Goals a Flurry Before the Christmas Break
By Mark Farmer-Wright
Goals a Flurry Before the Christmas Break
With one game to get through before the Christmas break the men’s firsts sat in equal 2nd place in Division 3NE with Ipswich, welcoming a a Newmarket team who although had back to back wins were sat in the lower half of the table. A full 3 points would be needed for the men to solidify their standing.
Drama ensued prior to push-back as floodlights failed to power up raising doubt as to whether the game would be able to commence. Little did bystanders know that this drama was only an aperatif of the feast for the eyes that was to come. With the men in a stir about the lights, and eager to ensure the game started whilst daylight was still to be had no full warm-up took place and that mixed with perhaps a little bit of complacency led to a toxic mix.
Newmarket flew in, all guns blazing, attacking with sting and ferocity and it wasn’t long before Newmarket were able to place a two goal lead over North Norfolk. Shell shocked but not blown out the water, the men slowly came into life as did a number of the floodlights, providing a warm and comforting feeling of home. Passes now zinging, and passages of play to match the early prowess of Newmarket began to show frailties in the opposition. Chances came across the D, but Farmer-Wright missed back-to-back chances on the reverse and on the strong side, picking the wrong options each time. Would this just not be the men’s day?
Well, they were determined it wouldn’t be. Attacks kept being forged exploiting weaknesses in the Newmarket stronghold, and a firm hit from the top of the D was beautifully tipped into the corner by Miles in graceful blind and turning motion, a fantastic finish. However Newmarket weren’t done yet, and time and time again were able to carve North Norfolk open and attack in numbers to devastating affect and eventually made it 3-1. It could have been more had it not been for multiple last ditch tackles from the back line of Hart, Whitwood, returning Bowden, and of course Bartram’s famous diving saves.
Still undefeated, North Norfolk were determined, with a resurrected midfield of Whitby, Sadler-Barker, Barker and backed-up by Hammond and Green for periods, all led by Miles in a almost Steven Gerrard worthy performance. Sayer brought Newmarket within touching distance, and Farmer-Wright levelled the score. Half time and already a 6 goal thriller, North Norfolk regrouped knowing the game and 3 points were all up for grabs.
North Norfolk came out of the break with passion and desire, the men worked hard in possession and hard off it. Coming to the ball, winning 50/50’s and driving forward as a team with purpose. After winning a short corner, Hendo’s Nose was called with Sayer explicitly demanding where the ball was to be delivered which of course Miles carried out without even being a millimeter off and Sayer finished with a fine deflection. The onslaught continued, and a skirmish towards the top of the D ended up at the feet of Miles who didn’t even need to look up before burying the ball in the bottom corner. As Newmarket pushed higher, more space was left for Farmer-Wright and after getting hold of one of the many through balls ended up entwined with the keeper but with the ball unprotected Farmer-Wright was able to pull it away and flick into the net.
6-3, but the game was far from over and Newmarket were able to take advantage of the fine margins as North Norfolk took their foot off the peddle to make it 6-4. In a short corner awarded to North Norfolk Miles called for an audacious unrehearsed move, whilst it didn’t happen it didn’t need too as Barker’s solid stroke of the ball found a foot and was forceful enough to loop up and over the defenders on the line. 7-4!! Newmarket felt aggravated and hard done by against the flow of play, and continued on positively and in a hectic final five minutes were able to find 2 extra goals to make it 7-6, however time was on North Norfolk’s side, and with 10 seconds to go Miles calmly ran the ball deeper and protectively into his own half awaiting the final whistle.
An unbelievable shoot-out of a match saw North Norfolk resiliently persist to win 3 valuable points as Ipswich dropped three against Magpies to leave North Norfolk 2 points clear in second place going into the break. Whilst the men came away feeling like they lost, the match was a clear indication of their potential and their intent for the season. To have been 2 goals down in two separate points in the game and to come back and win was an amazing feat. They can go into the Christmas break extremely proud of their season to date, whilst knowing they can take so much more from the second half with minor improvements and error reduction.
A massive well done to the men’s first, enjoy the break, keep fit and let’s go again on the 12th January away at Bury St Edmunds.