SUFFOLK FA PREMIER CUP SEMI-FINAL
Newmarket Town 0
Lowestoft Town 2
Kevin Grainger had nothing but pride for his Newmarket Town players after they put in a gutsy performance in their Suffolk FA Premier Cup defeat to Lowestoft Town.
The Jockeys, 40 places below their semi-final opponents in the football pyramid, more than matched the Premier Cup holders over the 90 minutes at Needham Market’s Bloomfields ground on Tuesday night.
Strikes from Jamie Forshaw and Southend United loanee Nico Cotton in either half helped the Trawlerboys progress to the final, which is being held at Colchester United, in May.
But Newmarket boss Grainger, who had seen his side surrender their eight-match winning run in all competitions following a surprise 4-2 home defeat to Walsham-le-Willows just three days earlier, was delighted with how the Jockeys performed against their higher league opponents.
“We were gutted from Saturday,” he said. “I think we got a bit over confident. We’ve been playing so well.
“But I think at least it shows we can bounce back, although we haven’t won, that standard of performance would beat most teams in our league I would have thought.
“I thought we gave a great account of ourselves, I think in the second half especially.
“We probably had better chances in the first half, we got behind them a bit more, but I thought in the second half we dominated possession.
“It’s two mistakes that have done us, but that’s the learning process, as these lads want to go up and get promoted you learn from these mistakes.
“I thought we made Lowestoft at times look quite ordinary. They obviously are a good side, but we never really let them play and we actually saw nothing that was really going to frighten us.”
Grainger and his players were aiming to steer Newmarket to their first Premier Cup final since 1999, and they were in with a shout of forcing extra time before Cotton scored Lowestoft’s second in the final minute of normal time.
Just seconds before the goal, the Jockeys had a strong appeal for a penalty turned down by the referee, as defender Charlie Bowen appeared to be hauled down in the box following a corner.
n Newmarket (3rd) return to Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division action with a trip to seventh place Great Yarmouth Town this Saturday (3pm).
The club have sent in all the necessary paperwork to The FA relating to their application for a licence for promotion to Step Four.
Newmarket Town: Nower, Chivers, Seaber-Shinn, Webster, Bowen, Watson (c), Thurlbourne, Seymour, Whitehead (Napier 70), Diaper, Betson. Subs not used: Murphy, Goddard. Journal MOTM: Jamie Thurlbourne.