Tuesday 19th July 2016, and the newly revamped Ridgeon’s Stadium played host to an all-star Cambridge first team as the wraps fully came off the brand new £750,000 pitch. It was a day of excitement and crowds flocked to see the pitch in all its finery.
Fast forward just over a year and yet again the Cambridge United/Newmarket Town partnership that sees hundreds of Cambridge youth team members train regularly at the state of the art 3G pitch was helped further when Cambridge United sent over a development squad. If 2016 was about the uncovering and the spectacle, 2017 was most certainly about the future. Cambridge’s team packed full of youth and talent. And after Newmarket Town’s near miss on promotion last season, the excitement is very much about what the current team might dare to dream and ultimately achieve.
The game didn’t disappoint with both teams starting well and play a high energy, high pressing game. The first half ended with Newmarket Town one nil down, but the game was in the balance. The old cliche is that the next goal was crucial, and that was provided for Newmarket by Simon Swinton. It proved the turning point and the Jockeys soon took a 2-1 lead through Lloyd Groves before Cambridge pegged them back to 2-2. With the game approaching the closing stages it was our top striker from last season, Lewis Whitehead, who found himself through on goal before expertly placing a delicate chip over the keeper to seal a 3-2 win.
The Jockeys have one last pre-season friendly away at Bar Hill tomorrow (Thursday) evening 6.30pm kick off.
The new season starts at 3pm on Saturday 5th August with a home FA Cup game versus Great Wakering Rovers.