THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE
Diss Town 2
Newmarket Town 2
Kevin Grainger has warned Newmarket that their current position of seventh will be regarded a failure after they were held by Diss Town.
With the manager eyeing a top-five finish as a minimum, the Jockeys dropped further points in a match they would have expected to win as a Matt Dixon double cancelled out goals from Mark Webster and Lee Clift to ensure the struggling hosts took a share of the spoils.
And having seen his team reside in a top three position for large parts of the season, Grainger has warned anything other than a top-five place,come the end of the season will be a failure in his eyes.
“We are drawing too many games and that is a massive shame because it looks like ruining what looked a decent season,” said the manager, whose sit five points adrift of fifth with seven games remaining.
“I’m a bit gutted if I’m honest because we were in the top three for most of the season and now find ourselves seventh.
“I’d like to finish in the top five. Anything else will be a bit of a failure for me.”
The visitors started brightly and came close to breaking the deadlock in the ninth minute as Luke Parkinson’s dangerous corner from the right was headed across the face of goal by Webster.
However, it was the hosts who opened the scoring just three minutes later as Dixon raced onto a long clearance before firing past George Lawton at the second attempt after the keeper had saved his initial effort.
At the other end, Steve Holder came inches away from levelling as he swept a left-footed effort narrowly past the left post following a cut back from Parkinson.
Just past the half-hour mark Brown called Lawton into action to tip the forward’s low drive away.
But just as the home side appeared to be getting a foothold in the match, Newmarket got themselves level after 34 minutes.
Another Parkinson corner again found Webster who capitalised on the abundance of space afforded to him to power a header past the helpless Powley.
However, the half ended on a concerning note for the visitors as midfielder Scott Patterson was taken to hospital with a serious knee injury after collapsing under his own weight.
Despite the setback, Newmarket found themselves ahead two minutes after the restart following a gift of a goal from Diss custodian Powley.
What first appeared to be a routine clearance from a pass back, resulted in a mis-kick falling at the feet of Clift to simply roll the ball into the empty net and leave Powley red faced.
The home side responded and levelled after 59 minutes as Dixon arrowed an unstoppable 30-yard left-footed effort into the top left corner.
At the other end Powley went some way to redeeming his earlier mistake with 13 minutes remaining.
A run down the left from Parkinson saw his drilled cross pick out Holder who looked certain to score only for Powley to somehow react and push the ball away.
n Newmarket Town Under-16s overcame Cambridge Celts 5-0 courtesy of goals from Harry Darling (two), Jordan Finnerman, Pat Youngs and an own goal, to secure their place in the Brenda Ince Memorial Cup final where they will meet Littleport Town Colts.
n The league’s bottom side Ely City will be aiming to halt a seven-game losing run when they host Felixstowe and Walton United on Saturday (3pm before travelling to Godmanchester Rovers on Monday (3pm).
n In Ryman League Division One North, Soham Town Rangers travel to Chatham Town on Saturday (3pm) before hosting Wroxham on Monday (3pm).
Rangers reached the final of the Cambridgeshire Invitation Cup by beating Shelford 2-1. They will meet Cambridge City in the final on a date to be arranged.