Newmarket Men’s 1s: 7-3 win vs Pelicans 2 (Away)
(Atkinson 2, Dawson 2, Shepperson, Skelton, Wilson)
TEN-MAN NEWMARKET HIT PELICANS FOR SEVEN!
Unchanged Newmarket ran Pelicans ragged in Kings Lynn, keeping them within touching distance of top spot, with a 7-3 away win. Pelicans went into the game with a great balance of youth and experience, but that positive vibe was extremely short-lived, with Ben Shepperson turning home the opener inside two minutes after a deflection of the keepers pads. Things went from bad to worse for the home side five minutes later, as William Wilson slammed the ball into the D, which deflected off a Pelicans stick into the air, that was then collected by James Atkinson who, with a sweet strike, made it 2-0. However, Pelicans did manage to score against the run of play, as attack broke down in the middle of the pitch, opening up lots of space for an opposition player to push past keeper Martin McCourt. It was a lifeline for the home side, but they never looked like getting back afloat, with Josh Dawson restoring Newmarket’s two goal advantage on the 20 minute mark with a team goal of the season contender. The ball was played out of defence by Jordan Newnes, picking out Shepperson on the wing, who with a quick one-two pass with Michael Skelton gave the ball to Atkinson on the move, and then square the ball past the keeper to Dawson to fire into an open net. 3-1 to the visitors. Confidence was growing with every minute as Wilson saw a trademark short corner rattle into the bottom right hand corner to make it 4-1. Newmarket were made to sweat again however, as the hosts added another goal, picking out a free running player at the left side of the post who casually slotted the ball in. After exchanging passes with Atkinson for the third goal, it was now Dawson to return the favour. A beautiful counter attack was executed, as Chris Leggett got the ball in midfield and gave it to Dawson, driving it into the D and playing a diagonal pass past the keeper for Atkinson, who ghosted into the area unmarked, to sweep home and bringing the first half to an end. The second half got under way but Pelicans struggled to claw their way back into the game as Newmarket started exactly as they did in the first half. This time Ollie Wade taking the short corner, with a perfectly weighted pass for Dawson to nip in and score his second of the game. Newmarket’s dominance shone throughout the game and shortly after the 6th came the 7th goal, this time captain Matt Holden hitting the ball into the D and Skelton deflecting it into the roof of the net. Ben Shepperson was then shown a red card for a cynical challenge, bringing play to a short halt with both teams getting out their handbags during a fiery encounter. It left Newmarket hanging on in the last 20 minutes as the hosts pulled one back, but the visiting side held firm to move up to third in the league, level on points with second.
Newmarket Men’s 2s: 7-3 win vs Pelicans 3 (Home)
(Hosegood 2, Pears 2, Bunker, Trent, Wood)
Due to the sheer quality of the game and the role played by the match reporter before he knew he would be match reporter this week, please forgive historical inaccuracies and any under playing of the gloriousness of goals. Safe to say this match was thoroughly enjoyed by all the team and all the goals and saves were genuinely impressive.
This weekend Newmarket Men’s 2s lined up against Pelicans 2s and started like the horses out the gates at the local races. The Pelicans where clearly not prepared for the amazing start that caught all of the 11 opposing players on the back foot. Taking advantage of this, Newmarket quickly moved the ball between the attacking players, around the dazed Pelican defenders and onto William “Windmill” Hosegood’s stick who fired a killer shot straight into and almost through the goal. Newmarket were 1-0 up within the first (counted) 35 seconds. Yes that is 35 seconds, which is 8 seconds faster than the 400m world record set in the 2016 Olympics. Pelicans had no time to recover from the lightning first goal as Newmarket were back at it again, with fast passes and some quality team work the ball found itself hitting Pelicans backboard again after only 2 minutes from the starting whistle, this time shot from Ollie Trent, his first senior goal for the club.
An amazing effort from Newmarket with all players seeming to be tuned into the same victorious radio channel, soon it was birthday boy Mark “Arsenal” Pears’ turn to make an appearance on the score sheet with an incredible reverse stick shot placed into the opposition’s goal, 3 goals past the Pelican’s goal-keeper in the first 12minutes of the game. The rest of the half consisted of some great play from Trent, Beardon , and Simon Donald who worked well with the defensive backline, again made up of the Good the Bad and the Ugly; Harrington, Baker and the unusually quiet Atkinson (who’s who can be fought out by amongst said three). Matt Smith did a great job of suppressing Pelicans attacks down the right wing. Despite Newmarket’s incredible play the Pelicans found a break and after they managed to dodge the defensive lunges made by Newmarket’s backline leaving the keeper with a two on one situation, which he would like to mention are ridiculously difficult to save. As you would expect from a two on one, a goal was converted in the closing minutes of the first half after the keeper made the arguably wrong decision to stay and try to block the shot instead of closing the player down. The score stayed at 3-1 to Newmarket thorough till half time despite Pelicans efforts through attacking shot corners which were blocked by the keeper gaining himself a slice of redemption and compliments from a Pelicans player.
