Valentines Weekend Results

Newmarket Men’s 1st   13 – 1   Lowestoft Railway Men’s 1st

After and intense well attended midweek training session Newmarket approached this game with a different mind-set to last week’s disappointing draw away at lowly Magpies.

With Harry Bell, Dave Worrall and Captain Ed Griffith still injured and Ben Barclay (nee Gottfredsen) working the club called up veteran Alex Andreou from the seconds and were grateful that James Atkinson completed his weekend homework on Friday evening and was allowed out to play.

Railway actually started the first couple of minutes on top, but a sweeping team move starting with Mark Pears at right back via Chris Leggett, onto William Wilson who fed Alex Andreou, played in James McTaggart behind the full back who crossed for Josh Dawson to score from close range.

It’s impossible to remember the detail of the flurry of other goals, but most were well constructed with the team moving the ball quickly and at pace. Lowestoft suffered an injury at 5-1 and with no subs were forced to play the rest of the game with only 10 men, although the way Newmarket were playing it didn’t have a significant impact on the score.

It was a super response to the week before when the team seemed incapable of making the right decisions and Lowestoft were grateful that their keeper made some brilliant saves especially tipping a rasping undercut form McTaggart over the bar.

Ten of the teams goals came from open play with Josh Dawson, Mike Skelton, Alex Andreou and Chris Leggett scoring two each and Matthew Holden and James McTaggart scoring one each. Will Wilson bagged himself a set piece hat trick with 2 penalty comer strikes and a penalty flick after a goal bound effort was stopped on the line by a foot.

Man of the match was tricky, Mike Skelton was outstanding as always, Jordan Newnes was more vocal and distributed well from centre back, Mark Pears penetrated well from right back, but the key man of the day was Chris Leggett who anchored midfield well and held the fort when the cavalry charged forward.

Winning is fun and the last fortnight has demonstrated that training does have an impact, see you all on Wednesday as we look to keep the momentum up until the end of the season.

Wisbech Town Ladies 3’s v Newmarket Ladies 3’s: 2 – 0 to Wisbech

When asked the question what would you rather be doing on Valentines Day; a romantic meal with a significant other or playing hockey in Wisbech at 4pm, I think we all know the answer. Like myself, the lure of Wisbech proved too strong for 12 intrepid Newmarket Ladies 3s players and 1 still crocked captain.

 Now, Wisbech are sitting 3rd in the league comfortably clear of 4th and pushing for promotion. Newmarket despite many excellent performances this season are 9th. Wisbech may have been expecting a comfortable home win, they would be mistaken.

 The game started as results may have suggested, Wisbech came at Newmarket and much of the play was in Newmarket’s half. The back line of Pegg, Maczkiewcz, Peacock and Barnes were rocked back, but remained unbroken. The few shots on target were confidently swotted away by keeper Spiers. Suddenly Newmarket picked up the ball on the left rapidly drove forward into the D and flashed a shot narrowly wide. This seemed to galvanise Newmarket into greater adventure and for the rest of the half they took control of the game. Wisbech were incredibly lucky to reach half-time 0v0.

 The second half started in much the same way as the first had, Wisbech pressure and Newmarket dogged defending. The midfield of Hansgate, Wilmott, Logan and Fairweather, continued to harass Wisbech, breaking up attacks and launching balls forward for Atherton, Abbersteen and Jones.

A key moment occurred with 15 minutes left. Jones drove up the left leaving Wisbech’s number 9 (who she had had a running battle with all game) trailing in her wake and slipped the ball across the face of goal to Atherton, who had skillfully drifted into space as Wisbech ball-watched. Her strike unfortunately for Newmarket slipped past the keepers near post.

 With 10 minutes left the score remained 0v0. However, in their captain, Wisbech have a shining jewel of Div 4 hockey. Whether it was running down Newmarket shorts, breaking up attacks, distributing the ball around the pitch or striking Wisbech’s own shorts she was everywhere and it was her playing of the ball into the Newmarket D which led to a general melee from which a Wisbech stick pushed the ball goalwards. Peacock on her own goaline cleared the ball away to presumed safety, but to Newmarket’s surprise a goal was given and Wisbech had an undeserved lead. A second goal was added late on as Newmarket pushed for an equaliser and tired legs allowed greater gaps to appear.

