Author: Kevin Parsons

Grainger’s Managerial Memories

Here we look back on Kevin Grainger’s time leading the first team of which started back in September 2009 with a 5-1 home defeat to Walsham le Willows. Taking over from the departing Karl Johnson the side had just been knocked out of the FA Vase losing 2-1 to St Neots and in the seven league games played already had won just one and drawn two and were sitting on five points. In what was always likely to be a tough season ahead having just been promoted as champions back into the Premier Division the task was to avoid relegation and stay in the league.


Grainger’s last game in charge (last Saturday) funnily enough also saw him host Walsham le Willows as he did all those years ago for his first game in charge, this time however it was five goals for the jockeys with no reply and a comprehensive victory, how the times have changed since 2009. The first few years were a struggle to avoid relegation before finally going down back to the First Division at the end of the 2011/12 season.

The next season 2012/13 promotion back to the Premier Division followed at the first time of asking having been runners up in the First Division and it was the following season that the clubs fortunes really turned. Grainger linked with the Cambridge University Press side that had folded after winning the First Division and brought in many of that winning squad. This gave Newmarket Town one of the best squads it had starting a season in many years.


A League Cup Final victory in May 2014 against Felixstowe & Walton for the first time in the clubs history winning 2-1 along with a 9th place finish back in the Premier Division capped a fantastic season and one Kevin is very proud of.

This followed a 6th place league finish, 13th the following season and then equaling the highest in the clubs history with a third place last season. Last season also saw the club reach the League Cup Final for the second time, this time as runners up to Mildenhall Town, whilst also reaching the Semi Final of the Suffolk Premier Cup losing to Lowestoft Town.

The full statistics of Kevin Graingers managerial career at Newmarket Town as First Team Manager are:

Games; 409

Won; 170

Drawn; 72

Lost; 167

Win Percentage; 42%

Scored; 743

Conceded; 750

Goal Difference; -7

Total League Points; 460

Average league points per season; 51

We asked Grainger to reflect on his time in charge with a few questions.

Best/Most Memorable game?

That would have to be the Cup Final victory against Felixstowe at Diss Town. What a day, the build up, the game, the match plan we had that worked to perfection, the goal, the finish by Ross Paterson and the celebrations that followed, that is what the years of hard work are about, those days.

Worst Game you want to forget?

A Friday night away at Felixstowe, what a nightmare, everyone was late and we barely warmed up, if i remember rightly 6-0 down at half time. We let in some horrendous goals that night with errors from everyone. The final score was 6-2, we were slightly better second half but that was a long drive home on a Friday night.

Best Signing Made?

Jack Higgs, just pure quality, a sweet left foot and was far too good for us/our level, such an asset to the team.

Best Trainer?

This would have to be between Jack Watson and Scott Paterson, both train as they play.

Player Most Committed to the club?

Scott Paterson, he has been great to the club, a leader in the squad and all round fantastic for the club.

Most Disappointing/Frustrating Moment?

The Semi Final Loss to Lowestoft last season. A team two leagues higher than us and we competed with them throughout, the scoreline of 2-0 didn’t really reflect the game as it was far closer than that and gutted for the lads, myself and the club to miss out on another cup final.

Favorite Away Ground?

Hadleigh United, what a great set up, lovely clubhouse, dressing rooms and hospitality the lot. Even though we have had a mixed bag of results there over the years.

Unluckiest Away Ground?

Kirkley and Pakefield, it is miles away and we never seem to get any great results there neither and have been on the end of some big defeats, last minute winners and all round very unlucky place for us to go, which always makes the drive home worse.

Over the seasons Kevin has had a total of 232 players play for him and the top of appearances and goalscorer charts for him are.

And from all the players that have represented Newmarket Town in his time we asked Kevin to pick his best team from those 232 and this was his selected line up

Thanks once again to Kevin Grainger for his time as the Club Manager and for his information for this interview.



End of an Era and Club Changes

Newmarket Town Football Club are sad but excited to announce changes within the club.

The First change and unfortunately due to ill health sees John Olive step down from his role as Chairman. The club can not thank him enough for his leadership over the years, taking over as Chairman in 2009 with the club still financially struggling he has been key in turning things around. Leading the committee with all the new changes to the ground in recent years including the fantastic 3G and he leaves the club in a far better place on and off the field.

Everyone at the club would like to wish John all the best for the future and hope his health improves, he has already said he will be around for games whenever possible.

