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Thurlbourne Hatrick makes light work of Long Melford

Newmarket made the short trip to Long Melford for a rare Friday night league game and came away with all three points from a very entertaining match between two teams in a current good run of form. The home side started the game with a lot of pace up front with Hassan Ally in particular looking dangerous. The Jockeys soon got up to speed however with shots from Jamie Thurlbourne, Austen Diaper and Deakan Napier. New signing from Soham, Simon Swinton, readily slotted into the team – he has known several of the Jockeys for many years and regularly plays with them on Sundays. Simon ran some very good lines throughout the game and showed some neat touches as he laid on some excellent passes from midfield to the front line.

Twenty eight minutes into the game Jamie Thurlbourne hit a superb volley from twenty yards to give the Jockeys the lead and this seemed to unsettle the home team. Ten minutes before half time Austen Diaper headed just over the bar from a Thurlbourne corner. However in the last minute of the first half Ben Nower was called upon to make a brilliant save from a powerful header from Scott Sloots at point blank range.

Half Time Score: Long Melford 0 Newmarket Town 1

Twenty minutes after the restart Michael Runicles levelled the scores with a well taken goal but within two minutes the Jockeys dramatically hit back to establish a two goal lead. Deakan Napier put in a cross which found the League’s leading goal scorer, Lewis Whitehead whose shot took a wicked deflection past Darren Moyes in the Long Melford goal. Moyes was not having much luck as within moments Jamie Thurlbourne‘s shot from an impossibly tight angle turned into the net off the despairing keeper. Jamie Thurlbourne completed his hat-trick in the eighty first minute with arguably his best goal of the game. Collecting the ball thirty yards out wide on the right he cleverly cut inside and hammered the ball with his favoured left foot into the top corner of the net. Long Melford were then awarded a penalty a minute later as Ben Nower brought down substitute Nathan Rowe. Will Wingfield stepped up to score from the spot in his 100th appearance for the Villagers despite Nower’s best efforts to make up for his error.

Final Score Long Melford 2 Newmarket Town 4

Even scoring a hat-trick was not quite enough to win Jamie Thurlbourne the man of the match award which deservedly went to Mark Webster to mark his outstanding contribution to the Jockey’s defence on the night. It was particularly pleasing to see so many Jockey’s fans in the crowd of 106 and they must have travelled home like the players and management in a very happy mood indeed. This win took the Jockeys, albeit temporarily, up to second place in the Premier Division of the Thurlow Nunn League.

Match Report by Graham Edwards


Jockeys progress to Thurlow Nunn Cup Final

Newmarket Town swept aside fellow title contenders Gorleston FC to set up a dream Thurlow Nunn Cup Final in May against local rivals Mildenhall Town. The Jockeys dominated the semi-final with a comprehensive display throughout the full ninety minutes leaving the Greens with just one decent scoring chance which they sadly totally fluffed.

The Jockeys first scoring opportunity came straight from the kick off when the lively Deakan Napier ran at the defence and agonisingly shot just wide. The game continued at a furious pace with end to end football being played by both teams. On fifteen minutes Lewis Whitehead had a glorious chance to score but his powerful header went just over the bar. The visitors did not have long to wait before taking the lead however. At the mid point of the first half the hard working full back Kyle Ingram took a long throw back to his keeper. Austen Diaper closed down the goalkeeper’s clearance and blocked the ball straight to skipper Jack Watson. He squared the ball into the path of the onrushing Jamie Thurlboune who drove the ball forcefully into the bottom corner of the net. Minutes later Thurlbourne could have scored again with two great chances. Firstly his his free kick from twenty five yards out was desperately cleared off the line by a defender then moments later another of his powerful shots was brilliantly saved by the young Gorleston goalkeeper George Parkin.
Half Time Score Gorleston 0 Newmarket Town 1
Ten minutes after the restart the energetic Deakan Napier again ran at the defence in typical fashion and hit an absolute screamer from just outside the box to double the Jockey’s lead. His celebration was something to remember as he dived at full pelt into the arms of the Jockey’s Manager, Kevin Grainger and almost knocked him over! Three minutes later Gorleston’s big centre back George Yusaff held back Lewis Whitehead as he rushed towards the goal. George Parkin could not hold onto Jamie Thurlbourne’s powerful free kick and Lewis Whitehead was on hand to tap the ball into the net.
Gorleston’s only real scoring chance came towards the end of the game when Ben Nower slipped over on the greasy wet surface but a Gorleston player inexplicably shot wide of an empty net!
Final Score Gorleston FC 0 Newmarket Town 3
Newmarket Man of the Mach: Jamie Thurlbourne.
Match report by Graham Edwards. 
The Jockeys are back in action after a short break when they travel to Long Melford on Friday in a League encounter.


