New signings can help remove Jockeys’ naivety

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Newmarket Town manager Kevin Grainger is hoping the new signings made this week will help remove the naivety in his squad.

The Jockeys visit Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division basement dwellers Fakenham Town on Saturday (3pm), looking to end a run of games which has included four defeats, two abandonments, one draw and no wins.

Deakin Napier and James Lane have returned to the club this week to bolster Grainger’s squad, and both are likely to feature at Clipbush Park this weekend.

“We’ve made some new signings with James Lane and Deakin Napier both returning to the club,” the Newmarket boss said. “They are the right players we want at this club.

“We’ve got a really good squad and I’d say it’s probably now stronger than what we started with at the beginning of the season.”

For the second time in a fortnight the Jockeys were involved in an abandoned game, after a nasty injury to goalkeeper Barney McLaughlin resulted in Saturday’s match with Swaffham Town being called off.

Swaffham took the lead on 22 minutes when Damian Skolorzynski shot through a crowd of players from 15 yards out to put the visitors 1-0 up at Cricket Field Road.

Newmarket got back on level terms in the 36th minute after Mark Webster finished off a move from a long ball.

The Pedlars started the second-half strongly and went back in front on 50 minutes, as Jack Defty pounced on a goalkeeping error to blast home from a tight angle.

It would prove to be the last of the action as McLaughlin suffered a concussion after hitting the goal post with his head when trying to atone for his mistake.

“It’s been a bit of a habit for us,” Grainger said about Saturday’s abandonment. “I’ve never experienced two games being abandoned so close to each other.

“It was awful on Saturday. The pitches were terrible and when we came back out for the second-half it was horrendous, you could hardly even stand up in it.

“Barney’s fine now. He had a little bit of a sore head and has been told to rest up. It will be down to him whether he plays for us on Saturday.”

Despite their recent slump in form, the Jockeys remain sixth in the Premier Division table ahead of this weekend.

Newmarket will be looking to get back to winning ways at a Fakenham side (20th), who have lost their last four games in all competitions.

However Grainger will not be taking Fakenham lightly, after seeing his side lose 4-3 to the relegation-threatened Ghosts last month.

“Fakenham have already beaten us this season so they are no mugs,” he said.

“We were 3-0 up against them and they came back and beat us 4-3 at our place.

“It was a bit of naivety on our part. When they got a goal back the momentum goes with them, and then they got it back to 3-2 and worried us.

“Without a doubt our new signings will help take away some of that naivety we’ve got.”