Newmarket Men’s 1s: 3-2 win vs Ipswich 2 (Home)
(Skelton 2, Shepperson)
SUPERB NEWMARKET STUN IPSWICH!
Newmarket inflicted Ipswich’s first defeat of the season as they moved up to third in the table, and within three points off the top, with a scintillating 3-2 victory on Saturday.
Newmarket looked very confident in the opening 15 minutes, exchange some simple but effective passes, rolling back the years to the famous Revolution. They continued to harass and hound the Ipswich defence and they got their rewards shortly after as Michael Skelton reverse hit from short distance to put the hosts in front. The home side utilised both full backs Louis Hrebeniak and Darren Jenkins well, opening up spaces and finding the wingers with ease. They were pressing for a second goal but it was proving difficult to find another breakthrough.
Darren Jenkins unfortunately got himself green carded for a silly stick tackle and for arguing the decision with the Umpire. Ipswich managed to capitalise with the extra man and squeezed an equaliser past Martin McCourt, who for large parts of the game had been a spectator, by forcing themselves past the midfielders and through to the top of the D, unmarked, and striking powerfully into the roof of the net.
Newmarket started the second period intent on not letting an Ipswich side, who were yet to loose a game in Division 3NE, back into the contest. Matthew Holden ensured the opposition goalkeeper was alert by hitting a rasping shot just wide, but the visitors remained a threat also and saw an effort hit the side netting. Stand-in centre back William Wilson found man of the match Hrebeniak on the wing, who drove the ball just outside the D and found Skelton with pinpoint accuracy to deflect the ball into left hand corner. 2-1 to the home side.
The defence looked well organised, with Wilson and Jordan Newnes spreading the ball confidently to midfielders Josh Dawson, Chris Leggett and forwards James Atkinson, Ben Shepperson and Holden. However, on the rare occasion, they were breached once more as a mistimed tackle allowed an Ipswich striker to slot home and level for a second time.
With minutes left on the clock, Newmarket got the short corner they needed to put the game to bed. Mr Happy – Chris Leggett pushed the ball out to striker Shepperson, who brilliantly drag flicked the ball into the bottom right hand corner to seal all three points for the hosts.
Next week sees Newmarket travel to Kings Lynn for a 1pm push back, looking to tighten the gap for top spot in the league.
Newmarket Men’s 2s: 2-3 loss vs Felixstowe 2 (Away)
This week NHC Men’s 2s ventured to face Felixstowe HC Men’s 2s side who have just been relegated from the division above and are currently sitting at the top of the DIV4 NE table. In the pre-match team talk Captain Drew Wood mentioned to the faithful 10 before him how they were an unbeaten side with multiple goals to their name, with only a couple being scored against them. Un-phased by this information Newmarket started the game pushing out hard against the opposition; Simon Harrington however found the time to fondle with his crystal ball and make sure that his predictions for the game were staying true. When Harrington received the ball with which the game was being played he lifted it into the air, letting it soar over the heads of the amazed opposition straight onto the receiving end of the one and only Mark ‘Arsenal’ Pears’ stick. With a relaxed dribble into Felixstowe’s area he let fly a casual strike which was placed with such carefree precision into the top left corner of the goal that it left the opposition’s keeper in a state of bewilderment and disbelief as the score went to 1-0 for Newmarket within the first 5 minutes. As Newmarket reset themselves for the game to restart a smug grin was found to appear on Harrington’s face for his predictions had come true, perhaps he would predict himself chips for tea tonight. After the incredible first goal from Arsenal, Felixstowe retaliated making a break into Newmarket’s half only to face a triple threat of Newmarket’s heavyweight defenders consisting of the infamous Andrew Baker, Adrian Atkinson and Harrington along with the new addition of Matt Smith forming a backline that greeted Felixstowe’s attacks with aura similar to that of an aggressive brick wall. The first half of the game consisted of some of the best hockey that the Men’s 2s had played all season, owning the phrase “the best form of offense is a good defence” and Newmarket’s defence was the piece de resistance of defence backlines, only occasionally exhibiting the skills of their goalkeeper. With great balls being played through to Simon Donald from behind, he found his key place in the midfield, creating space and forwarding balls through to Ollie Trent and Jonny ‘Smokey’ Bunker who made some impressive runs down the right channel. Donald, although not new to Newmarket hockey club, was making a return after a long time at another less important club and gained himself man of the match for his work in the middle of the pitch. Newmarket’s great team work and sportsmanship started to irritate the opposition and attacks became more frequent but yielding few results. Felixstowe eventually claimed their first attacking short corner which required a second attempt before a ball was finally scrapped into the top corner of Newmarket’s goal bringing the score to 1-1 close to the end of the first half. The last couple of minutes of the first half remained 50/50 in possession and skill level with both teams holding strong till the half time whistle blew. The halftime talk consisted of little criticism of one of the best first half’s of hockey Newmarket Men’s 2s had played all season. Leaving them wondering what all the fuss was about and with a little insight into why Felixstowe may have been relegated.
