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Newmarket Town aiming for first victory of season over Dereham Town in Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division semi-final play-offs

Newmarket Town boss Michael Shinn is unconcerned by his side’s losing record to Dereham Town ahead of their third meeting of the season in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division play-off semi-finals on Saturday (3pm).

The Magpies beat Newmarket at their Aldiss Park base 2-0 last September before winning the reverse fixture in early January 1-0.

That single-goal defeat is the only loss that the Jockeys have suffered at home in the league all season – and the Tristel Stadium will once again be the venue for this weekend’s match up.

Michael Shinn’s Newmarket Town are seeking a place in the play-off final this weekend. Picture: Mark Westley
Michael Shinn’s Newmarket Town are seeking a place in the play-off final this weekend. Picture: Mark Westley

However, Shinn does not expect those previous clashes to have any bearing on their upcoming encounter.

He said: “We found ourselves 2-0 down after 10 minutes at their place. We then had some good spells but never really threatened them too much. In the home game we played really well and they’ve hit us on the break, but it doesn’t really matter what has happened before.

“We know they’re a decent side and maybe they can take a bit of confidence from the fact they’ve beaten us twice.

“But those results are done and whoever you play in the play-offs, they’re going to be a decent team.

“We could have played Thetford. We’ve beaten them three times this season, but that wouldn’t have made that game any easier.

“We’re a good side at home and I’d back us to beat anyone there when we play to our level.”

Newmarket go into the game against Dereham on the back of last Saturday’s 5-0 home win over Kirkley & Pakefield as the curtain came down on the regulation season.

Ryan Cole, Tom Williams, Josh Lee, Isaac Maynard and James Seymour were all on target for Shinn’s side, who signed off with five straight victories and unbeaten in their previous seven outings.

Shinn added: “It’s right that form does go out the window when it comes to the play-offs, but you’d much rather go into them with a few wins in a row under your belt and a bit of momentum.

“It’s a clean slate on Saturday and we’ve got to go again, but there’s a bit of confidence within the group.

“We’ve strung good results together all season apart from a little spell after Christmas – hopefully we can do the same again at the weekend.”

A late check will be made on the fitness of Jacob Mingay (hamstring), but that aside Shinn has no fresh injury concerns.

The winner of the game will progress through to the final on May 4 against either Thetford or Mulbarton Wanderers.