Ryan Swallow and Ben Robinson on target as Newmarket Town beat Walsham-le-Willows to extend winning league run
A header from Ben Robinson 15 minutes from time sealed a 2-1 victory for Newmarket Town at home to Walsham-le-Willows to make it three straight wins in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division.
Ryan Swallow had fired the Jockeys into the lead five minutes before half-time but Ryan Twinn had levelled matters within two minutes of the second period getting under way.
Robinson's 75th minute header from a quality Michael Shinn delivery proved to be decisive though in the testing conditions to move Newmarket up a place in the table to ninth.
The sides had gone into the game separated by 11 points but with the hosts holding three games in hand on their fifth-placed opponents.
With James Seymour suspended, James Paterson carried the captain's armband for Newmarket.
Joe Robinson was unavailable due to concussion protocols with player-boss Michael Shinn making what was now a rare start in midfield.
Striker Brandon Morris had resigned for the club from Lakenheath ahead of kick-off but had been due to play for the reserves, whose game was ultimately called off.
Walsham boss Trevor Collins opted to start Dan Stobbart in goal ahead of Steve Fenner.
It appeared the referee had signalled for a penalty to the visitors a few minutes in after goalkeeper Alex Archer ran out into Kieran Twinn. But he eventually went with his assistant who had flagged for offside.
Walsham went on to have a glorious chance to open the lead soon after but Twinn was unable to connect with Cameon Nichols' chipped cross at the back post, with the wind making things difficult to judge.
Newmarket had their first chance in the eighth minute with Lewis Whitehead forcing Stobbart to tip his shot from the angle of the penalty area over his crossbar with James Chivers heading wide from the resultant corner.
The hosts were beginning to exert more influence on the game and Whitehead lifted over the bar in the 19th minute after some slick interplay before he was soon sending a left-footed effort wide.
Walsham were having some decent passages of play themselves but were lacking a final ball with Ryan Clark sending a shot-cum-cross from a free kick comfortably into Archer's hands.
Up the other end Stobbart was called into action to produce a diving save to keep out a volley from Whitehead after the visitors failed to clear a ball into their box.
On the half hour mark Walsham's Ryan Clark engineered some room just outside the area before sending a low curling effort wide.
A good spell for the visitors continued with Nichols finding Matt Collins in the box, but his shot lacked conviction and was comfortable for Archer.
Their profligacy was punished in the 40th minute when Jordan Lake's excellent raking pass found Swallow's well-timed run behind the defence and he took the ball on into the area before firing powerfully past Stobbart.
Walsham almost had an immediate reply but Clark saw his long-range effort cannon back off the crossbar.
The visitors would have felt hard done by to be behind but got themselves back on terms within two minutes of the second half. Twinn pounced on a heavy touch from Chivers and rounded Archer before precisely placing his angled shot inside the far post.
Nichols drilled wide after being found free on the right while his tasty low cross just evaded Twinn as Walsham continued to dominate.
There was a shift in momentum with the Jockeys pressing forward but other than Joe Bennett sending a dipping volley from outside the area over, they were not able to carve out a real opportunity.
But a moment of quality arrived 15 minutes from time to put them into the lead. Shinn's cross deep on the right perfectly picked out Ben Robinson who directed his header from 10 yards out in at Stobbart's near post.
The Willows threatened an equaliser five minutes later when Nichols cut a cross back for Collins, but he met it on the volley and sent it over the crossbar.
Clark sent a free kick well wide while Archer had to rush out to save at the feet of Twinn as the visitors continued to press late on.
But they were unable to get another significant shot on goal with Newmarket ending the match with a late flurry themselves.
Despite the terrible conditions, with the rain having not relented throughout, both teams had served up an entertaining game, proving there was not much between them.
It continued a recent sequence of win-defeat for the Willows, who remain in fifth place, though having played more than most the sides around them.
Newmarket Town: Archer, Paterson (c) (Norman 87'), Whiting, Bennett, Chivers, Carver, B Robinson, Lake, Whitehead, Shinn, Swallow. Unused subs: Murphy, Landshoff.
Walsham-le-Willows: Stobbart, Skevington, Harvey, Collins, Miller, Cook, Nichols, Clark, Smith (McKensie Vince 73'), Twinn, Wigley (c). Unused subs: McGavin, Hubbard, Fenner.
SuffolkNews Man of the Match: James Chivers. Despite getting caught out for the goal they conceded, the centre-back more than made up for it with the countless headers and tackles he won to help Newmarket to three precious points.