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.