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Jockeys win local derby

A bumper crowd at the Ridgeons Stadium on Saturday were treated to an extremely entertaining match with eight absolutely top class goals being scored in total. There could have been even more goals in the game had it not been for a brilliant display by teenage goalkeeper Ollie Froud. The Jockeys’ Under 18 keeper was making his first team debut for the Jockeys in the absence of Ben Nower whose wife went into labour just hours before kick off. Froud made four superb saves in the first half alone as part of an excellent all round display of goalkeeping.

The Jockeys started the scoring bonanza in the twentieth minute when Jamie Thurlbourne put in a pinpoint cross which Austen Diaper headed firmly into the net from the back post . Shortly afterwards Charlie Bowen went back into the changing rooms for treatment to a bad gash on his forehead. Rovers took full advantage of their one man advantage as Rafal Wozniak scored from the edge of the 6 yard box to level the scores. Two minutes later the Jockeys restored their lead following a foul by Luke Haines on the Jockeys’ skipper Jack Watson. Paul Betson received the ball from the resulting free kick and he centred to Deakan Napier who headed home. Froud then made two one handed saves from Luke Haines and Jordan Palmer respectively before the Jockeys increased their lead. Jack Watson hit a powerful shot which was turned into the path of Lewis Whitehead and the League’s leading goalscorer made no mistake in scoring from short range. However Luke Haines swiftly reduced the deficit with a cracking goal which was a fair reward for his first half efforts. With less than a minute remaining before the half time break young Ollie Froud was again called on to make two outstanding saves to keep Rovers at bay. Half Time Score: 3-2

Within two minutes of the restart Jamie Thurlbourne hit a typical long range effort which curled magnificently over the visiting keeper, Charlie Turner, and into the net. Ten minutes later Austen Diaper got his second goal of the game with a thunderbolt shot from the edge of the box. Plucky Rovers tried hard to get back into the game and Froud pulled off yet another fabulous save from a stinging shot from substitute Rory Jebb. With seconds remaining Haverhill got some further reward for their efforts when Ben Bradley scored from close range. Final Score: 5-3

Seaside away trip proves fruitful 

A brace by Deakan Napier was enough to secure all three League points for the Jockeys from their long away trip to the Norfolk coast on Saturday. Both sides struggled to play entertaining football on a bobbly pitch in an uninspiring first half. The first real attack of note came from the home side in the tenth minute when Haydn Davies beat two defenders in a clever passing move but his final shot was wide of the mark. Ten minutes later the Jockeys put some good passes together themselves when Jamie Thurlbourne, Jack Watson and James Seymour combined but Seymour’s shot was blocked on the line by a defender’s outstretched leg. The only other decent scoring opportunity of the half also fell to James Seymour when his overhead kick went just over the bar three minutes before the break. Half time score 0-0Within five minutes of the restart Deakan Napier hit a powerful shot from the edge of the box. The goalkeeper, Elvijs Putnins, managed to get one hand to to the ball but it hit the inside of the post and went into the net. The hosts fought hard to get back on level terms with Sean Perfect and Haydn Davies both having good chances to score. However the Jockeys doubled their lead in the seventy fifth minute when James Seymour took on the defence and put the ball out wide to Lewis Whitehead. His cross found Deakan Napier who struck the ball firmly into the net. Five minutes later Austen Diaper laid on a perfect pass to Paul Betson whose shot went just wide of the post. With just minutes remaining both sides had further good chances to score. Ben Nower did well to tip over a stinging shot from point blank range before the ball was taken down to the other end of the pitch by Paul Betson. His pass found skipper Jack Watson but sadly his shot sailed just over the bar. Final Score: Great Yarmouth 0 Newmarket 2

The Jockeys are without a match next weekend . The next game sees them entertain Haverhill Rovers in a local derby at the Ridgeons Stadium on Saturday 1st April.

Jockeys bow out of Suffolk Premier Cup

The Jockeys bowed out of the Suffolk Premier Cup at the semi-final stage but the scoreline does not truly reflect a battling performance by the Jockeys who can hold their heads up high in defeat.

