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