Stick tripping a 12 year old is not allowed
It all looked so good beforehand; a cunning 4-3-3 plan, energetic two-v-one warm up drills, the rain stopping.
Then the game started. The returning Johnny Benedikz and his Newmarket posse matched us for energy and showed us how to make the most of possession. Although the home Cambridge South team had the bulk of the ball, it was Newmarket who grabbed two early goals, both from breakaways, through getting numbers into the D and perseverance when half-tackled. Goalkeeper, George T, had little chance with either. Other than that he was unflappable and resorted to a bit of Maradona-esque keepy-uppies for entertainment at one stage.
They got a third via a goalmouth scramble and some confusion, but Cambridge South got one back just before the break with a text book Rob Barton missile from a short corner, after a few earlier "sighters" which we had gained from previous corners. South generally did well in attack from the back but too often moves fell down due to sloppy stick-work, passes going astray or being delayed too long. Jason James and MoM Oli Anderson were always at the heart of everything but team mates were unable to capitalise on their efforts, Ian Marshman's heroic ferretting, or wingman Simon Jelley's deceptive dribbles into the danger area.
After a good talking to, the home team decided that the way forward was to mark tightly, stick to positions, get into space, and pass the ball. Who knew?
Newmarket were unable to add to their total but, in spite of many opportunities, South only netted once more with an excellent team goal…ball up the left to that man Jelley; dribbled to the by-line; pulled back to the lurking John Greaves, who calmly played it across to Rupert Espley in pole position three yards in front of goal. That's the way.
Unlike the lemon-worthy trip on the star Newmarket infant perpetrated soon after by the skipper. Moving on…
Throughout the half the home defence, marshalled by supremo Neil Sneade, with Ben Williamson notable in front of him, snuffed out every Newmarket attack. Although this enabled South to get the ball upfield frequently with controlled moves and teamplay, the final touches for a deserved equaliser, or even victory, evaded us.