Newmarket see off Fakenham Town

The game against Fakenham Town at the Ridgeons Stadium Stadium on Saturday got off to an explosive start when the Ghosts’ centre back, Lewis Sturman was sent off in the third minute for stamping on the foot of Austen Diaper. However the ten men from Norfolk quickly regrouped to keep the Jockeys at bay in the early stages of the game. In fact it was the visitors who had the first real chance to score when Joel Glover hit a ruthless shot which hit the post and bounced out in the thirteenth minute. Four minutes later Jamie Thurlbourne hit an equally fierce shot which deflected off a defender into the path of Jordan Foster who cleverly scored the opening goal of the match.

Midway through the half Joel Glover unleashed another tremendous shot which Ben Nower in the Newmarket goal saved in superb fashion. With five minutes remaining before half time the Jockeys doubled their lead when a Jamie Thurlbourne corner found James Seymour at the back post and he firmly headed the ball into the net. Fakenham however reduced the deficit in the dying seconds of the half when Danny Williams hit a great shot to make the half time score Jockeys 2 Fakenham 1

The visitors defended stoutly again in the second half and Lewis Whitehead, Jamie Thurlbourne and Austen Diaper both were all denied several scoring opportunities. The crowd were kept on the edge of their seats as the Ghosts threatened to score a breakaway goal against the run of play. However in the final ten minutes Newmarket went into overdrive and absolutely peppered the visitor’s goalkeeper with shots. Lewis Whitehead finally made sure of all three points with a great goal in the dying minutes of the game. Final Score Newmarket Town 3 Fakenham Town 1

Newmarket Town included their new signing from St Neots Town FC in their starting lineup for this game . Charlie Day is a product of the very successful Histon Scholarship. He played in more than 50 games for Histon’s first team and over 100 games for Cambridge City in the Southern League before joining St Neots at the end of last year. He failed to settle at St Neots and Newmarket boss Kevin Grainger snapped him up for the Jockeys on Friday evening. Charlie made a very encouraging start to his Newmarket career playing really well alongside the ever consistent Jack Watson in midfield. The Jockeys now go on to play arguably one of their most important games of the season when they travel to Gorleston on Tuesday evening in the semi-final of the Thurlow Nunn League Challenge Cup.


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Newmarket Maintain Promotion Push with win over Godmanchester

Newmarket Town piled the pressure on the other teams at the top of the Thurlow Nunn League with another emphatic win when they played Godmanchester Rovers at the Ridgeons Stadium on Saturday. The Jockeys could have scored even more goals had it not been for the brilliant goalkeeping of Evan Jeckells who made several superb saves on the day.

The first half saw end to end football which warmed the hearts of the spectators on another cold February afternoon. Early on both Deakan Napier for the Jockeys and Arran Mackay for the Rovers had good chances to score before Lewis Whitehead took a free kick just outside the box following a hand ball by a defender. Whitehead picked up the rebound off the defensive wall and eventually found Jack Watson who immediately crossed the ball back to Austen Diaper. His fierce shot looked destined for the net but Evan Jeckells managed to get a hand to the ball to deflect it away for a corner.*

Three minutes later Jeckells could do nothing however to stop a great 30 yard shot from the Jockeys skipper, Jack  Watson. Ten minutes before half time the home side doubled their advantage when Lewis Whitehead crossed the ball to Deakan Napier who turned and slammed the ball home. Half Time Score 2-0.

Shortly after the restart Godmanchester’s Reece King was put through with a delightful pass from midfield giving Austen Diaper little chance of saving a goal for the visitors. Moments later Jamie Thurlbourne restored the Jockeys two goal lead with a cracking shot from way out wide on the left which sailed into the net leaving even Jeckells clutching at thin air. This was surely a contender for goal of the season for the Jockeys. In the sixtieth minute Deakan Napier took a short corner to Jamie Thurlbourne and his cross found Charlie Bowen who firmly headed into the net. With less than 10 minutes remaining both sides were still pressing forward aggressively and this lead to a late flurry of goals. Austen Diaper scored first for the home side but this was quickly followed by a goal for the hard working Godmanchester centre forward, Arran Mackay. In the dying moments Lewis Whitehead completed the rout for the Jockeys when he took the ball in typical fashion past a defender and right to the line. He then scored from what looked like an impossibly tight angle. Final Score Newmarket 6 Godmanchester 2

What was  most impressive about this result was the fact that the six home goals came from six different players demonstrating that the Jockeys have firepower right throughout their team. Following this victory and news that both Mildenhall and Felixstowe had lost the Jockeys moved up to second place in the League table. Newmarket now take a two week break from the action with no fixture next Saturday. The Jockeys next entertain Fakenham Town at the Ridgeons Stadium on Saturday 25th February .

