Newmarket Ladies 1’s v St Ives 2’s: 1-0 win to Newmarket
Facing St Ives for the first time this season the Newmarket ladies first team knew their opposition were going to be tricky as few teams had managed to score many past their strong defence. Playing at home Newmarket had the advantage of a crowd of supporters which fired them up making the start of the game electric as Town took the ball straight to the St Ives goalmouth. Shots were flying from Claire McDonnell, Louise Downs, Di Thomas and Beth Wombwell. The St Ives keeper stood solid and read the game well. Newmarket were passing the ball around neatly; Lydia Evans drove the ball down the right side and crossed to Downs who had made a promising run but could not quite reach the travelling ball.
St Ives began to find their feet in the game and as Town’s passing looked a little loose-they away team were quick to intercept causing Sue Bullimore to use her kicking skills in goal. Jazz Wombwell ceased the opportunity when a St Ives player spilled the ball mid pitch-she passed centrally to Claire McDonnell; she skipped passed two opposing players and slotted the ball to Hayley Stoneman. She manoeuvred around the focused defence and clipped it goal-wards; the keeper dived to try and reach the ball and an ‘on post’ defender tried to get her stick to the shot but the accuracy of the attempt meant a goal was inevitable.
The second half of the game was tense for Town and they wanted to extend their lead to secure the 3 points. St Ives were on the back foot once more but Newmarket were unable to hit the target. With tempers now beginning to fray on both teams the umpires had to regain control. The ball seemed to be nestled in midfield for the majority of that half and play was looking more even as both teams backed off tackles. Nevertheless Newmarket were looking comfortable on the ball and relaxed better than their opposition and for a passage of ten minutes were camped in the St Ives defensive zone.
The last 5 minutes of the game was incredibly tense as St Ives were executing a final push to get some points. Some crucial saves and interceptions from Bullimore, Nikki Boyle and Isabel Hooley kept Town in front. The relief was evident on the Newmarket teams’ faces as the final whistle went. The victory takes Town to the top of the league as they edge Wisbech on goal difference. With just one cup game left before Christmas this means Newmarket will be new year league leaders.
Newmarket Ladies 2s V’s Cambridge City Ladies 4s (Saturday 8th December – at Newmarket)
The ladies 2s were at home to Cambridge City 4s on Saturday and with the knowledge that Newmarket had successfully well and truly beaten them in a match at the start of the season, they hoped for another good win. The possession was evenly matched in the first half but an early goal from Verity MacMahon from some great passing in the midfield from Zoe Bailey, Loren Davenport and Rebecca Swift gave Newmarket the lead. Cambridge City were quick to come back with a goal too however. Cassie Aymes then swept the ball crashing over the line in style; it will possibly be the goal of the season. Tracy Cockerill showed she wasn’t missing out on the goal action either and made it 3-1 to Newmarket going into the second half. The score remained at 3-1 giving Newmarket another win under their belt and going into the Christmas break, on form for their next match in the New Year.
St Neots Men’s 1st XI 1 – 6 Newmarket Men’s 1st XI
Goal scorers: Mark Pears x 2, Josh Dawson x 2, Will Wilson and Chris Leggett
Newmarket travelled the short distance to St Neots with a squad of 12 determined to keep the pressure on first placed Wisbech. With St Neots at the opposite end of the table Newmarket expected to dominate and the majority of the game was played in the St Neots half with keeper Chris Routs only touching the ball once (getting it out of the net after their goal).
Newmarket scored their first goal after around 5 minutes from a penalty corner routine, Josh Dawson’s deflection was saved by the keeper, Mark Pears blocked the clearance and Dawson slammed home the loose ball.
Dawson scored the second soon after, Matt Holden won the penalty corner, Dawson deflecting Ollie Wade’s pass into the net. Newmarket were well on top, but in a rare St Neots visit into the Newmarket 25, Newmarket won the ball back, the full backs bombed on to support the attack but possession was conceded in the Newmarket half, leaving men unmarked in the D for a simple far post deflection. That’s the third goal this season the team have conceded in that fashion, something they will need to iron out in the future if keeper Routs is to maintain his sanity!
The goal didn’t seem to derail Newmarket’s attacking instincts, With Chris Leggett and Mike Skelton controlling the game in the middle and forwards running well off the ball. Mark pears scored the third from another penalty corner, before Wilson scored the goal of the game from the fifth penalty corner, beating a couple of men at the top of the D and firing into the bottom right corner.
Chris Leggett sealed a man of the match performance in central midfield with the fifth, picking up a clearance at the top of the D and rocketing into the bottom left corner. Newmarket were 5-1 up at half time but coach Nic Thorpe was less than impressed with the lack of structure and discipline against weak opponents.
Newmarket improved in all areas second half but were only able to add one more goal to their tally, scored by Mark Pears after Simon Harrington’s foray forward, he picked Pears out at the far post for a tap in. Newmarket forced countless other penalty corners but found the St Neots keeper in great form, when he was beaten a defender on the line was on hand to clear.
Strong performances were from Josh Dawson at right wing who had the St Neots left back in all sorts of trouble, driving the baseline and pulling balls back. Jordan Newnes was commanding at centre back, distributing the ball well to the full backs and midfield. Mark Pears also played well up front, after ending his goal drought last week he now has 3 in 2 weeks.
With Wisbech also winning the team remain 1 point behind, the game against them at home on 26th January looking increasingly important, some exercise and restraint on turkey consumption will be required during the Christmas break if Newmarket want to ensure they are promoted as champions!
Newmarket Mens 2’s v Grantham: 4-0 win to Newmarket
After some good wins over the previous few weeks, Newmarket Mens 2’s where looking to build on the momentum gained from these wins. With Mark Prentice returning from his Antipodean Adventure, and Ben Shepperson gracing us after returning from University, Newmarket where able to field a full strength side once again.
This strength showed from the start with opponents Grantham immediately on the back foot while Newmarket pressed hard for the first goal which came from the stick of goal machine Will Hosegood, 1-0 Newmarket. The home team continued to press looking for another goal to consolidate their superiority with the midfield duo of Adam Gallop and Ben Gottfredson dominating throughout the midfield, supported ably by wingers Sam Imrie and Will Balding, Grantham had no answer to Newmarket’s rampant attack and a second goal was inevitable. Up steps that man Hosegood again to calmly slot in his and Newmarket’s second. 2-0 Newmarket, and this is how the half ended.
The second half began, as so often before, with Newmarket continuing where they left off, with Gallop and Gottfredson dominating and Grantham unable to contain the speed and skill of Imrie and Balding.
Grantham did have their moments however, but whenever they looked like breaking away, the defence of Mark Prentice, Darren Jenkins, Adrian Atkinson and Pete Boyle snuffed out the danger without fuss. Except for one moment, when a slight lapse from Atkinson, which did nothing to blight what was an outstanding performance, allowed a Grantham striker in, one on one, with young keeper Jon-Luke Peagram. However Peagram was more than up to the challenge, and with bravery and consummate timing made a fantastic save that kept the score at 2-0.
Newmarket took hold of the game again, led by some surging runs from Ben Shepperson, who finally saw some return for his labours to hit the back of the net to make the score 3-0 to Newmarket. And still Newmarket where hungry for more so Shepperson took on the task and again rifled a smart strike into the goal, 4-0 Newmarket.
This is how the game ended, with a superb win against difficult opponents which was thoroughly deserved.