel to 2nd place Bourne Deeping hoping for a similar performance without the silly yellow cards.7 November 2011
Alford & District 2 – 3 Newmarket
Goal scorers – Will Wilson, Matt Holden & Mike Skelton
Newmarket made the long trip to Skegness to take on the team that they were promoted with last year and fellow title challengers -Alford. Who had won their last home game 16-2, but then lost heavily away last week.
Newmarket won the toss and took control of the game from the first whistle. The team moved the ball from one flank to the other changing the point of attack with ease. The defence of Dave Worrall, Jordan Newnes, Simon Harrington and Will Wilson snuffed out any attacks and kept goal keeper Chris Routs a spectator for much of the half.
With a squad of 13, midfielders Chris Leggett, Ben Gotfredsen, Alex Andreou, Ollie Wade & Josh Dawson made good use of the rolling substitutions. They were able to find forwards Matt Holden, Mike Skelton and Mark Pears to create numerous goal scoring chances. Unfortunately the team were unable to capitalise on all these opportunities, either from open play or penalty corners. Credit must go to the Alford keeper for plenty of smart saves, but all too often the team wasted good goal scoring chances.
Alford occasionally threatened on the break, forcing a penalty corner which was well defended by Newnes, and a routine stop from Routs at the near post. With the first half drawing to a conclusion, Matt Holden was fouled in the D, the umpire awarded a penalty corner. Captain Will Wilson stepped up and flicked the ball into the roof of the net above the logging keeper to give Newmarket the advantage. From the next penalty corner, Dawson deflected Harrington’s short corner onto the post, with Alford clearing the ball to safety.
The half time whistle went with Newmarket, one goal to the good. It wasn’t a reflection of the half which Newmarket had completely dominated. In truth four or five goals would not have flattered Newmarket. In the second half, Alford re-shuffled their formation and gave Newmarket more problems than they should have done. About 10 minutes into the half, Alford scored from their second penalty corner of the game, the striker beating the number one runner and flicking the ball off the inside of the post and into the back of the net.
This was now a test of the teams character, they have been used to steamrollering teams this year and they were now in real fight. Newmarket went back on the front foot and Ollie Wade won a free hit just outside the Alford D, Wilson picked out right back Worrall, he passed down the line to Dawson whose first team cross was deflected in by Mike Skelton. It was just reward for his tireless work rate, when the team were with and without the ball.
Newmarket were now on the front foot but vulnerable to being hit on the break. Will Wilson hit the bar from another penalty corner before Newmarket scored their third goal, Matt Holden tapping in after a good move involving Worrall, Pears and Skelton. Newmarket seemed to relax and drop deeper allowing Alford back into the game, Alford began to force a few penalty corners and only some last ditch defending prevented them from profiting from them.