The halftime team talk consisted of nothing but adulation for the superior team and their admirable play made as they took their well-deserved break to prepare themselves for the next half of exceptional hockey.
Newmarket’s second half mirrored the quality of the first, however Pelicans must have received one extensive talking-to at half time as they managed to score another goal bringing it to 3-2 through an impressive volley shot after 3 air touches in the D. Newmarket’s fatigued keeper removed his hand pads and applauded. Play immediately transferred to the inspired Captain Drew Wood and he finally made his bottom right corner goal (3 matches in the making) to bring the score to 4-2 but unfortunately this goal marked the beginning of Newmarket’s down period of play and another Pelican break into the area and Pelican goal bringing it to 4-3. The Pelicans continued their aggressive attacks and drove another ball into Newmarket’s area and after a save which left Newmarket’s keeper down and out, an opposing player lined up the killer shot to score the levelling goal. Against all odds, wonder man Andrew Baker made it back in time to hook the attackers descending stick, preventing the goal. An initial short corner was given but after a discussion between the umpires a penalty flick was awarded. All eyes were turned to the keeper as he placed himself on the line and prepared himself for the incoming ball. The full weight of Newmarket’s expectation to keep them in the game felt as he centralised on the goal line, he read the book of body language that the Pelicans flicker had presented him with and with cat like reflexes, greeted the flying ball with his left hand deflecting it towards the stampede of yellow that embraced the exhilarated keeper. This was the turning point of the game, giving new fire to Newmarket’s bellies that saw another 3 goals scored, all of which had an involvement from the birthday boy Arsenal, first by Jonny (not-so-Smokey-as-he-forgot-his-warm-up-cigarette-which-definitely-has-an-effect-on-his-game) Bunker whose speedy running and slipping in of Arsenal’s cross saved Trent from DoD, making it look like a plan to miss an easy goal and wrong-foot the keeper for 5-3. With that Pelicans retaliated and weaselled their 4th and final ball over the Newmarket goal line. But this only provoked Newmarket’s onslaught of attacks with another ball rocketed from Arsenal to Windmill Hosegood bringing the score to 6-4, and then the final icing on the birthday cake was Arsenal’s finishing goal to make the score 7-4 in the last few minutes of the game.
Newmarket Men’s 2s gave an Olympian like performance with all players worthy of a Man of Match vote but in the end it went to Keeper Seth Bailey for amongst other things, the flick save which turned the tables of the game. DOD went to Andrew Baker for his foul that awarded the flick but did save what would have been the equalizing goal. Some say that it was Arsenal’s birthday wish that won the game but one certain thing is the fact that some of Newmarket’s Men’s 2s had just played the best game of their hockey career and together the Men’s 2s team played best game of this season so far.
Newmarket Men’s 3s: 2-1 win vs Ipswich Cranes 2 (Away)
Newmarket travelled away for the second week in a row, this time to the ever beautiful and sun-bathed town of Ipswich, famous of course for The Tractor Boys and …….…. Tractors……..maybe.
Anyway this week’s game promised to be good as Newmarket had raised a full team and even managed a couple of subs, with an even mix of age and experience and youth and enthusiasm.
After an initial panic on the fact that apparently Cranes also play in yellow, I have to thank Gainsborough Leisure Centre for digging up 13 non yellow bibs for us to use.
The first half began with Cranes on the front foot and Newmarket looked very shaky and stand in keeper Jack Rossiter was called into action on several occasions. Newmarket had some possession but gave it away far too easily. The first goal arrived in a way I have been trying to get us to attack all season, Cranes got in around the back of Newmarket’s defence and rather than pulling the ball back slotted home at the near post. To say this goal galvanised Newmarket to greater efforts would be an over statement as for one day only Newmarket looked tired from the first to the last minute. Fortunately what Newmarket do have is lots of players willing to take on defenders and when Matt Lister was switched from midfield to upfront, he repaid the move with a winding run past 4 or 5 defenders before striking the ball sweetly into the bottom corner of the goal from 10 yards out. 1v1 against the overall run of play definitely, but who cares about that. There was just enough time left for Dunc Freed to pick up his first card on his return to playing after 34 minutes for probably dissent.
