Sadly Newmarket Town’s season ended in disappointment with two defeats in their final weekend of games in the Thurlow Nunn League. The Jockeys lost the League Challenge Cup Final to local rivals Mildenhall in a closely fought game at Diss on a cold Bank Holiday Monday afternoon. The game got off to a disastrous start for Newmarket when Luke Butcher scored for the Hall from a Steve Spriggs free kick in the first minute of the game. Lewis Whitehead almost levelled the scores five minutes later when skipper Jack Watson fed him a perfect pass but his shot curled away over the head of a defender. Ollie Snaith, who had been recalled into the Newmarket squad following his recent stint with Cambridge City, was then was involved in a couple of scoring opportunities which sadly came to nothing. Mildenhall then conceded several free kicks for fouls on Lewis Whitehead and Deakan Napier but unfortunately none of these resulted in good scoring chances. Mildenhall finished the half strongly with Steve Spriggs putting in two great shots which were blocked by Ben Nower and Mark Webster respectively. Half Time Score 1-0
The Jockeys were soon back on level terms after the resumption when Jamie Thurlbourne put in a superb cross to Mark Webster who headed the ball down into the net from close range. The Jockeys were playing some excellent passing football which resulted in shots from Ollie Snaith and Deakan Napier. Mildenhall preferred a more direct route to goal and they also came close to scoring when Ben Nower had to make a stunning one handed save from a shot by Steve Spriggs. The decisive moment came in the seventieth minute when Dan Brown broke free down the left side of the pitch and put in a cross to the unmarked Steve Spriggs who hammered the ball into the net from twenty yards out. The Jockeys almost got back on level terms when Simon Swinton just failed to connect with another of Jack Watson’s teasing crosses. Final Score Mildenhall 2 Newmarket 1
On Saturday the Jockeys got off to an equally bad start when a shot by Callum Bennett in the fourth minute rebounded off James Chivers and Bennett made no mistake with his second opportunity to put the ball into the net. Jamie Thurlbourne, Jack Watson and Simon Swinton all had good chances to score before the interval but Craig Jennings came closest to scoring for the home side when he forced Ben Nower to make a brilliant save ten minutes before the break. Half Time Score 1-0
The Jockeys tried hard to get back into the game in the second half but Tom Winter sealed the points for the home side with a well taken goal in the sixtieth minute. This victory sealed the runners up spot in the League for Felixstowe. Final Score Felixstowe & Walton 2 Newmarket Town 0
Despite the weekend’s disappointments the Jockeys have finished the season in third place in the League scoring more goals than any of the other teams by a wide margin. Lewis Whitehead has also topped the individual goal scoring chart. Overall this has been the best season for the Jockeys since way back in the 1990’s and there is no doubt that this is down to the quality of both the current squad of players and the new 3G pitch at the Ridgeons Stadium. The hard working committee of the Club are planning some further ground improvements over the summer and everything bodes well for the future of football in Newmarket.
Report by Graham Edwards