 In narrow defeats to Haverhill 2s and Wisbech 3s, Newmarket Ladies 3s have proven they are a challenge for any team in the league. With a run in to the end of the season devoid of a top 3 opponent, Newmarket are looking in a very good position to add to their 3 wins so far and push up into mid table.

 MoM: Jess Logan

Teddy: Georgia Atherton and Bea Jones

Team Played: Ela Maczkiewicz, Rach Pegg, Claire Spiers, Bea Jones, Lydia Wilmott, Rebecca Barnes, Jess Logan, Phoebe Peacock, Emily Fairweather, Georgia Atherton, Charlotte Abbersteen, Helen Hansgate

Bury St Edmunds Ladies 2’s v Newmarket Ladies 1’s: 3 – 6

 Newmarket were expecting a very challenging match against a similar ability Bury St Edmunds, and were also missing a handful of their regular players. However it seemed Bury were also in the same situation and it was evident that both sides were struggling to link through unfamiliar positioning.

Newmarket felt confident however and Coach Nic Thorpe said the key to getting the ball forward was to play the back and round passes instead of trying to force play through the middle where Bury were strongest.

Town were fuelled and firing on all cylinders as it only took a few minutes to hit the backboards. Some beautiful left to right passing created a free hit opportunity at the 5 meter line. Di Thomas took a quick tap to Claire McDonnell who had made a skilfully timed run to receive the ball before the D and she cracked and under arm shot that unsighted the keeper and Town were off the mark.

Confidence started to build as well as the pace for Newmarket. Bury were still looking composed on the ball, however Newmarket were able to pass round their opposition and around the 10 minute mark Town got their first short corner. Captain Faye Andreou delivered the goods-taking the ball top D she unleashed a screamer into the bottom left corner.

The pace of the game and unfamiliar ‘warm’ weather meant legs were already starting to tire and both sides had to use substitutions to rejuvenate.

A stick tackle from the final Newmarket defender forced a penalty stroke. Julie Dunger stepped up for Bury but Jade Atkinson in the Newmarket goal read the shot extremely well and got a stick to it to clear it wide.

Town were still looking a little loose in the midfield area as players struggled to track in coming runners and left a gap for the defence to have to manage but solid work from Tania Fisher, Zoe Bailey and April Atkinson meant Lydia Evans and Loren Davenport could remain wide to receive through balls.

Another text book strike on a short corner from Andreou gave Town a 3-0 cushion however the lack of tracking back again from Newmarket gave Bury their first goal from open play just before the break.

Kerry Alderson was unlucky to be green carded and sent for a short break after the umpire mistakenly confused her with Thomas and claimed she had already been warned about tackling too early on free hits. She was to return shortly after the second half whistle only to receive a ricochet ball to the head keeping her on the sideline. A big loss for Town who then missed her darting runs and accurate tackles.

Realising that Bury were not going to let the match escape them Newmarket had to up their game and man mark – Vicky Sievewright working incredibly hard to get ahead of her player and Donna Keates tirelessly running up front fighting for every ball.

McDonnell capitalized again not long after half time – receiving the ball from a terrific run from April Atkinson. Bury fought back and scored a beaut of their own from the right after skilfully working into the D taking the score to 4 – 2.

First team debutant Anna Sambrook showed skills and play reading beyond her 16 years and she picked up a ball on the right wing, drove down to the D and edged the ball over the line to give herself a 100% match scoring record for the 1’s. Superb entry into the side and winning her the player of the match accolade.

Andreou again was on her best short corner form and slammed another shot into the bottom left corner through the waiting defender’s legs to give herself a hat trick and 6 for her side.

Bury looked at their strongest towards the end as Town perhaps rested on their laurels as well as their feet leaving the opposition to run through un-tackled. Making the final score 3 – 6 taking Newmarket to joint 5th in the league out of 12 teams which is pretty impressive considering only getting promoted this season.