Greens Not at Races as Unbeaten Run Ends
Gorleston's unbeaten start to the league season had stretched to 18 games and into January, but all good things must come to an end and you would have got good odds on it ending with this scoreline.
Having said that, had the Greens taken a couple of early chances, it could have been a different story.
Ricci Butler made three changes to the side that had gone out of the FA Vase the week before.
Mitch McKay and Peter Oldham were both injured and missing from centre midfield and Kyle Baker dropped to the bench. Keegan Middleton and Joel Watts returned and Elliott Hannant was drafted in.
It was a gloriously sunny day and Gorleston began brightly playing towards the lowering sun on the 3g surface that suited their style.
In the 4th minute Middleton threaded a through ball between defenders, sending Watts through on the keeper. Jockeys keeper Ben Nower got a hand to the shot but it still headed goalwards, only for a defender to cover and clear.
Middleton then hit a 25 yard free kick over before Watts got in on goal, again to be denied by Nower.
The hosts gained their first corner in the 11th minute which was headed tamely to Taurean Molloy then Molloy had to fly to his left to keep out a Jamie Thurlbourne shot.
Things began to go wrong for Gorleston two minutes later.
Austin Diaper collected the ball on the left. Now, it looked to me as if he was intending a cross, but who knows. Anyway, he hit the ball into the box from wide where it eluded Molloy and dropped into the goal.
A nice give and go allowed Luke Sheaber-Shinn a shot which Molloy was at full stretch to save but he could do nothing about the second goal which came in the 25th minute.
A low ball found Thurlbourne on the right. He cut inside, ran square along the edge of the box before tucking his shot into the net.
A crossfield ball evaded Harley Clements and sent Paul Betson in on goal. Molloy raced out to get a block in and Aaron Taylor covered back to clear from in front of goal.
The hosts were working hard, pressing quickly high up the pitch and keeping a high back line. The question was whether they would be able to keep the work rate up for the rest of the game. However, as it turned out, they wouldn't need to.
Eleven minutes before the break it was three after Gorleston had several chances to clear the ball, it fell to Thurlbourne on the right who completed an almost replica of his earlier goal.
What hopes Gorleston may have had of making a second half comeback disappeared a minute into first half stoppage time when a slip at the back let in Diaper who finished past Molloy.
Butler went to three at the back for the second half with Luke Goreham pushing forward but, within nine minutes of the restart, it was 5-0.
A route one punt from the keeper straight down the middle avoided the heads of two Gorleston defenders allowing Lewis Whitehead to latch on to it and thump it past the beleagured Molloy.
Gorleston then staged a mini comeback.
A 71st minute corner was lofted into the box. Nower missed it and Connor Ingram was on hand to hook in from close range.
Molloy then pulled off an excellent reflex save to keep the Jockeys out before the Greens pulled another goal back with 15 minutes left when Connor Ingram reacted first to get on to the end of a Kyle Baker cross.
The hosts were now looking slightly ragged at the back as Gorleston threw more men forward leaving their own defences, which had been one of the meanest at Step 5 level, wide open.
The Greens should have had a third goal in the 77th minute when George Yusuff found himself unmarked at the back post but he headed just wide.
A minute later, the comeback was over when Jordan Foster pounced on a loose ball in the Gorleston box and easily slotted home to make it 6-2.
A minute from time Diaper completed his hat trick heading in at the back post and it was eight, three minutes into injury time, when Foster tucked the ball under Molloy.
A Newmarket supporter said it had been his sides best performance for many years and visiting Mildenhall fans went home celebrating promotion so, congratulations to them!
The Gorleston management team will probably have an inquest into what went wrong and will have learnt more from this defeat than from the fantastic 18 game unbeaten run.
The record setting run should be remembered as a great achievement and, despite this scoreline, it is just one defeat. Hopefully the players will react in the right way and now set off on another unbeaten run.
Gorleston: Taurean Molloy, Harley Clements (c), Luke Goreham (Gerson Soares 69), Elliott Hannant (Kyle Baker 54), George Yusuff, Aaron Taylor, Joel Watts, Dale Cockrill (Kyle Ingram 60), Jack Garrod, Connor Ingram, Keegan Middleton
Booking: Watts 90+4
Goals: C Ingram 71, 75
Newmarket Town: Ben Nower, Alfie Ball (Wayne Goddard 81), Luke Seaber-Shin, James Chivers (Mark Webster 64), Charlie Bowen, Jack Watson (c), Jamie Thurlborne, Scott Paterson, Lewis Whitehead (Jordan Foster 64), Austen Diaper, Paul Betson
Booking: Bowen 67
Goals: Diaper 13, 45+1, 89; Thurlbourne 25, 34; Whitehead 54; Foster 78, 90+3
Ref: Richard Owen
|3||Other efforts on target||9|
|6||Other efforts off target||5|
|0||Other efforts against woodwork||0|
|9||Free kicks for||10|