Newmarket Town show they can mix it with the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division's top teams after six-goal thriller against leaders Stowmarket Town
Michael Shinn felt his Newmarket Town side showed they can mix it with the top teams in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division, despite losing 4-2 to leaders Stowmarket Town on Saturday, writes Alex Moss.
The Jockeys attracted their biggest crowd of the season at the weekend, with 470 spectators flocking to The Tristel Stadium to watch Newmarket take on the unbeaten Premier Division table-toppers.
A Josh Mayhew hat-trick handed the visitors a 3-0 lead, but Shinn’s men fought back with goals from Mark Lovell and Ross Paterson either side of the break cutting Stow’s lead to 3-2 with half an hour to play.
Dave Cowley came off the bench to score a fourth goal to make it 4-2 to Stow, who finished with 10 men after Tom Bullard’s red card in the final minutes, but player-manager Shinn was pleased with how the Jockeys matched up to a Stow side now unbeaten in their last 31 outings in the Premier Division.
“The conditions were quite difficult and in the first half we were against the wind,” Shinn said. “We felt it was important to stay in the game to give us a chance in the second half.
“We had a ragged quarter of an hour where we lost our shape a little bit. We got one back before half time to make it 3-1 and give ourselves a fighting chance.
“We started the second half really well and got a second, and at 3-2 their goalkeeper has made a really good save.
“If we make it 3-3 we’ve got a good bit of momentum and we might just have gone on to nick it, but Stowmarket have got a really strong bench and Dave Cowley has come on and scored a fourth goal for them.
“We were disappointed not to get something from the game, but the performance was good and we showed to everyone that was there that we are a really good side.
“It was nice to see such a good crowd as well. If we can keep performing well I think we can finish the season strongly.”
Newmarket (5th) will look to arrest their run of defeats when they host in-form Whitton United (9th) this Saturday (3pm), before visiting Godmanchester Rovers (12th) on Tuesday (7.45pm).
Joe Robinson returns from suspension for this weekend, but Jack Chandler and Ben Landshoff both miss out through injury.
Newmarket’s postponed derby at Mildenhall Town has been rearranged for Tuesday, March 17.
Elsewhere in the Premier Division, Ely City (18th) will be aiming to do the double over Thetford Town when the two sides meet at The Demcom Stadium tomorrow night (7.45pm).
A goal from Mitchell Drewit earned the Robins all three points in a 1-0 win in the reverse fixture with Thetford last month.
Ely currently sit third-from-bottom, seven points clear of the sole relegation spot, which is occupied by Gorleston.
Last Saturday’s visit to second-from-bottom Hadleigh United was postponed due to the bad weather and has been rearranged for Tuesday, April 21 – the final week of the season.
Elsewhere, Newmarket Town Women’s Development saw their scheduled trip to Isleham United Ladies postponed at the weekend. A new date for the fixture has been set for Wednesday, April 8.
Newmarket are due to visit Cambridge City Ladies & Girls Ladies A in the Cambridgeshire Junior Invitation Cup this Sunday (2pm).