EAST MEN’S LEAGUE
Ipswich II 2
Newmarket’s first team made it back-to-back wins at the start of the new season thanks to a 5-2 victory at Ipswich II on Saturday.
Despite being without the services of Darren Jenkins, Iain Robinson and skipper Jordan Newnes, the visitors were in command of proceedings from the first minute.
Newmarket knocked the ball around smartly and created a number of opportunities before midfielder Mike Skelton drove the ball into the D and forced an Ipswich defender to put through his own backboard to break the deadlock.
The goals started to flow thereafter and the makeshift backline of Mark Pears, Ollie Wade, Will Wilson and Louis Hrebeniak found themselves largely untroubled as James Atkinson and Josh Dawson both struck.
The fourth goal followed an impressive team move as Hrebeniak secured the ball from a Wilson jab tackle and working it right via Leggett to Matt Holden.
He in turn fed the ball in to Skelton, who squared to Dawson for a simple reverse-stick finish.
Ben Atkinson was a menace down the left and he forced the final goal as another Ipswich defender scored an own goal.
Ipswich were able to grab a late consolation goal past goalkeeper Seth Bailey, who had made a couple of important saves early on when the game was still in the balance but found himself a spectator for the most part.
On Saturday, Newmarket will look to make it three wins in a row when they host Norwich City III (1.30pm).
n After their first East Women’s League Division 1N encounter against Harleston Magpies II was abandoned, Newmarket Ladies I got their season under way with a 1-1 draw at Dereham I.
Newmarket’s defence held strong as Dereham had numerous short corners, and young goalkeeper Jersey Bennett made some crucial saves that kept the score 0-0 at half-time.
The away side went into the second half with a positive state of mind and had several attacks, but no luck on goal.
Meanwhile, Dereham finally made the short corners count with a drag flick that found the net.
However, Newmarket did not let their heads drop as they continued to push and won a short corner with seconds left of the match — only their second penalty corner all day.
From that, Grace Evans broke the line early and subsequently received a green card and was sent off.
With the final whistle gone, Newmarket retook their penalty corner as Faye Andreou slipped the ball to Hayley Stoneman, whose shot came back off the post and fell to Kerry Alderson who gleefully scooped it up and flung it into the back of the net to salvage a dramatic share of the spoils.
Colchester I will provide the opposition at home on Saturday (12pm).
n Peter Booth, Simon Harrington and Jonny Bunker were all on target as Newmarket Men’s II beat I-ES V 3-2 in Division 5NE. They travel to Ipswich Cranes on Saturday (2pm).