The game was played at Needham Market in front of a healthy crowd of 143 spectators. Lowestoft who play in the Premier Division of the Ryman League were clear favourites to win the game and they started like a house on fire. In the first fifteen minutes they mounted a series of threatening attacks and put in numerous good shots on target. However the back four of Newmarket plus Ben Nower in goal repulsed every effort by the Trawler Boys. The stout defence on display resulted in the Jockeys raising their game and this put them in control of the match for a long period. In the fifteenth minute Jamie Thurlbourne put in a delightful through ball to Lewis Whitehead whose powerful shot curled agonisingly wide of the post. Five minutes later it was the turn of Luke Seaber-Shinn to lay on a pass for the front man but again Whitehead’s shot went just wide. Five minutes after that Jamie Thurlbourne hit a ball over the top of the defence but this time Whitehead shot just over the bar. Jamie Thurlbourne and Austen Diaper then both came close to scoring before Lowestoft broke down field to score against the run of play. The right back, Harry Barker laid on a perfect cross to the advancing Jamie Forshaw who forcefully put the ball into the net.

Half time score: Newmarket 0 Lowestoft 1

The second half resulted in fewer chances for both sides but the Jockeys fought very hard to get back into the game with skipper Jack Watson trying his hardest to rally his troops. The best chance for the Jockeys came midway through the half when Austen Diaper put in an audacious overhead kick which sailed just over the bar. Moments later Harvey Hodd, who had impressed throughout the game, hit a wicked shot which Ben Nower did really well to save. Kevin Grainger then sent on the diminutive Deakan Napier from the bench and he started to terrorise the Lowestoft defenders with some typical bursts of speed as the Jockeys desperately tried to level the scores. Sadly however with less than a minute remaining Nico Cotton latched on to a loose ball on the edge of the Jockey’s box and rifled his shot along the ground into the far corner of the net.

Final score Newmarket 0 Lowestoft 2

The final score somewhat flattered the Trawler Boys and the Jockeys demonstrated in this game that they can mix it with a team who play two levels higher than them in the non-league pyramid. The Jockeys performance drew wide praise from all sides and puts them in good heart for their next trip to the popular seaside resort of Great Yarmouth on Saturday and for the remainder of the season.

Newmarket 2 Walsham-le-Willows 4

Newmarket Town let a two goal lead against Walsham-le-Willows  slip for the second time this season on Saturday. This defeat could prove very costly indeed as the Jockeys battle for a top finish in the League this season. The home side got off to a really good start with numerous chances to score in the first half. In the fifteenth minute some clever passing between Simon Swinton, Lewis Whitehead and Jamie Thurlbourne ended with Jamie Thurlbourne beating two defenders and scoring from the edge of the box. Ten minutes later the same three players were again involved but Simon Swinton’s shot was straight into the arms of the keeper, Craig Brand. Moments later Jamie Thurlbourne again beat two defenders but his powerful shot hit the post and went out for a goal kick.

Five minutes later Jamie Thurlbourne was again in the thick of the action and his through ball to Austen Diaper was skilfully hit over the head of the advancing keeper and into the net. With ten minutes remaining before the break Ryan Gibbs crossed the ball to Andrew Wood who simply side footed the ball into the net. From the kick off Austen Diaper put Lewis Whitehead through and the visiting keeper Craig Brand made a brilliant one handed save from his stinging shot. Minutes before the half finished Mark Webster unfortunately handled the ball in th penalty area and Andrew Wood scored from the spot to level the scores. Half Time Score: Newmarket 2 Walsham-le-Willows 2

Within six minutes of the resumption in play Walsham took the lead for the first time in the game when Andrew Wood hit a well taken goal. The Jockeys tried desperately to get back on to level terms and there was some end to end attacking football to entertain the crowd. Try as they might however the Jockeys failed to score and on the stroke of the final whistle that man Andrew Wood hit the back of the net again to make sure of all three points for the visitors.

Full Time Score Newmarket 2 Walsham-le-Willows 4

Man of the Match: Andrew Wood of Walsham-le-Willows

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.