The second is the change of role for First Team Manager Kevin Grainger who comments.

“I would like to inform everyone that after Saturday’s game at home vs Walsham le Willows I will be stepping down as First Team Manager, this is to take up the position of Chairman at the club due to the ill health of John Olive.

It has been great times, especially the last five years with two cup finals and a Suffolk Cup semi-final. Finishing 9th, 6th and 3rd last year in the league have been highlights for me.

I have had great support from the Chairman, committee and staff at the club and would like to thank them all, it also goes without saying that without the players I wouldn’t have had the success neither and they have been fantastic and a privilege to manage.

At the club with the changes and new pitch it has now become a seven day a week operation and along with the committee we move forward.”

It has been great times for the club with Kevin as First Team manager reaching two League Challenge Cup finals, winning the first one in the club’s history in 2014.

Last season 2016/17 saw the clubs most successful season on the pitch in its history, Runners up in the League Challenge Cup Final, a Suffolk Premier Cup Semi Final and a third placed finish in the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division (equalling the highest league position for the club).

The club would like to thank Kevin for all his work over the years as first team manager, taking over in September 2009 to lead the team he is “Mr Newmarket” and no one more fitting to fill the shoes as the new club Chairman than Kevin himself.

The Third and final change to the infrastructure sees the club install a new First Team Manager and stepping up into that role is Michael Shinn. Having joined the club as Assistant to Kevin in October 2017 he will now lead the team on the pitch, a man with great experience as a player and as a manager at this level previously with Haverhill Rovers.

New Chairman Kevin Grainger say’s “I will endeavour to give Michael my full support as we look to move the club onto the next level.”

Everyone at the club wishes him all the best and every success for the future.

National Non League Day and Youth Day

Last Saturday to celebrate National Non League Day we also celebrated our own Youth set up at the club. Inviting all youth teams along including players, coaches and managers, to watch the game, take part in a half time photo and have the opportunity to be drawn out of the hat to be one of eleven mascots on the day.

With over 400 attending the game with Histon on the day it was a great turnout made even better by the 4-0 victory.

A big thanks to everyone organising and taking part on the day it was a huge success.

Here are some of the photos taken from the day

U18’s Coach Wanted

Newmarket Town U18’s are looking for a coach to join the management team.

The side train on a Monday and play in the Thurlow Nunn Youth League Cambridge Division with games midweek.

The club are looking for an enthusiastic coach to join as part of the team to help with training sessions and on matchdays

We would be looking for someone with at least an FA Level 2 in coaching or working towards it.

The coach would also need to have an up to date DBS certificate.

For anyone interested please contact Kevin Parsons by email on

Ollie Snaith Departs

It is with pride but sadness that Ollie Snaith has left the club to join Needham Market. A player who joined the club when his family returned to Newmarket as an U16 player and has progressed through our U18’s to become a key player in our first team at only 19 years of age. He was last years Players Player of the season and most consistent and this season has been standing out in recent weeks again for us and saw interest not only from Needham Market but other local clubs too. A box to box midfielder who has grown with the team over the past few seasons since making his debut as a 16 year old and has gone on to make 122 first team appearances scoring 12 goals. Although a huge loss to the team we wish Ollie all the best in the future and no doubt he will make an impact at that level for Needham Market.

Whilst Ollie has moved on we have signed two players, Luke Seaber-Shinn has joined us from Histon, the former Histon Godmanchester Rovers player who can play down the left side is a welcome addition to the squad and made his debut in last night’s Suffolk Cup win. Our other signing is James Seymour, a player we have had our eye on for a couple of seasons now and the former Ely City captain will give us some added experience to the squad, a key player for Ely over the last few years he is combative and able to play in midfield or defence and an excellent addition to the squad

Tonight’s Derby Match

Tonight we make the short trip up the A11 to Mildenhall Town FC for our derby return match.

The first match at The Ridgeon’s Stadium saw us take the lead heading in 1-0 up at half time before a total turn around in the second half saw us capitulate and defeated 3-1.

But onto tonight’s match and a couple of changes from the first game with Steve Holder having left for Stowmarket Town last week and captain Adam Dalby out for what unfortunately looks like a long term injury. But we do have Matty Hayden back in the squad for the first time since his first game of the season leg fracture.

Our last game saw us beat Saffron Walden 4-1 and no doubt if we take that performance into the game tonight we will be troubling the league leaders