Newmarket 1 – 0 Cambridge South
Newmarket entertained a strong Cambridge South team from the league above for a friendly match the week before the second half of season commences next week. With former South player Mark Pears in Newmarket starting eleven, Newmarket know that their opposition were very organised a didn’t concede many, having conceded one less than Newmarket so far this season.
Newmarket were without regulars Josh Dawson, Mike Skelton, Dave Worrall and Ben Gottfredsen but were able to field a strong line up. With Chris Routs in goal, a strong back four of Will Wilson, Simon Harrington, Jordan Newnes and debutant kiwi tourist Drew Valoral. The defence marshalled the opposition pacy attack well and created a strong platform for the midfield of Adam Gallop, Ollie Wade, Chris Leggett and Alex Andreou.
Upfront Matthew Holden and Mark Pears, put in a great shift running the channels and forcing numerous penalty corners. As has become unfortunately become the norm this season Newmarket wasted the half dozen penalty corners, having practiced them onm Thursday the absence of key men Skelton and Dawson had an impact. Cambridge South had a couple of short corners of their and Newmarket were grateful to Routs for a couple of good stops.
For the first time this season, Newmarket went into the interval with the game scoreless. At half time the teams spoke about the fact there would only be a goal in it at the end and there were to be proved right.
With 15 minutes to go, the game was still scoreless, but it was also becoming quite stretched as both teams suffered the effects of too much turkey and 3 weeks off! Fortunately it was Newmarket that got the goal, Wilson recovering from a appalling first touch to square to Holden and the top of the D, he rifled the ball against the back boards.
With 10 minutes to go, Harrington limped off with cramp, Valoral moved into the centre and Will Balding slotted in at right back, Newmarket held on to keep the momentum going before next weeks important match at home to City of Peterborough 6.
The team should be very proud if winning a hard game, performances of note were he defensive unit, Chris Leggett and Alex Andreou who played very well in a stretched midfield and Matt Holden up front, whose movement and tricky caused South problems all game. Newmarket still need to nail their penalty corners if they are going to record the scores that their play warrants.