Jockeys seek solution for poor home form

HOME IMPROVEMENTS NEEDED: Newmarker boss Kevin Grainger
HOME IMPROVEMENTS NEEDED: Newmarker boss Kevin Grainger

Newmarket Town’s poor run of home form has left manager Kevin Grainger scratching his head.

Saturday’s 4-1 reverse at the hands of Stanway Rovers was the Jockeys’ latest defeat at their Stadium, leaving them ninth in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division.

They have now been beaten on four occasions this term at their Cricket Field Road base, having lost on the 3G playing surface just five times during the entirety of the 2016/17 campaign.

Such form has been the source of much confusion for Grainger, whose side head to Great Yarmouth Town on Saturday (3pm).

“We have had injuries, but we cannot be making any excuses,” said the Newmarket chief.

“We are a different side at home to the one that plays away and I do not know why — it is tough to put your finger on it.

“On our pitch the game can be a bit quicker and sometimes you ask yourself if we have the right players to deal with it — I think we do.

“Away from home we can use our pace to play on the counter-attack, but at home teams sit back against us.

“It is tough, but it is up to us to break those teams down. We did it last year and we have to find a way to start doing it again.”

Newmarket travel to the Norfolk coast this weekend having won just three of their last 13 games in all competitions — a sequence that has all but ended their chances of promotion.

Nevertheless, with one eye on next season, Grainger remains determined that his team see out the remaining few months of 2017/18 in positive fashion.

“We have a great group of lads and collectively a brilliant changing room,” added Grainger.

“When things do not go your way you lose some confidence and there is some of that at play in our squad at the moment.

“But everyone is beating everyone in the league and if we win our couple of games in hand, we move up to fourth.

“We will look at things between now and the end of the season because we are not going to achieve our aims.

“Some reserve players will come in at times to see if they can cut it, but we also want to finish is as high as possible.”

Captain Jack Watson and midfielder Nick Wilderspin will miss the Yarmouth game through injury, but defender Jordan Lambert will return to the fold.