Week 18 Results – Relegation a Threat for Men’s 2s as 1s Win Convincingly

Men’s 1s: 4-1 win vs Norwich City 4 (Away)
(Dawson 2, Pears, Skelton)

Newmarket 1s went ahead after 10 minutes after picking up the ball deep inside their own half. Wilson flicked the ball skilfully to Skelton in midfield who charged towards Norwich territory before finding Dawson who slotted the ball past the keeper. Norwich did pull level midway through the first half, being awarded a penalty flick for a soft stick tackle in the D. Newmarket didn’t panic though and were ahead again with seconds left to play as Holden’s pass found Skelton at the near post to deflect the ball in. Norwich City’s number 191’s appeals for offside fell on deaf ears, as the away side went into the break as leaders. The visitors picked up where they left off in the second half, and gained that all-important two-goal cushion, this time through Mark Pears, who was fed by Holden, to strike a screamer past a helpless Norwich keeper. Holden completed his hat-trick of assists, as he drove the back line, finding Dawson with a pinpoint pass, who latched onto the ball to tap in from close range and complete a convincing 4-1 victory under the watchful eye of Head Coach Adnan Zakir.

Men’s 2s: 3-4 loss vs Norwich City 5 (Home)
(Wade 2, Harrington)

Newmarket Men’s 2s eventually went down 4-3 to Norwich City in a feisty encounter which saw numerous cards, including several yellows and a City red card for violent conduct.

A much-altered 2s side that saw the return of talismanic skipper Drew Wood and keeper Seth Bailey found itself 2-0 down within minutes, the tactical switch to three-at-the-back somewhat backfiring on the home side. Despite this early setback, Newmarket battled on and found goals via Ollie Wade and a Simon Harrington set piece. Wade further went on to strike the frame of the goal twice and saw another effort ruled out, but failed to add to his tally. City managed to grab a further two goals before tensions boiled over and a spate of yellow cards followed, three to Newmarket and a red card which was shown to a Norwich player for violent conduct.  This late fracas unfortunately ruined the game somewhat, and the score ended up an unchanged 4-3 to City meaning relegation is now a real threat to the 2s. Man of the Match went to Matt Smith for a solid performance out wide, while the highlight of the day was a no doubt a touching gesture from Harrington and Louis Hrebeniak to fluorescent midfielder Simon Donald. This tear-jerking gift took the form of a delightful personalised redecoration of his stick to reflect his true feelings toward midfield colleague and ginger soulmate Andrew Beardon. We wish you the greatest happiness together. #FriendGingerFriend

Ladies’ 2s: 0-8 loss vs Horncastle 1 (Away)

Newmarket Ladies 2s suffered from a defeat with the score line ending on an 8-0 loss.

With 2 goals going in within the first 10 minutes, one from open play and one from penalty corner, Newmarket defence were called to stand strong. Steph Heslop, back from injury, found her bossy in Centre Back and Hannah Rowley, back from injury and supporting developing L4s, caught on to the rehearsed play of Horncastle, marking tightly but falling foul of ball-to-foot manoeuvres.

With the pressure on, the use of small and quick passes were necessary to make sure the ball kept moving, with lovely one-twos being played between Zoe Bailey (the ever-so-fearless captain) and rising star Milou Ottolini, the ball did make it to the forwards in the opposition D several times but Newmarket lacked finish and Horncastle were quicker on the turn-around.

Newmarket should thank Horncastle for the penalty corner defence routines they were able to practice. 18 times. There were goal line saves from Jess Allen, making just her second appearance in L2 defence but looking totally at home, and Phoebe “Phlick” Peacock once again showing her dedication to interception and 3D skills when it mattered: the crowd were entertained; the gasps were more akin to a firework display than a hockey game. We cannot forget the grace and skill of goal keeper Jersey Bennett who with her acrobatic talent, saved the day more than once or twice. Her Man of the Match was well deserved as not only her physical presence but mental strength meant that she ensured the penalty stroke was sent just wide of the post in the 2nd half.

This defeat will not get the better of the L2s, they will bounce back, the will to fight is strong and they are more ready than ever to face Pelicans!

Ladies’ 3s: 0-3 loss vs Cambridge Nomads 2 (Away)

This week saw the Newmarket Ladies’ 3s side take on top of league Cambridge Nomads 2s.

Nomads started strong, trying to set the pace for the game, but Newmarket fought strong from the offset.  Encouraging midfield play up the left hand side saw the ball moving in text-book triangles initiated from Janie Harrington at left back, past mids Mel Podd and Grace Morris up to flank Laura Smith.  Nomads were quick to react and made plenty of attempts in the Newmarket D. It wasn’t too soon into the half that Newmarket saw the first goal for in Nomads, just skimming past keeper Helen Atkinson.  Newmarket’s defence steeled themselves and fought hard at every step, intercepting midfield, and attacking Nomads as they entered Newmarket’s D. A unlikely short-shot went in when it was half trapped by Sarah Ganiford to limp into the goal, seeing the ladies going into half time 2-0 down.
The second half started strong, with Sophie Bell and Georgia Beau Rolls blitzing around and driving in to the Nomads D.  Jane Dryland picked up man of the match for her aggressive stance on moving up to right mid, driving play into the D, and putting in couple of shots herself.  Newmarket were not to be rewarded for their attacking efforts which saw the ladies being given long corners and a short corner.
While Nomads were somewhat under pressure at this point, they were also very quick to turn play around and move quickly into Newmarket’s D.  With James Atkinson now in goal, Newmarket were treated to a display of acrobatics as James leapt and slid around, blocking and frustrating Nomads. Tireless efforts were put on by all of the Newmarket side, managing to put the score out of their mind and keep their heads up until the final whistle.
Nomads were awarded a couple of short corners on the trot, and managed to convert one of them for their only goal of the half.
The game finished as a 3-0 loss for Newmarket, but the ladies really didn’t see it as a negative game at all and were very pleased with their performance.
Next week sees the ladies away to St Ives to take on their 3s side.

Ladies’ 4s: 0-13 loss vs St Ives 3 (Home)

Skipper Jess Boyle was justifiably very proud of her Ladies’ 4s as, despite succumbing to a heavy defeat against second placed St Ives, they fought so valiantly that it was impossible to award Man of the Match as everyone played so well. With only ten players on the pitch for the whole of the match, the girls really showed how to put up a top quality fight against all odds. Next week NHC L4s face top of the league Bury St Edmunds at home in another tough clash.