Michael Shinn feels that his Newmarket Town side set the standard with their performance during Saturday’s 2-1 victory at table-topping Felixstowe & Walton United, writes Liam Apicella.
The Jockeys made the trip to the coast on a bad run having won none of their last five outings, losing four times.
But they ripped up the form book at the Goldstar Ground, coming from behind to win for the first time since January 27, thanks to a double from Shaun Avis.
Now, Shinn has challenged his players to produce similar performances between now and the end of the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division campaign.
“We went there low on numbers so all things considered it is a great result,” said the player-boss.
“It just goes to show that on our day we are a very good side that is capable of beating anyone.
“The question now is how many days can we have? How many times will we put our bodies on the line and work hard for each other?
“We try to set high standards in training and match days, we have to make sure performances back those up.
“Hopefully the lads that came away from Felixstowe know they have set the standard.
“It looks a shock that we got that result, but it should not be that way — Newmarket should be getting results against the top six regularly.”
Ninth-placed Newmarket now have home games in quick succession against Gorleston (8th) on Saturday (3pm) and Great Yarmouth Town (17th) on Tuesday (7.45pm).
Adam Dalby (broken toe) and Jordan Lambert (suspended) will miss out, while Rhys Thorpe is rated 50/50 with a knee injury.
One player who is set to feature, though, is recent signing from Harlow Town, Leon Antoine. The striker scored on his debut in the 2-2 draw with Thetford and also played his part in the weekend’s victory.
Shinn said: “Leon played for me when I was in charge at Sudbury and we have stayed in contact.
“He wanted a fresh challenge and it was a no-brainer for us to sign him.
“He is a good centre-forward who is quick, strong and makes great runs in behind.
“We need to get him match fit but he has already shown his quality.”
Sam Sowden has also joined Newmarket on a dual registration deal from Fulbourn.