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Jockeys get new season off to a flying start with two big wins

DOUBLE UP: Lewis Whitehead scored twice for Newmarket in their FA Cup victory
DOUBLE UP: Lewis Whitehead scored twice for Newmarket in their FA Cup victory

Newmarket Town have started their 2017/18 campaign in style, scoring 11 goals from their first two outings.

On Saturday, Kevin Grainger’s side progressed through to the Preliminary Round of the Emirates FA Cup with a 5-1 win over Great Wakering Rovers at the Ridgeons Stadium.

Jamie Thurlbourne handed the hosts the lead with an effort from 30 yards out, before an Austen Diaper header made it 2-0 at the break.

Last season’s leading goalscorer Lewis Whitehead then got in on the act in the second half with a brace.

Visiting Rovers, who were reduced to 10 men, pulled a goal back, but the final say went the way of Newmarket when Thurlbourne scored his second goal of proceedings.

Newmarket’s reward for winning is another home tie, this time with higher-league Ware being their visitors on Saturday, August 19.

n In the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division, Newmarket got up and running on Tuesday with a 6-0 home demolition of Fakenham Town.

Just as he did on Saturday, Thurlbourne opened the scoring, followed by a second goal courtesy of James Seymour.

It was 3-0 at half-time when Deakan Napier turned in Joe Bennett’s pass.

Whitehead opened his account in the league in the second, with his two goals sandwiching an effort from Diaper.

n The Jockeys are back in action on Saturday with a trip to Hadleigh United (3pm).

That is followed on Tuesday by a trip down the A11 to Thetford Town (7.45pm).

n In further good news for the club, its 3G playing surface has passed FIFA testing.

n Clubs in the Thurlow Nunn top flight have been rocked by the news that seven teams could be relegated this season.

As part of their plans to cut down costs and travelling time for clubs, the Football Association is intending to add new leagues at Steps 3, 4 and 5 in time for the start of the 2018/19 season.

And, to ensure that the transition is a smooth one, the FA has written to all Thurlow Nunn League top flight clubs, informing them the worst case scenario would see seven of them demoted.

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