Match report from Graham Edwards

* a short video of this passage of play is available on the Newmarket Town official Twitter feed.

Newmarket v Cambridge

Jockeys take the bragging rights in local derby

The Jockeys took the local bragging rights in an thrilling local derby at the Ridgeons Stadium last night. The game was full of goals, shots on target and a few controversial on-field incidents. All of this provided pulsating entertainment for the large and vocal crowd.

The game started at a furious pace with Deakan Napier and Lewis Whitehead both unlucky not to score early on. Both players were however involved in the first goal which came in the thirteenth minute. Napier took a short corner to Whitehead who expertly crossed to James Chivers for him to head into the net at the back post. The home side then continued to pepper the Ely goal. Austen Diaper just shot wide and Charlie Bowen had a powerful header cleared off the line by the leg of a desperate defender. Lewis Whitehead then was denied on three separate occasions as he shot just wide, just over and finally hit the bar in a hectic five minute spell. It was not certainly going to be his night!

Completely against the run of play Ely then got back on level terms with a stunning long range individual goal from Kelvin Enaro in the thirty third minute. A few minutes later Newmarket’s centre back Mark Webster hobbled off the pitch with an injury to be replaced by Luke Seaber-Shinn. With five minutes remaining before the break Paul Betson was brought down in the box by a desperate lunge from the Ely goalkeeper Harry Reynolds. Newmarket skipper Jack Watson duly scored from the penalty spot to restore the Jockeys lead. Half Time Score 2-1.

As the second half got underway both sides had good scoring chances with Enaro, in particular, unlucky not to add to his tally on the evening. Newmarket however increased their lead in the seventy second minute in controversial fashion. Newmarket were denied a second penalty when the referee adjudged that a hand ball was inches outside the box. Jamie Thurlbourne hit a powerful free kick which rebounded off a defender into the path of Jack Watson who scored his second goal of the game. The Ely goalkeeper was subsequently given his marching orders by referree Stuart Cheek for foul language – his second bookable offence in the game. Substitute Daniel Jeffery took over as goalkeeper and was soon called on to make some fine saves. Five minutes later Newmarket’s Charlie Bowen was also sent off for getting a very harsh second yellow card. In between the two dismissals Jack Watson was denied his hat trick when his “goal” was ruled out after lengthy consultations between the referee and linesman resulted in a ruling that James Seymour had been in an offside position and was deemed to be interfering with play.

With less than ten minutes remaining and both sides down to ten men Ely ramped up the pressure when Matty Simpson clawed back a goal for the visitors. However the Jockeys quickly responded with a goal from Jamie Thurlboune to restore their two goal cushion. The drama was not over though as the final word went to Ely’s Tom Williams who scored in the final minute of added time. Final Score Newmarket 4 Ely 3.

This was fabulous entertainment yet again on the 3G pitch at the Ridgeons Stadium. The pitch had undergone regular expert maintenance work the day before and despite heavy overnight rain the playing surface was in absolutely perfect condition for the match. Newmarket now entertain Godmanchester Rovers in another local derby at the Ridgeons Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Match report by Graham Edwards


Jockeys on fire at Clacton

Clacton, despite being second from bottom in the League had high hopes following a four match home winning streak when they entertained third placed  Newmarket Town at the Rush Green Bowl on Saturday. However it was the visitors who controlled the game throughout resulting in a comprehensive 6-0 victory over the Seasiders.

 On a difficult uneven muddy surface the Jockeys got off to another flying start. In the 5th minute an attempted home clearance fell to Deakan Napier to slot home the first goal for Newmarket. In the 10th minute a clumsy challenge on Austen Diaper was adjudged a foul. Jack Watson’s well placed penalty was expertly saved by the Seasiders’ goalkeeper, Paddi Hawkins. In the 18th minute Hawkins was on hand again, tipping Austen Diaper’s goal effort round the post for a corner. Clacton’s first attempt at goal in the 30th minute saw Louie Newland’s attempted lob go over the bar. Newmarket added a second on the 40th minute when Lewis Whitehead rifled home through a crowded penalty area.

