Newmarket began their seventh game of the season in the NE14 Hockey division 5NW away against March’s third team. The team were looking to get back to winning ways after last weeks hard fought draw against Spalding. With a third of the team arriving just before the start of the game after a navigation error, Newmarket just didnt get out of the blocks. The early passing, running of the ball and great ball pace of previous weeks were absent for most of the first half. Newmarket’s midfield were unable to dominate the game as they have become used to. The team were struggling to deal with the great distribution from March’s centre backs. Newmarket were cut apart at countless times and it was no surpirse that March took the lead and then doubled it just before half time.
At half time the team got together, improved the team shape, marking, discipline and ball pace and came out a different side after the break. Duncan Freed and Jordan Newnes really stood out at the back with some great tackling and distribution, Ollie Wade (despite playing with an hand injury) forced countless shortcorner from the left wing and Mark Pears began to find some space up front. After hitting the post from one short Corner with 20 minutes to go, William Wilson scored with a straight strike towards the bottom right corner. Newmarket were now rampant and playing all the game in the March half. With William Balding and Chris Leggett cutting out the clearances and Josh Dawson providing a menace on the right, there looked like there could only be one winner. Ollie Wade won another short corner which Wilson flicked just inside the left post to draw level at 2 – 2. He quickly scored the third to from another short corner with a flick to the top left corner, making the score 3 – 2 and claiming his hat-trick in the process.
With March now pushing for an equaliser there were lots of gaps at the back, Newmarket wasted a couple of overlaps but went 4 – 2 up with a mazy run from Mark Pears, which started on the half way line, beating three defenders and the goalkeeper before finishing. In a season when Newmarket have been used to steam rolling teams, coming from 2 goals behind against fourth in the league demonstrated great courage and the team should take a great deal of confidence from the resolve they showed.
Man of the match was Duncan Freed, who continues to improve weekly after a long absense with a serious knee injury. DotD was Will Wilso for attempting to send a car to March via Kings Lynn! Next weeks game is against Cambridge Nomads, 3:30 pushback at Newmarket Leisure Centre, supporters welcome.