Newmarket Town claim late point against March Town United thanks to substitute Ben Landshoff
Young substitute Ben Landshoff came off the bench to rescue Newmarket Town a 1-1 draw from tonight's home Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division clash with March Town United.
The forward, who also found the net in Saturday's 3-1 defeat at Gorleston, struck nine minutes from time to salvage the Jockeys a share of the spoils at the Tristel Stadium.
And while it was not enough to prevent Newmarket's winless league run from stretching to eight matches, there was enough in the second-half performance to give player-manager Michael Shinn some confidence that positive results are not too far around the corner.
Yet, that level of optimism may not have been so forthcoming at the interval. Just like in their recent home defeats to Lakenheath and Ely City, clear cut chances were at a premium during the first half for Newmarket.
Lewis Whitehead and Ryan Swallow both fired straight at Charlie Congreve in the March goal through crowded penalty boxes, but that was as good as it got.
That is not to say the visitors were particularly free flowing at the other end either, but they looked lively on the counter and it was from one of those that they broke the deadlock in the 17th minute.
Brody Warren had too much pace for Newmarket’s James Chivers down the left wing – beating him not once but twice – before drilling in a cross towards the near post, where Craig Gillies was waiting to apply the finishing touch.
March’s other opportunities of note both went the way of Jack Friend, who after showing the home side’s defence a clean pair of heels shot straight at Alex Archer in the 26th minute. Six minutes later the same player struck his left footed effort from the edge of the area with plenty of power, but it was always curling away from the target.
The half-time introduction of Landshoff – in place of the largely ineffective James Hall – provided the hosts with some much-needed pace and movement in the final third of the pitch.
He signalled his intent as early as the 55th minute, cutting inside from the left and then unleashing a rising right-footed effort that forced Congreve into his first telling stop of the night.
Moments later March felt they should have had a penalty for a foul on Friend that left him nursing an arm injury that ultimately ended his involvement in the game – but not before he had been sin binned for dissent.
The referee waved away those appeals though and after that it was largely Newmarket who were asking all of the questions.
With 63 minutes on the clock Ben Robinson did well to control a high ball out wide on the right touchline. The former Cambridge City man then beat a couple of defenders before sending in a low cross for the onrushing Whitehead. It felt like everyone inside the ground was waiting for the net to bulge, but Congreve stuck out a late foot to keep his side in front.
Six minutes later another cross – this time from Jordan Lake – was met by the head of captain James Seymour, but his header dropped the wrong side of the upright.
It was starting to look like it was not going to happen for Shinn's side, but in the 81st minute Landshoff got his goal – and what a goal it was. It seemed as though he had nowhere to go when presented with a number of March defenders, yet he somehow jinked his way into the area and then unleashed a shot that left Congreve no chance.
With two minutes remaining Newmarket carved out one final chance to end their wait for three points, but Ben Robinson got underneath Lake's inswinging delivery and headed well over the top from eight yards out.
Newmarket: Archer, Chivers, H Hall, Seymour, Carver, J Robinson, Lake, Swallow, B Robinson, J Hall (Landshoff 46'), Whitehead
Suffolk News Man of the Match – Ben Landshoff (Newmarket): He may have only been on the pitch for 45 minutes, but the youngster had a big impact on the game. He never gave the March defender a moment of peace and his performance was rewarded with a memorable goal.
* For reaction from player-boss Michael Shinn, see this week's Journal print edition.