THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE
Newmarket Town 1
Newmarket Town manager Kevin Grainger offered ‘no excuses’ after the Jockeys’ bad form continued with a 2-1 loss against Walsham-le-Willows on Friday night.
Captain Adam Dalby’s goal just before half-time cancelled out Michael Barwick’s excellent early strike for the visitors, but substitute Ryan Clark produced another fine effort to win the game for the Willows.
The home side have now lost four of their last five games and Grainger is frustrated that possession and pressure are not being turned into goals.
“I’m disappointed. We’re on a terrible run at the moment and we can’t seem to get out of it,” he said.
“We have got a lot of injuries, but there are no excuses as the team we fielded tonight was strong enough to beat Walsham.
“We enjoyed good spells in the game and played the better football but were undone by two great strikes. We just can’t seem to put the ball into the back of the net.”
Walsham got off to a dream start after four minutes when Barwick smashed in a loose ball from the edge of the box high past Dan Heath.
The early goal rocked Newmarket, and the visitors enjoyed a good spell in the first half an hour, but Deakin Napier did force a sharp save from Willows keeper Liam Bryant after 17 minutes.
The Jockeys eventually started to settle and Jamie Thurlborne’s left-footed strike beat Bryant, but was cleared off the line by Nathan Clarke.
The equaliser came in the 43rd minute when Thurlborne’s well delivered corner was touched in at the back post by skipper Dalby.
Newmarket started the second half brightly and thought they should have had a penalty when Jamie Thurlbourne’s strike appeared to hit a Walsham hand inside the area, but the referee waved away the appeals.
It was Walsham who next went closest to regaining the lead when Andrew Wood’s header was brilliantly tipped round the post by Heath.
Walsham introduced Clark in the 62nd minute and 10 minutes later the substitute’s outside of the foot shot flew in to put the visitors back in front.
Newmarket huffed and puffed for an equalising goal in the last 15 minutes of what was mainly a scrappy affair, but they could not break down the away side’s rearguard.
The result has left the Jockeys winless in five games, which in turn has seen them drop down to 10th in the table.
Newmarket Town: Heath; Dalby, Beston, Snaith, Thompson, L Thurlbourne, Abbs, J Thurlbourne, Wayne, Napier, Chadwick.
Journal Man of the Match: Jamie Thurlbourne.
n Grainger’s men will have the chance to return to winning ways when FC Clacton visit Cricket Field Road on Saturday afternoon (3pm).
The Essex outfit, who beat Saffron Walden Town 3-0 last time out, are two points below Newmarket in the standings with three games in hand on the Suffolk side.
When the teams met earlier in the season, Newmarket ran out 1-0 winners.