In the second half Felixstowe went all out and continued to attack hard in an attempt to show Newmarket what all the fuss was indeed about, but Newmarket’s defensive tactics held strong, as trying to run through a brick wall can only end one way. However Felixstowe persisted and eventually managed to weasel their way behind the defence and score through a one-on-one with the keeper bringing the score to 2-1. The shouts of relieved accomplishment of the opposition told Newmarket all they needed to know about the way they had played so far against the leading team. Thus ensued some incredibly intense hockey as the full time whistle approached on the horizon with Newmarket aggressively attacking Felixstowe’s half and earned themselves a short corner in the last 5 minutes of the game. Tensions were similar to that of a Stephen King film as Newmarket set up their attacking short; the ball was injected to the top of the area to meet Harry Bell who tactically fired the ball at the opposition’s keeper allowing it to rebound onto quick thinking top goal scorer Arsenal’s stick, who placed it just inside of an unmarked post evening out the score to make it 2-2. Newmarket’s attackers jogged back with a skip in their step knowing they had just levelled the top of table team with only a couple hundred seconds remaining on the clock. In the last minutes of the game both teams frantically contested the ball with attacks and counter attacks from both sides. As the clock dwindled down, Newmarket held their collective breath in an effort to not curse their draw with the highest team in the table. But someone must have let theirs go in the final 30 seconds when Felixstowe made their final attacking run into Newmarket’s area and managed to clip a foot, gaining them a short corner. The furious 5 arranged themselves on the line, with the thought of the multiple short corners they had kept out throughout the game present in their minds, right next to the hint of doubt and uncertainty for Felixstowe’s final attack. The ball was released to the top of the area and Andy Baker charged out to meet it at the top, but the ball was slipped out to the right and after what felt like an eternity, was painfully tipped into the bottom right hand corner. 3-2 to Felixstowe in the last 30 seconds. Newmarket shuffled off the pitch feeling the full weight of the unfortunate defeat, wondering how Felixstowe were perched at the top of the division table when table underdogs game such a great fight.
Newmarket Men’s 3s: 1-4 loss vs Norfolk Nomads 2 (Away)
Newmarket Ladies’ 1s: 2-0 win vs Spalding 1 (Home)
(G. Evans, McDonnell)
A tense game playing top of the table, Spalding… the game started well however Spalding had the upper hand wining several short corners in succession. Spalding could not break the defense of Bullimore, Andreou, Parkins, Barnes and Bunning. The tension build, both sides pushing forward creating chances but to no avail. Cracks appeared and arguments with the umpire began… Thankfully the halftime whistle went allowing Newmarket to calm the game down and start to take control. Newmarket pushed Spalding back in their own half with great work from the midfield and forwards, however they could not convert their chances. Spalding had a few breaks, putting pressure on Newmarket’s defence, but they held strong. In the last 10 minutes Newmarket pushed, switching play and working up the pitch. McDonnell got her first goal of the season, breaking the stalemate. It was followed minutes later by a great goal from Grace Evans, after her sister (Lydia) put a fantastic ball through. Newmarket held strong to win 2-0 at fulltime.
