Newmarket win top of the table showdown

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.