Newmarket Men’s 1s: 5-0 win vs Norwich Dragons Men’s 3s (Away)
(Holden 3, Bell, Dawson)
Newmarket’s opposition were promoted last year from 4NE and, despite being near the wrong end of the table, had only let in 21 goals and had been losing by the odd goal. Town this week wanted to build on what they had achieved the previous week, which ended a 3 game losing streak and sent them back to winning ways.
Newmarket were missing a few players, like in most previous games this season, through injury or being unable to play due to work commitments. Hrebeniak, McTaggart, De Burgh and Worrall were unavailable for selection, despite this the club have a large squad and the ability pull in players as and when.
Before the game, looking at the weather a wet, windy and cold day, it was looking like this game was going to a difficult one to play but the sun broke through, the clouds parted and the rain stopped which was the delight of the players. Captain Holden’s prep talk mentioned that he wanted to go on the attack right from the off, push high up the pitch and the team to tuck in their shirts. The game started at pace with the ball moving nicely on Dragon’s new 2nd pitch even with the slight bounciness, Newmarket within the first 5 mins got the opener from a move involving quick passing from Leggett, Smith and Skelton to feed Holden who with the help of the pitch managed to push the ball through the legs of Dragons keeper. 0-1. Town continued the high tempo they intended to play, movement down the right and left flank of Dawson and Bell forced Newmarket’s first penalty corner of the match. Newmarket gathered on top of the ‘D’ and decided to play the routine which had produced in previous weeks some close opportunities, the ball was injected to Skelton who killed the ball nicely for Bell to drag flick the ball into the net. 0-2. Newmarket’s first 15 minutes of play at this point had been of hard and fast hockey but Newmarket found themselves unable to keep the ball with the bounciness and thinking that this was too easy mentality, the opposition now pushing higher up the pitch Town’s defence of Harrington, Newnes, Jenkins and Wilson had to work that little extra to keep the Dragons at bay. Dragons came close to getting the goal they hadn’t really deserved but fortunately for Newmarket their Scotland over 50’s international keeper was there to ease the players’ minds and the opposition failed in their attempt. The game was then played with both teams playing end to end hockey, Dragons tried to push forward using the right wing but were unable to capitalise, with some good defending from Wilson and Leggett, but in the process Town’s positive and reliable midfielder Leggett turned his ankle and had to be replaced by 17-year-old Jonny “I like getting wet” Bunker. As the half continued Newmarket had felt a little disappointed with they were not playing with the high tempo of the first 15 mins and the half ended with Newmarket leading the game 2-0.
At half time skipper Holden talked about the first 15 mins in which Newmarket dominated and wanted to see the same fluid moving, fast paced game through which Town had produced their goals. Also a few words from the senior players all wanted to see us take the game to them and play the hockey that has in previous seasons seen Newmarket destroy teams.
Newmarket started the second half as they started the first with the ball moving for them nicely again using the wide men and playing higher up the field. The game being played high meant the two fullbacks Wilson and Jenkins were also able to make runs down the wing which led to Newmarket’s third goal, Wilson to Smith in the centre of the pitch who noticed Holden free down the centre, who rounded the keeper to slot home his second goal. 0-3. Newmarket had a comfortable 3 goal cushion, playing confident hockey and better mentally than when they went two up, looking more threating than previously. Town now had the opportunity to go on and dominate the rest of the half, Leggett now recovered from his turned ankle and was back playing in the role he has done so well this season in holding midfield. The Newmarket central midfield of Leggett, Skelton and Smith holding the ball and moving it to the wings were the threating force Newmarket had accustomed to in previous seasons. Good quick passing from the back line with Harrington and Newnes moving the ball left to right making Wilson and Jenkins move up the pitch pushing the Dragons back. The penultimate Newmarket goal came from the ball moving from right to left and slipped to Skelton who slipped the ball to Holden to fire in his 3rd goal of the game. 0-4. Newmarket were not done by any means and continued now to increase the goal tally, Skelton managed find Holden who reversed stick passed to find vice-captain Dawson on the back post to fire Newmarket 5-0. The remaining 10 mins were a little scrappy, both teams looking a little tired ended with no cards to either side and was on the whole played in good spirit.
