Newmarket Town goalkeeper Alex Archer scores against Gorleston in the Thurlow Nunn League Challenge Cup
Newmarket Town goalkeeper Alex Archer made his 351st appearance as a non-league footballer on Tuesday – and it is fair to say it was one of his most memorable outings.
The Jockeys were already two goals to the good in their Thurlow Nunn League Challenge Cup quarter-final tie at home against Gorleston when an over-weighted through ball worked its way back to Archer.
As instructed, the 25-year-old was quick to clear downfield but instead of picking out a team-mate, the ball bounced just outside the Gorleston penalty area before looping up over his opposite number Peter Murphy and crossing the line.
“With the likes of Lewis Whitehead and Ben Robinson in our attack now we have plenty of pace, so the manager has asked me to get the ball forward quickly to exploit the spaces,” said Archer, who had never previously had his name on the scoresheet.
“We want to turn back fours and that is what I was looking to do but the ball has skipped up and ended up going in.
“It was a little bit embarrassing in a way, but at the same time it was an important goal because at 2-0 up, the third goal has killed the tie.”
The 3-0 win has moved Newmarket into the semi-finals, as well as adding to the good feeling that has been generated around the club in recent weeks.
They head to Brantham Athletic in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division on Saturday (3pm) on the back of three straight wins, and Archer believes the future is bright under manager Michael Shinn.
“Last season there was a lot of chopping and changing and it became a bit of a muddled season,” he added.
“But with the likes of Lewis and Ben coming in recently, we are getting together a strong squad and momentum is starting to build.
“Everything at the club is set up for a higher level and that is what we are working towards, although we know it will take time.
“Things are coming together and hopefully we can finish the season strongly in the league and cup.”