Three goals in four minutes midway through the second half sealed the Seasiders fate. Jamie Thurlbourne’s 55th minute superbly struck trademark free kick curled majestically into the bottom left hand corner of the goal for the visitor’s third. Lewis Whitehead converted a Deakan Napier cross in the 56th min. Two minutes later Whitehead was the provider as Scott Paterson added the fifth. In the 71st minute the Seasiders’ keeper, Paddi Hawkins dribbling prowess in his own area let him down as he gave the ball to Lewis Whitehead who had a simple task of adding the Jockey’s sixth and his own well earned hat trick. Whitehead is now the leading goalscorer in the Thurlow Nunn League with 22 goals in all competitions so far this season.

Despite only one real goal attempt, Clacton persevered throughout to play a passing game, but a mixture of unforced errors and clever effective inter-play from Newmarket resulted in a 6-0 victory to the Jockey’s.

The Jockeys next game is against the current leaders of the First Division, Coggeshall Town in the League Challenge Cup. The game takes place at Coggeshall on Tuesday evening with a 7.45pm kick off.


Points shared at Walsham Le Willows

Newmarket came away from Summer Road with just a point after letting a  two goal slip away on Saturday. The Jockeys started off in confident  move and scored after just four minutes. Scott Paterson fed the ball out  to Deakan Napier who ran round the young left back, Ed Elers, to take
the ball to the line. He pulled the ball back to the onrushing Jordan Foster who shot through the keeper’s legs to give the visitors an early lead. The Jockeys kept up the pressure throughout the half by creating several good scoring opportunities. Jamie Thurlbourne came closest to increasing the lead with two free kicks – one going just wide and the other being headed away by a defender. Right on the stroke of half time the second goal came for the visitors when Lewis Whitehead was put through one on one with Craig Brand in goal for the hosts. The keeper managed to get one hand on Whitehead’s powerful shot but that was not enough to stop the ball falling into the net to give the Jockeys a well deserved two goal cushion going into the half time break.
Walsham moved Nathan Clarke up front in the second half to try to claw their way back into the game. This tactical move paid dividends after twenty five minutes when his forceful low shot drove past a diving Ben Nower. The Jockeys responded to this setback by peppering the Walsham
goal with shots from all angles but it was the hosts who had the best chance when Jack Brame’s header rebounded off the post. Three minutes later Ryan Gibbs got the equaliser as he shot from the edge of box through a crowd of players to score. Final Score: 2-2

The Jockeys remain in third spot in the League despite dropping points in this game. They now travel to FC Clacton next Saturday. Clacton may  be one place off the bottom of the table but they claimed a creditable 1-1 draw themselves yesterday when they played at Great Yarmouth. The Jockeys will however being going all out for the points next weekend to  keep themselves in contention at the top end of the table.

Graham Edwards


Jockeys top table for player discipline

In the 2015/6 season the Jockeys’ first team received a total of 56 yellow cards plus 6 red cards in all matches. Over last summer the Club Committee resolved to take decisive action to curb bad behaviour on the pitch – particularly relating to dissent directed towards match officials. The players were told in no uncertain terms that such matters would not be tolerated and that things had to improve. Figures just released by the Thurlow Nunn League (copy attached) show that this policy is having a dramatic effect. The Jockeys ended 2016 with the best discipline record in all Thurlow Nunn league games so far this season with just 14 yellow cards and no red cards. This comes at a time when the League as a whole has seen a 48% increase in yellow cards and a shocking 78% increase in red cards.

Club Secretary, Graham Edwards commented:

“Whilst the League’s statistics do not show the full picture – they do not include Cup games – they do indicate that we have made huge steps in improving our player discipline. As a Club we are extremely proud to now boast the best disciplinary record in the Thurlow Nunn League. Despite this we are not complacent and we will continue to stress to the players that they must, in particular, respect the decisions made by referees.”