Half time 1v1
After a half time feast of Jelly Babies and water Newmarket came out and still looked knackered. Honestly what do teenage boys get up to tire themselves out so much? The game was quite stretched from the start and the backline (at varying times) of W. Frost, Benedikz, Prentice and Everitt alongside the returning legend that is Freed soaked up a lot of pressure minimising the amount of work that keeper Rossiter had to do. As the game wore on Cranes did us a big favour and got tired, this allowed Jordan Walker to score – no idea how, but I am sure it was quite special.
2v1 to Newmarket with 20 minutes to go and the game became very end to end with Cranes having the better of the possession, but Newmarket looked more likely to score. Wide midfielders Atkinson and H Frost continually drove the ball at the Cranes defence and the centre mid of Kenny and Booth provided both a shield for the defence and depth to the attacks.
At the final whistle Newmarket had held out for their first ever league win and points. It is a good sign when a team can play below its best and still come away with a win and truth be told Cranes may have deserved a point, so long as we don’t do that every week.
Man of the Match: Matt Lister for terrifying the Cranes defence with his mazy runs and a goal.
Captains Pick: Oscar Kenny – Who in game where all his colleagues looked knackered from start to finish, injected some much needed energy into midfield for 70 mins.
DoD – Rory Podd, not sure why he got this other than having the back problems of a 70 year old at 15. I feel I dodged a bullet on this after the mix up with the shirts.
Team: Jack Rossiter, John Benedikz, Will Frost, Simon Everitt, Duncan Freed, Mungo Prentice, Rory Podd, Henry Frost, Peter Booth, Oscar Kenny, Ben Atkinson, Matt Lister, Jordan Walker.
Newmarket Ladies’ 1s: 4-1 win vs Cambridge University 3 (Away)
(G. Evans 2, Stoneman, Thomas)
This week saw Newmarket ladies 1st team away to currently bottom of the league Cambridge university ladies 3’s. Newmarket were keen not to let the Cambridge teams table position effect their preparation for this game, as it was clear from the start, this opposition team were going to be quick off the mark with great fitness, showing up with a full squad of 16.
The first half the match saw Newmarket make some great breaks down the pitch with crucial play from captain Lydia Evans, Hayley Stoneman and Claire McDonnell using both Emma Russell and Jess Logan out on their wings. Newmarket managed several attempts in the D this half but the Uni team were quick to react; saving and redistributing everything Newmarket threw at them. Newmarket showing their strengths managed to gain multiple short corners from these confrontations. Unfortunately The Uni girls managed to put the dampers on any celebrations the Newmarket ladies may have been aiming for. Through determination a few plays later Newmarket ladies persistence paid off and they managed to win themselves another short corner. The well worked short saw a strong injection form Faye Andreou to Hayley Stoneman who fired the ball straight passed the keepers reach into the bottom left hand corner.
This week’s game also put the Newmarket defence and goalkeeper to the test. With this young agile team on the break Newmarket defence had to communicate well and play a strong back line, pressuring the Uni ladies when they gained entry within the Newmarket 25’. When The Uni girls were able to make a shot on goal, keeper Sue Bullimore was on the money blocking every attempt they made. Including a lift shot at goal, in which she leapt through the air to take out the ball with her left hand.
With half time to reflect on the great game Newmarket were having and a moment to catch their breath from this very young and fast paced team. Newmarket came out strong ready to increase their goal lead. Newmarket’s second goal of the game come from a free hit from Gail McDonnell, down the pitch to Claire McDonnell who drew the ball across the pitch to the corner, drawing with her the Uni defence. A quick and targeted ball through the defence into the D, allowing Grace Evans to slip the ball straight passed the keeper.
With The University girls now more determined than ever, Newmarket’s fitness was really put to the test with Uni making breaks down the pitch; Once again gunning for Sue Bullimore’s goal. Great defensive play from Rebecca Barnes, meant she was able to get in on action, interrupting their link pay and redistributing the ball back down the pitch to the rest of the team who were eagerly waiting.
With Kerry Alderson running the ball along the back line weaving around the opposition, she slipped the ball through to Di Thomas who received it and with a reverse stick, flicked the ball in to the back of the net; giving Newmarket a 3-0 lead. Cambridge University were not going to let Newmarket get off quite so lightly, moving the ball down the pitch, and winning themselves a short corner. Which they were able to convert skimming the ball just past the Newmarket keeper.
With around 9 minutes left in the game, Cambridge Uni were on the break when Faye Andreou went in with a strong tackle, but unfortunately fouling the Uni player, who went down with a tumble and twisted on her landing. Game play was stopped for the Uni team to see to their injury.
With only these crucial minutes left in the game, Newmarket were reluctant to let the university end the game with the last goal being theirs. Lydia Evans firing a strike from outside of the Uni 25 yard line, straight to Grace Evans who was in a great position just to the left of the goal, she was able to deflect Lydia’s shot straight across the keeper and in to the back of the university net.
