FA VASE SECOND QUALIFYING ROUND: Kirkley and Pakefield 2 Newmarket Town 0: Newmarket Town saw their FA Vase campaign end at the first hurdle on Saturday at divisional rivals Kirkley and Pakefield.
Both teams started strongly but it was the Royals who had the best chance of the opening period as Kyle Baker squandered a golden chance to take the lead when one-on-one with Town goalkeeper George Lawton.
With the rain growing in tenacity throughout the half so did the Royals’ chances with a number of the midfields’ balls challenging the stretched Newmarket defence.
An audacious attempt in the 34th minute from Hunter provided the home fans with hope as he attempted to lob Lawton after a driving run, while Ross King’s driving volley was expertly tipped over by the Newmarket stopper.
The half was not without chances for Town, with Ross Patterson testing the Royals’ defence with a series of mazy runs.
With neither team able to capitalise on their chances the score remained 0-0 going into the second half.
Both teams came out strong with Kyle Baker coming close to opening the scoring for the Royals and Newmarket having a penalty shout turned down at the other end.
A spilt save by Lawton in the 55th minute gave Miguel Lopez the opportunity to slot it home with clinical precision to give Royals the lead.
With confidence from the goal evident in the home side, a series of excellent passes left the keeper beat as Baker squared it to Ross King with Newmarket’s captain Adam Dalby expertly clearing off the line.
The Royals were looking to kill off the game as Baker laid it off to Jordan Haverson but he could only drag his effort past the Newmarket goal in the 63rd minute.
Opportunities for Town were few throughout, and despite a late rally it was ultimately the Kirkley who took the opportunity to kill off the game with King charging forward to feed Hunter, who perched on the edge of the box, was able to slot past unfortunate Lawton.
n Newmarket’s unbeaten start to the Thurlow Nunn League season ended on Tuesday when they lost 2-0 at home to Godmanchester Rovers.
Town travel to Brantham Athletic on Saturday (3pm).
n Isleham Under-12 Girls recorded their first win of the season with a 10-1 victory at home over Sawston.
Playing her first game of the season on pitch after standing in as goalkeeper, Tailia Irvine scored four goals with Amy McClean (two) Chloe Boneham and Evie Jakes also scoring to make it 8-0 at half-time.
Sawston fought bravely in the second half but Evie Jakes added her second before Amy McClean completed her hat-trick with what turned out to be Cerys Kirby-Cooks’ sixth assist of the match.
Evie Jakes and Amy Mclean were named joint players of the match.