THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE
Stanway Rovers 1
Newmarket Town 2
Two goals from captain Jack Watson saw Newmarket take control of the battle for second place on Saturday.
The third-placed Jockeys went into the encounter five points adrift of their hosts.
That gap has been closed to just two points, with Newmarket potentially crucially able to boast two games in hand over Rovers.
It took the visitors 11 minutes to break the deadlock as Watson, from 18 yards out, found the back of the net through a crowd of players.
The scoreline remained 1-0 at half-time and early in the second half Rovers were reduced to 10 men when their captain Pip Boyland was handed his marching orders for elbowing Newmarket’s James Seymour.
But despite their numerical disadvantage, Stanway hit back in the 70th minute after Newmarket’s experienced full-back Paul Betson turned the ball into his own net from a set-piece situation.
There was further drama to come just three minutes later when Stanway were reduced to nine men — Daniel Slatter was the man that saw red for kicking out at Charlie Bowen inside the box.
Watson stepped up to take the resultant penalty, which he duly dispatched to secure the victory for Kevin Grainger’s team.
Newmarket do not return to action until January 2, when Hadleigh United will be the visitors to the Ridgeons Stadium (3pm).
n In the quarter-finals of the Thurlow Nunn League Challenge Cup, Newmarket have been drawn away to First Division high-flyers Coggeshall Town.
The tie will be played on Tuesday, January 31.
n Newmarket have completed the signing of James Tricks from Daventry Town.
The midfielder made his debut during the 2-1 victory over Stanway.
n Amy McLean scored seven goals as Isleham Under-14 Girls beat Newmarket Town Under-14 Girls 12-0.
Mia Yearn (2), Chloe Boneham (2) and Cerys Kirby-Cook also scored.