Newmarket Town snatched a late victory over CRC on Wednesday evening in the Eastern Counties Premier Division, Jamie Thurlbourne the scorer of the winning goal in the 86th minute.
The game started in lively fashion with some hard hitting tackles and blocks from both sides, and CRC giving as good as they got, settling into a good rhythm in the early stages. The hosts pressed the ball well and gave CRC little time on the ball, but the scholars began to find their feet and control possession well throughout.
Elliot Hogan thought he had given the visitors the lead, only to be ruled out for offside having broken free from the Jockeys back four. It was however, the hosts who opened the scoring. A rash decision from keeper Mcnulty to come to clear was misjudged and the resulting free kick provided the goal. Mcnulty was booked and perhaps fortunate to have stayed on the pitch. Thurlbournes deep cross to the back post was nodded in by Jockeys defender Matt Bonner to give them the lead just past the half hour mark.
CRC responded well and had long spells of possession without being a real threat on the Newmarket goal, and the second half started similarly. CRC began to cause some problems though and when James Akintunde danced his way through the back four and was brought down in the box, Matt Lowe slammed home the resulting penalty with confidence.
What followed was a really dominant spell from the youngsters, Akintunde looking a threat and the lively Hogan always looking like he could spring a chance. Newmarket defending their box well and cleared and blocked things brilliantly to deny the youngsters the opportunity to lead the game.
It was Newmarket who managed to create some pressure of their own in the final ten minutes with a number of set plays. They saw a looping cross hit the top of the crossbar, and then forced McNulty into a good save. The goal came after Ben Pring fouled his man on the edge of the box and the quickly taken free kick slid Thurlbourne in on the angle to slam home to extend the lead just minutes from time to consign the unfortunate CRC to defeat.
Coach Mark Bonner said, “We were spirited, hard working and exciting in spells of the game. In the first half we managed the ball well without hurting them, but added a little more pace and purpose to our attacks in the second half. Once we had equalised, we looked like we may go on to win the game and could’ve done but for some good defending. Having been in a position where we could’ve won it, we then shouldn’t lose it. Sometimes you have to settle for a point and defend without risk.
Pressure on us lasted too long as we failed to clear danger big enough or consistently enough. Eventually their pressure told and led to the winner. That said, the goals are really poor decisions, firstly from Dillon and then Ben. It’s unfortunate that these instances are punished, but it’s the reality. We need to be more focussed to cut out these errors. We lost because we made too many mistakes.
We aren’t far from being able to take points from games consistently, but we must want to raise the bar, improve our concentration and maintain a winning desire. Resilience in and between games is a skill worth having, now our players need to demonstrate it.”
Team: Mcnulty, North, Pring, Heath, Burns, Horne, Lowe, Doyle, Hogan, Cook, Akintunde Not Used; Joynes, Banthorpe, Leavers