Now with only minutes to go Newmarket stood strong and controlled the rest of the game. To ensure they kept their score line.
Man of the match went to Jess Logan.
Newmarket Ladies’ 2s: 0-5 loss vs Spalding 2 (Home)
There was a time when it looked like Spalding wouldn’t score again.
Half time involved lots of talking, a resolve made to defend harder, work with more structure, be more creative off the ball to make space and give more support to the player with the ball and to stop making keeper Jersey Bennett have to work so hard.
Spalding only scored once more.
Sam Brooke and Bea Jones started to work well up the right side of the pitch, Tania Parker slotted well into the squad, Angel Fayers won Man of the Match for consistently tackling solidly, staying calm under pressure and distributing the ball well. If there had been another 2 halves, Newmarket may well converted Spalding‘s keeper’s yells about players in her D into actual goals rather than thwarted attempts.
Welcoming back their coach, Newmarket Ladies 2s have made further improvements this week: less goal difference is definitely the trend. If this can continue, then an outstanding win and the chocolates for scoring more goals than last season will be achieved before the club Christmas do.
Newmarket Ladies’ 3s: 0-4 loss vs St Ives 3 (Home)
Half Time Score 0-2
Full Time Score 0-4
Men of the Match – Callie Plumb and Sarah Ganiford.
Lemon of the Match – Rach Pegg – Although there were many candidates for the falling over dramatically award, including Laura Excell and Janie Harrington, Rach Pegg secured the award by – 1) falling over the keeper and kneeing her in the head, 2) falling over and 3) for a grand finale falling over and using her face to break the fall (sadly after which she was lost from the game).
After a disappointing and frustrating match last Saturday Newmarket L3s needed to come out positive against a strong St Ives 3s.
The first half was only 5 minutes old when St Ives struck and only 10 when the made it 2. After this Newmarket dug in and adopted a defence in depth style with the midfield of Mel Podd, Laura Curtis and Janie Harrington needing to sit deeper and aim to offload the ball quickly. Rapid counter attacks from Charlotte Wombwell, Laura Smith, Georgia Rolls and Laura Excell kept the St Ives defence on their toes. This stifled St Ives and Newmarket slowly grew in confidence as the half progressed. Goals however still proved hard to come by for Newmarket.
Half time: 0v2
The second half continued in much the same mould as the first St Ives pressure and Newmarket counter attacking when possible. The back line of Rach Pegg, Vicky Benedikz, Callie Plumb, Sarah Ganiford and keeper Bennett were kept busy throughout the half, a hi-light of which was when a St Ives attack broke into the D the always vigilant Bennett hunted down the striker and when the St Ives player took her shot the ball ricocheted off her helmet and was looking goal bound until Sarah Ganiford appeared on the line to nonchalantly take the ball down from shoulder height and clear it away.
St Ives scored 2 more goals as the game wore on to make the final score 4v0 but truth be told Newmarket matched St Ives for long periods of this game and against lessor opposition could well have come away with a more positive result. Newmarket soaked up a lot of pressure and struck quickly and directly on the counter attack.
Team – Mel Podd (C), Jersey Bennett (GK), Vicky Benedikz, Rach Pegg, Callie Plumb, Sarah Ganiford, Laura Smith, Laura Curtis, Janie Harrington, Charlotte Wombwell, Laura Excell and Georgia Rolls.
Newmarket Ladies’ 4s: 0-4 loss vs Bury St Edmunds 3 (Away)
So after a pretty impressive run of games, the 4’s hit the game against the current top of the league team. An omnious feeling was brewing as they warmed up military-style next to us. Despite this- a pre-match chat from Atherton focused the team and we started the first half storming. Although quite dominant in our defensive area- Bury started to get stressed and messy as they realised we’d brought our game. 50/50 possession and neat little passes saw us giving the top team a run for their subs. An unfortunate end to the first half with a 2-0 down score, after very undeserved and messy goals. A very stressed, tired and panicky Bury team regrouped as the 4’s were praised during halftime. Undeterred from the score line, the L4’s yellow and blue machines came back again with everything we had and worked incredibly as a team. Bury had picked up the pace and unfortunately sent another 2 goals into the backboard- but not without a fight from us. Man of the match was Atkinson for an incredible defensive first half on the pitch and some astounding saves second half, in goal. ‘Teddy’ went to Atherton, for showing up in Rowley’s kit and (as always) sliding around on the Astro. An incredibly well gelled team gave it their all – and despite the score line, should be massively proud. An underserved win for Bury, but an incredible performance from the machines.
In other news this week, congratulations to our very own Darren ‘Dazzler’ Jenkins of the Men’s 1st Team on announcing his engagement to Emma Gray! Best wishes for the future to you both from everyone at the club.