A full breakdown of each teams disciplinary record is available here


Gorleston sunk by rampant Jockeys

The coastal defences at Gorleston-on-Sea may have saved the town from flooding on Friday night but Gorleston FC’s defences were simply overwhelmed by a rampant Newmarket Town on Saturday afternoon. The Greens arrived at the Ridgeons Stadium with the only unbeaten record in the League and they started the game at a furious pace. They launched wave after wave of attacks in the first fifteen minutes of the game but the Newmarket defence, lead by the superb central pairing of Charlie Bowen and James Chivers, held rock solid. It was Bowen however who was almost the first to score at the other end of the pitch. A teasing corner from Luke Seaber-Shinn ended up with Bowen putting in a powerful header which was only just saved by the visiting keeper Taureen Molloy.

The whole game then turned on an absolutely brilliant individual goal from Austen Diaper. He received the ball on the touchline 35 yards out and he instinctively hit a powerful right foot shot which curled into the far top corner of the net to the absolute delight of the home supporters. On the half hour the unsung hero in midfield for the Jockeys, Scott Paterson, bravely back headed a ball to Jamie Thurlbourne who in typical fashion rounded two defenders and fired home Newmarket’s second goal. Paul Betson and Charlie Bowen were then both denied good goal scoring chances before Jamie Thurlbourne got his second of the game. This time Paul Betson headed him the ball and yet again he expertly rounded two defenders to score. Deep into added time Austen Diaper also got his second goal of the game – shooting between the keeper’s legs to give the jockeys a 4-0 half time lead.

Ten minutes into the second half Newmarket’s leading goalscorer, Lewis Whitehead, added to his impressive personal tally when he was fed a delightful ball by Ben Nower and he coolly shot past the despairing keeper. Gorleston then made a spirited, but sadly doomed, effort to claw their way back into the game with two goals from their exciting young player Connor Ingram. This simply spurred on the Jockeys to respond in style and two minutes later lively substitute Jordan Foster latched onto a loose ball in the box to slot home. In the last minute of normal time Austen Diaper completed his hat trick by heading home at the back post from a Jamie Thurlbourne cross. In the third minute of added time Jordan Foster completed the rout with another well taken goal. Final Score: Newmarket Town 8 Gorleston 2

This was without a shadow of doubt the Jockeys best performance in many years and it was all the more pleasing because it came against top quality opposition. The win moves Newmarket up to second place in the Premier Division of the Thurlow Nunn League and sets up another mouthwatering game at the Ridgeons Stadium on Tuesday evening. The visitors on Tuesday evening will be Felixstowe & Walton who are currently in third place in the league.

Report by Graham Edwards


New Year sees Jockeys get off to a flyer against Hadleigh United

The Jockeys got off to a flying start in 2017 with a 6-1 thrashing of Hadleigh Utd on a bitterly cold Bank Holiday Monday afternoon.

The home side started off with all guns blazing despite a two week lay off following the thrilling win at Stanway Rovers prior to Christmas. Despite this, and against the run of play, Hadleigh took the lead on 11 minutes when a brilliant through ball allowed Sam Sharp to slice through the defence and slot the ball past a diving Ben Nower. Newmarket regained their composure and continued to apply pressure on the visitor’s defence. On 25 minutes Austen Diaper put in a perfect cross from the left which allowed Lewis Whitehead to forcefully head home from five yards out to level the scores. Two minutes later Austen Diaper put the ball into the net himself but unfortunately he was deemed to have been offside. Diaper was causing all sorts of difficulties for the visitor’s defence and on 34 minutes he was pushed to the ground from behind just inside the penalty box. Skipper, Jack Watson, stepped forward to take the resulting penalty and he gave the keeper no chance whatsoever with a fearsome shot to give the Jockeys the lead for the first time in the game. On the stroke of half time Lewis Whitehead put in another brilliant cross which Jack Watson againblasted into the net. Half time score 3-1.

In the second half Hadleigh tried hard to get back into the game with centre forward Kyle Cassell in particular troubling the home defence on several occasions. Sadly however, Hadleigh’s efforts resulted in few clear cut chances to score. In the 72nd minute Austen Diaper increased the Jockey’s lead with a shot from close range. With only five minutes remaining Deakan Napier was fed a delightful ball from midfield over the heads of the defence. He charged forward and could easily have scored himself but he unselfishly passed the ball sideways to recent signing James Tricks and the former Daventry Town man had no difficulty in putting the ball into the net. With just seconds remaining Napier made yet another punishing run to the line and his powerful shot was turned
into the net by a despairing defender. Final Score 6-1.

This may have been a bitterly cold afternoon but the excellent, entertaining football being played by Newmarket left their supporters going home with a warm feeling inside. The Jockeys now face a long trip to Brantham Athletic next Saturday hoping to continue their good run of form.