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Shinn’s focus on the present

PLENTY TO PLAY FOR: Newmarket boss Michael Shinn
PLENTY TO PLAY FOR: Newmarket boss Michael Shinn

Michael Shinn is determined not to let Newmarket Town’s season drift away over the next few months, writes Alex Moss.

The Jockeys let an early lead slip in a 4-1 defeat to league leaders Felixstowe & Walton United on Saturday, a result which saw Shinn’s side suffer back-to-back defeats for the first time in 2018.

But ahead of hosting fifth-placed Brantham Athletic this Saturday (3pm), the Newmarket boss says he wants to have a strong finish to their Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division campaign.

“I’ve been hearing a few people say it’s the end of our season and it’s all about building for next season now — it’s not,” Shinn said.

“We need to finish the season strong. We can still have half an eye on next season, but we must not let this season drift away.”

Shinn took charge of the Jockeys following the departure last month of long-serving manager Kevin Grainger, who has moved upstairs to become chairman of the club, and bolstered his squad with the signings of Jacob Partridge (Coggeshall Town) and Rhys Thorpe (Eaton Socon) earlier this month.

More new faces at the Bloorie.com Stadium are not expected before the window for signing players in the Thurlow Nunn League shuts at the end of this month, although Shinn says if the right player became available he would consider a move.

“To be honest, I don’t think we will (bring any more players in),” he said. “I’m not really looking at anyone at the moment.

“If someone becomes available who would strengthen us then we would look into it.”

After losing for the first time as Newmarket boss the previous weekend, Shinn faced a tough task to bounce back last Saturday as his side took on Premier Division leaders Felixstowe.

The Jockeys made a bright start when Jamie Thurlbourne scored from a free kick to give the hosts an early lead, but Felixstowe responded with two goals in as many minutes from Joe Francis and Kye Ruel to go in front.

Francis grabbed his second before the break to make it 3-1, with Scott Paterson inadvertently putting the ball in his own net late on for Felixstowe’s fourth goal.

“We started the game really well and scored from a free kick,” Shinn said. “We then had a decision right in the bottom corner of our half which went against us, the decision affected us for five or 10 minutes and we switched off.”

Lakenheath will be bidding to reach the semi-finals of the CNet Training Suffolk Senior Cup when they host Bungay Town in the last eight on Saturday (2pm).

The quarter-final tie was due to be played last weekend, but was postponed due to the bad weather and has been rescheduled for this weekend.

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