A bright and blustery day with the pitch heavy after steady overnight rain was the setting for the visit of Newmarket. After an immaculately observed minutes silence to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War 1 the game got under way. Early exchanges showed the opposition front two had pace and held the ball well but Howard and Midge were causing problems at the other end and a defining moment came early in the game when a swerving 20 yarder from Midge was parried by their keeper at the expense of a badly dislocated finger. Hemingford had just the one sub, whilst Newmarket had three, but in a sporting gesture (arguably too sporting), our keeper swapped ends and , although on the injured list, Glen took over in the home goal. Despite this, the majority of chances came the way of Hemingford but for once our star striker (no names) was off the mark. It is no exaggeration to say that the score should have been four or five nil when against the odds Newmarket opened the scoring, their winger blocking an attempted pass out of goal by Glen and into the net. Their second came shortly afterwards but this time was well worked ending in a tap in after some good interplay between the front two. Several more chances to reduce the deficit came and went, over the bar, past the post, over the bar again, but finally Midge managed to make space for himself and found the corner with a well placed cross shot. This should have been the platform for Hemingford to push for the equaliser but instead a good save by Glen fell to their unmarked winger who shot home, 1-3. The home play just wasn’t anywhere near recent form and some stern words from Sedge were needed. With half time approaching a glimmer of hope was offered when Midge reacted first to a rebound and slotted home , colliding with Kieran in the opposition goal in the process. Fortunately both players were able to carry on and at the break it stood at 2-3 with all to play for. With the team talk ringing in their ears Hemingford set out once again to find an equaliser but it was Newmarket who increased their lead with a breakaway goal to make it 2-4. The pitch was proving hard work and it was difficult for both teams to play the kind of passing football they are capable of. Hemingford were finding it difficult to clear from the back with Glen unable to kick dead balls and big Kev suffering from a groin strain. A surging run from Gav should have been rewarded but again the chance went begging his pass into the area being missed when it seemed easier to score. Andy moved into the back four and this stemmed the runs by their forwards and freed Nige Parker to do some creditable fetching and carrying but it still took several good stops by Glen to keep Hemingford in the game. As both sets of players tired large gaps were appearing in midfield and both forward lines had their chances. From one of these their centre back almost passed the ball into his own net, Kieran dived to save but this was deemed a pass-back despite lengthy protests. From the free kick, virtually on the goal line, Midge passed back to Sedge who clipped a low shot into the gap conveniently left by the 11- man wall , 3-4.
The last ten minutes saw frantic efforts by Hemingford to save the game but it was destined to be one of those days as our star striker hit the post from close range and then blazed over probably the last chance of the game. It would be wrong to name and shame the star striker as he is so very often the difference for us and anyway we all know Howard is much better than that. Reduced at one point at the other end to having the oldest player on the pitch attempt a goal kick which barely made it out of the area Hemingford struggled to find any of the form they are renowned for and so it ended 3-4. Newmarket were genuinely grateful for the loan of an excellent keeper, perhaps we won’t be so generous in the future.