Newmarket I 6-0 Spalding II
Goal Scorers – Josh Dawson x 3, Ollie Wade, Mike Skelton & Will Wilson
Newmarket entertained Spalding at home in division 4NW of the East League on a chilly afternoon in January. With Newmarket having won all seven home games, conceding only 2 goals and keeping 6 clean sheets in the process, they looked forward to entertaining a Spalding team who had moved up to third in the league having won all but one of their away games.
The game started at a frenetic pace, Spalding pressed high and played with genuine wingers on both flanks, this created a very open game with lots of fast attacking play by both teams. Newmarket’s keeper Chris Routs was in action first, making a smart reaction save to keep the game scoreless. Newmarket began to organise themselves. Jordan Newnes marked the dangerous centre forward out of the game, leaving central defensive partner Simon Harrington free to pick up the loose ball and distribute well.
Newmarket began to dominate the game, with the space the Spalding formation allowed, Newmarket had plenty of space to hurt the opposition. The team forced several penalty corners after good play from forwards Matthew Holden, Mark Pears and Michael Skelton. Unfortunately the team were unable to capitalise. They took the lead through open play when Josh Dawson beat his man on the right wing, drove the line and squared for Ollie Wade to tap in. Spalding continued to cause Newmarket problems on the break, but with Alex Andreou and Chris Leggett working hard in the middle to win the ball back Newmarket were making their quality count. Andreou was distributing the ball to full backs William Wilson and David Worrall at great pace, giving them time to drive forward from deep, several more chances went begging before Dawson scored, deflecting the ball into the roof of the net from a penalty corner.
Wilson scored the third, beating a couple of players on the 25, Spalding parted like the Red Sea, allowing the defender into the D, he sent the keeper the wrong way to score with an undercut. Dawson then added his second, the games fourth after a goal mouth scramble. The half time whistle went with Newmarket four goals to the good.
Spalding came out for the second half with a similar intent to the first, pressing high up and pitch and attacking at pace whenever the opportunity arose. Newmarket managed to score a fifth from a short corner routine, Dawson tapping in Wilson’s pass.
Spalding then caught Newmarket on the break to overload the defence and score a deserved goal of their own, but it didn’t disrupt the flow of the game. Mike Skelton added the sixth after playing a succession of one twos between himself and Mark Pears before finishing into the corner. Newmarket could have added to their tally, had the last ball been a little more accurate on more than one occasion.
Despite the score line, Spalding provided Newmarket with a stern test and on this form, Spalding must be an outside bet for Promotion. Man of the match was Mark Pears. He was everywhere, tireless running the channels, bringing team mates into the game, Skelton’s goal, for which Pears played a major role must have been on the of the team’s best of the season. Ollie Wade ran him close, the left midfielder is really developing and gives great cover for his fallback while also offering plenty going forward.
Next week the team are away at Long Sutton, who themselves have a very strong home record, with second place City of Peterborough drawing Newmarket have extended their lead to 5 points as they look to get promotion to 3NW wrapped up as quickly as possible.