Newmarket players showed they can keep their minds switched on for 70 mins and they can be steady as a rock and win any of the games in this league. 3NE is now looking a very even competition, most teams are only losing points by the odd goal. Town going into Christmas should be looking for the maximum 6 points and looking for a strong second half of the season. All players this week played well and should feel a little sense of achievement as now the team has won the last two games and have seen improvements.
Above: Man of the Match & hat-trick hero Matt Holden (left) shows off his medal alongside DOTD Will Wilson.
Newmarket Men’s 2s: 3-1 win vs Norwich Dragons Men’s 4s (Home) (Blades 2, Walker)
Newmarket Ladies’ 1s: 4-1 loss vs Long Sutton Ladies’ 1s (Away)
The icy winds and a long drive on Saturday could have been off-putting for the Ladies 1st team, but that didn’t stop them entering their game at Long Sutton with grit and determination. A strong start saw them using the width of the pitch, passing the ball out to Grace Evans and Tracy Cockerill and causing trouble to Sutton’s defence. However a very strong keeper meant that any shots on goal were saved easily. Having most of the possession so far, it was a surprise that Sutton got the first goal from an unstoppable short corner. Shortly after, another short corner was converted to a goal, leaving the score at 2-0 to Sutton at the end of the first half.
The Second half started with Sutton keeping possession, but superb clearances from Rebecca Bunning and some great tackles by Loren Davenport meant Newmarket were able to get back on the attack. The strong vision of Lydia Evans meant she could control the game in the centre of the pitch earning her man of the match. Unfortunately Sutton were able to put too much pressure on Newmarket’s defensive line, allowing them to slip 2 more goals past the keeper. A penalty flick given away by Captain Tanya Fisher caused a bit of anxiety of an even higher scoreline however it was saved easily by keeper Sue Bullimore.
All was not lost though as five minutes before the final whistle, Newmarket managed to earn a short corner, turned into a goal by a Di Thomas strike from the top of the D. They almost managed a second from Donna Keates however she missed the goal by millimetres.
Newmarket Ladies’ 2s: 3-0 loss vs City of Peterborough Ladies’ 3s (Away)
Following their draw two weeks ago, the ladies 2s were determined to keep that high going. Arriving for a late pushback at 4pm in Peterborough, the weather had changed and the icy wind whipped around the pitch. Braving the elements, Newmarket started with the first push back but were immediately on the defensive. Some great defensive work by the back four, Jaz Wombwell, Hannah Rowley, Sarah Ganiford and Phoebe Peacock meant Peterborough were kept at bay, and if they did get in, keeper Sue Bullimore, fresh from her earlier 1s game, managed to keep the ball from the back of the net. Within minutes Peterborough won a short corner, but this was cleared almost immediately by Peacock on the right.
Some great clearances from the defence saw the ball worked well up the wings to Captain Holly Woods and Hannah Fox who were waiting to get the ball to the forwards. Waiting at the front were Hannah Kelly, Lydia Wilmott and Bea Jones who made some great runs but unfortunately were unable to take them to the goal. Helen Hansgate was working in the middle and made some incredible tackles to put Newmarket back in the driving seat.
At half time the score was 0-1 and Newmarket were proud of the way they were playing. A quick team talk to avoid getting cold saw the second half being played into the wind. With the cold descending it was getting harder to keep the ball away from the goal and Peterborough managed to slip two more past the keeper. Despite winning more short corners, Peterborough were unable to convert these to goals thanks to a great defence, but it was a shame that Newmarket couldn’t find their way past Peterborough’s keeper.
Final score 3-0 to CoP.
Newmarket Ladies’ 3s: Match void due to opposition withdrawing from league vs Newmarket Ladies’ 4s (Home)
With no league game this week, the L3s opted to play a friendly training game instead.
Above: Goalkeeper Claire Spiers puts her foot down.