Seasiders 2 Newmarket 0

Thurlow Nunn League

Premier Division

Saturday 29th April 2017

Pictures Stan Baston

Story Phil Griffiths

 

Firstly I would like to pay credit to Newmarket Town who came to the Goldstar, two days ahead of their League Cup Final at Brewers Green Lane, and fielded what certainly looked like their strongest available side, yes they were missing 27 goal Austen Diaper who was injured but had three players in the side who had each netted over 20 goals this season. They set out intending to win the game and overturn a -7 goal difference which would have seen them climb above the Seasiders to make the League Cup Final a game of 1st V 2nd.

In the end it wasn’t to be and I felt the Seasiders ended comfortable winners, marked for me by the fact that Danny Crump was only called into real action just once over the 90 minutes.

In fact, all in all it was an excellent final day with the old clubhouse creaking at the seams for the last official match - before, during and after the game, for one final time.

367 supporters on a ‘Pay What You Want’ entry were inside to watch the final game being staged from the old clubhouse and by midway through the second half that figure had grown too well in excess of 400, great support and hopefully 2016/17 will prove to be a significant stepping stone season with the club going from strength to strength both on and off the field.

A goal in each half gave the Seasiders what in the end was a comfortable victory to cement second placed in the table with our most wins in a season and most points collected although we only played 40 games whereas twenty years ago it was a 42 game season.

The Seasiders gave their supporters, just what they wanted against their free scoring visitors, who had netted 122 league goals this season, shutting them out for the second time this season to complete a league double.

The Jockeys started the game on the front foot with 21 goal Jack Watson going close to firing his side head in the opening minute, drilling his shot wide of Danny Crump’s post but they were rocked three minutes later when the Seasiders first serious attack ended with the ball nestled in the bottom corner of former Seasider Ben Nower’s net.

A nice piece of football had had seen Callum Bennett burst into the Newmarket area and get in a shot that was initially blocked, with the ball running to Matthews who played the ball back to Bennett and this time there was mistake as he rifled his shot across Nower’s goal, beyond the ‘keeper and into the net.

It was the perfect start and I get the feeling when we score early that we always look the more likely to score again and go on to win the match.

My theory was tested just a minute after the restart with Danny Crump being called into action and producing a superb save to turn over Jamie Thurlbourne’s rising volley as the Jockeys looked for a quick response, and if there was any doubt about either side’s commitment, that was dispelled in the 10th minute as the referee produced three yellow cards to end a melee in front of the visitors’ dugout. Ok, it was a bit of a handbags at ten paces situation with nothing to serious going on, but demonstrated that both sides were committed to winning the game.

It was end to end football throughout the first half with the Jockeys Deakan Napier and Lewis Whitehead live wires in attack, chasing lost causes and closing down defenders while Jamie Thurlbourne looked to have some classy touches creating space for himself and others.

For the Seasiders Josh Kerridge & Jordy Matthews had control in the middle of the park, allowing others to find space and play the ball and all in all it provided plenty of entertainment for the watching crowd.

Napier was off target with an effort at one end while Barber should have done better when he got his head to a free kick from Ainsley at the other and Matthews forced an excellent save from Nower who turned his effort from Bennett’s corner over the Jockeys bar.

Jamal Wiggins replaced Matt Collins at half time and was quickly involved in the action producing a shot across the face of the Newmarket goal. There was never the intensity of the first half, indeed Both Napier and Whitehead would need to have been trained up to Premier Division levels to keep producing there quick fire probing runs and as they faded so did the Newmarket challenge and on the hour the points were decided when Jockeys substitute Mark Webster picked up a yellow card for a late challenge and Stuart Ainsley pumped the free kick into the Newmarket area to the unmarked Kerridge who squared the ball to Tom Winter who side footed the past a stranded Ben Nower.

The second goal ended any challenge from Newmarket who turned their thoughts on saving energy for Monday League Cup Final and the Seasiders could have, perhaps should have scored four or five more, but it was not to be and with the final whistle bringing the curtain down on another season the Runners up shield was brought out and presentations made of individual mementoes for the players leaving Rhys Barber to lift the prize.

It marked the Seasiders’ best ever season in the league - although they fell short of the ultimate prize, despite completing the double over both the champions and the third placed side. Hopefully making them even more determined to go one better next season!