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The lads arrived at the Pavilion on another bright day that was perfect for football.
Newmarket had travelled well and had a good squad of 16 to choose from whereas we only had 13.
Games against Newmarket are always contested in a friendly but competitive fashion and this one looked to be no different.
They are always a really good footballing team but our youth and extra fitness has usually seen us run out winners in recent encounters.
Two Touch confirmed to Kingy during the week that he had the blue kit when in fact it was the yellow one! We used our initiative and played with the kit inside out which was a little different but effective enough in helping us to distinguish ourselves from our opponents. Nice try anyway Steven!
There was a minutes silence that was immaculately observed and we all stood around the centre circle on this beautiful day realising how lucky we were to be alive and about to play football at this terrific facility.
We had a good team and we quickly began to get on top of our opponents. Some of the passing and movement was sublime and we looked really sharp.
Paul Sulley drove a crisp pass forward with real venom which unlocked the defence. Chris Parker hit a shot goalwards that the keeper blocked but Two Touch was on hand to bundle the ball in for a 1 - 0 lead. Sedge volleyed a couple of good passes from right to left and Paul Sulley was rampaging forward regularly.
We had to battle though and Kev Hurst conceded a foul as they poured forward. The Newmarket free kick on the edge of the box rebounded off the wall and dropped nicely into the path of the Newmarket winger who managed to prod the ball past the onrushing debutant Steve Large in goal. 1-1. We did not panic and assumed that we would take control again.
However, what looked like a mishit corner arced out to the edge of the box and the onrushing Fossie crashed an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net from 20 yards. It was a wonderful strike and our visitors had taken the lead.
Sedge had strained his hamstring last week and withdrew himself after feeling it again in the opening exchanges. Kev Anderson came on to the left and Paul Sulley took the midfield birth. Kev clipped a few good balls into Howards feet to launch more attacks. Our energy levels were good and there was some excellent football being played. After about half an hour Two Touch rolled in a perfectly weighted pass into the path of Chris Parker who rifled and even better strike into the stanchion of the net that no keeper in the world could have saved. These two goals alone would have graced any of the international fixtures this weekend they were that good.
The defence were playing well with Stu and Roy really imposing themselves on their opponents and Nigel reading the ball brilliantly. Roy powered a few great headers forward and moved the ball quickly and accurately throughout which was great to see. However, Newmarket had good quality in possession and regularly asked us some difficult questions.
A good ball in to Howard was expertly headed into the path of the energetic Gavin who burst forward again with real conviction firing a ball into Two Touch whose shot just went over. It was a great move though and exactly the sort of football we wanted to be playing.
We went in at 2 - 2 and were confident our superior fitness would tell in the second half.
In the second half the game ebbed and flowed with good spells of possession for each team.
Daryl came on at Centre back and before long we had managed to take the lead.
Gavin made another lung bursting run down the right and exchanged a good one-two with Howard before rolling the ball neatly into the far corner for a well-deserved goal.
We pushed to extend our lead with Two Touch, Chris Parker and Howard all going close. Howard did have the ball in the net at one stage but it was adjudged offside.
Newmarket kept going though and we failed to take the dominance of the proceedings that we had anticipated.
Roy and Stuart had to produce some fantastic last ditch tackles to avert some dangerous opportunities. Roy made an essential lunge on the half way line that could have left us exposed if he had not strained every sinew to make. Nigel and Kevin were using the ball well to start our moves but as a whole we just seemed to be 5-10% off our top levels.
Just as we were thinking of settling for a 3-2 win a terrible error gifted Newmarket an equaliser that was completely of our making and they were back on level terms, there forward passing into a completely empty net. 3-3
It was a bitter pill to swallow but in truth we had not been as ruthless in our approach as we had been in the opening few Games of the season.
There were some excellent patches of play and some wonderful individual moments but as a team we lacked the fluidity, concentration and sharpness required for the full 90 minutes and this cost us another win. We remain unbeaten but in truth we know we need to demand more of ourselves to reach the levels that we are capable of.
It was another good game for spectators and Roy delivered some great sandwiches and crisps and Newmarket all came in the bar to sample them and a few beers too.
Next week will see Royston arrive in the Hemingfords and hopefully we can get back to winning ways.