Newmarket Ladies’ 2s: 0-7 loss vs City of Peterborough 3 (Away)
Newmarket L2s went to Peterborough for dinner: a 4pm pushback at Bretton Gate usually heralds the need to don skins and leggings but unusually warm as it has been, few gloves or extra layers were needed.
Everyone was aware how hard they could work knowing the one and only SuperSub, Angel Fayers, would give 5 minute rolling substitutions for all positions.
Newmarket were put straight into defensive mode by Peterborough’s young very keen team, 50:50 balls were initially met by red shirts not yellow and all players were pulled to mark a very communicative opposition. However, Newmarket held strong and when Peterborough did break through the 10, GK Jersey Bennett showed her mettle, blocking various strikes gymnastically throughout the first half. Only 2 shots got past her. Shortly before the end of the first half, one of Newmarket’s classic fast breaks got them into Peterborough’s D, earning a short corner. We suspect Peterborough had not expected this, as time had to be stopped to collect masks. Newmarket were not able to capitalise on this opportunity but shortly after, Angel sent a fast pass to Zoe Bailey in the D. Just a matter of shoulder angle and the ball would have sunk the right side of the goal post by the inches it went wide but this gave Newmarket hope.
This week’s half time sweet talk resulted in better attacking hockey, Lydia Willmott combining well with Hannah Kelly, Hannah Fox on the right to create passes to beat Peterborough’s midfield. Jess Logan was solid in defence and attack on the Left, seemingly passing to herself in cartoon style, speed streaks behind her. Somehow, and without the wisdom of coach Chris Evans, we are unsure how, Peterborough scored another 5 times.
With the proximity of A & E, and a track record at that pitch of broken feet, cheek bones and foreheads, the team yesterday were chuffed to escape with one elbow-bashed nose, a ball-brace fat lip situation and less goal difference than last week. Peterborough 3s and umpires were good natured, the bar staff provided ice and Zoe Bailey looks forward to the return match being more first half than 2nd.
Newmarket Ladies’ 3s: 0-2 loss vs Huntingdon 2 (Away)
Despite the long drive and the rain, Newmarket’s 3rd ladies team arrived in Sharnbrook in high spirits. The game got off to a good start, with plenty of good strong play, and possession in the midfield. Early breaks for Newmarket including good team play between Sophie Bell, Laura Excell and Georgia Rolls. While the girls had plenty of time in the opposition’s D, half time saw the teams even at 0-0.
The second half started off pretty much the same as the first half, although tensions seem to increase, as it was clear that neither team was inclined to come away with anything less than a win for the day. The ladies were disappointed to be awarded a short corner, which was subsequently over-ruled. Newmarket’s eagerness to end the goal drought saw them pushing forward, leading to being caught out of play by a run-away Hunts play, who took the ball into the D and converted for Hunts. Newmarket’s disappointment and frustration was evident as barely 2 minutes later, another hunts player similarly broke away. As she kicked the ball, Newmarket were sure that this would be awarded their way, how-ever, it wasn’t and the second goal went in.
Although the score line was of great disappointment to the team, captain and coach, it was one of the better outings for the side, with lots of positives to work on going forward.
Man of the Match was Gabi Asker for her fantastic performance on the right hand side. Jane Dryland picked up the teddy award for falling over twice during the game.
Next week sees the ladies take on St Ives 3s at home at 11am.
Newmarket Ladies’ 4s: Game Conceded – 5-0 win vs Haverhill Ladies 2 (Away)
In other news this week, a huge well done from everyone at the club to our very own David Worrall and Jordan Newnes for passing their Level 1 Assessment in umpiring.