THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE
Ely City 2
Newmarket Town 3
Monday’s meeting between these neighbours meant the two games between them this season have produced 12 goals, with Newmarket coming out on top by the odd goal for a second time.
However, they did not have it all their own way against hosting Ely, who took the lead twice during the first half before eventually losing out to a late penalty.
The Robins got off to a perfect start when, in just the second minute, defender Tom Williams headed in Jamie Alsop’s cross.
Soon after Newmarket goalkeeper Ben Nower showed good reflexes to deny Kelvin Enaro from distance, before the visitors drew level through Austen Diaper’s 25-yarder.
But the half ended badly for The Jockeys as Enaro fired Ely back in front and then Diaper limped off with an ankle injury.
Nevertheless, Newmarket rallied in the second half and were level within five minutes of the restart courtesy of leading goalscorer Lewis Whitehead, who turned the ball home after a Luke Seaber-Shinn’s cross had hit the crossbar.
As the half wore on goalkeeper Harry Reynolds denied Deakan Napier on two occasions, but he could do nothing to prevent Ely from conceding a third and decisive goal in the closing stages.
A Napier cross was deemed to have been handled inside the box and Newmarket skipper Jack Watson stepped up to convert the resultant penalty.
n That win, coupled with Saturday’s 4-2 home victory over Ipswich Wanders (goals by Whithead, Diaper, Napier and Eamon Hatoum), has guaranteed at least a third-placed finish for Kevin Grainger’s side — their highest in 23 seasons.
Newmarket host Kirkley & Pakefield on Saturday (3pm), before a potential battle for the runners-up spot with second-placed Felixstowe & Walton United seven days later.
n Ely, meanwhile, require three points from their remaining two matches to meet manager Brady Stone’s target of 50.
They have the chance to achieve that on Saturday when Felixstowe will be the visitors to The Unwin Ground (3pm).
Last Saturday, Enaro was on target in a 1-1 draw at relegation-threatened Wivenhoe Town.