Excellent Greens just pipped.
Soham Under 18's dominated an excellent game, but could't quite find the goal to send them through on aggregate.
0-3 down from the first leg, Soham needed to bounce back with Manager Chris Gibson insisting for a win whatever.
In their last game for the Under 18's, Gibson chose a more senior side, although Joe Shippey sat on the bench after 2 games in 3 days for March Town.
Adapting a new attacking formation and young front line, the tempo was apparent from the start and it only took 4 minutes for Soham to claw back a goal from the previous weeks deficeit. Good play from Chris Munday and Ryan Lowe saw Scott Davis get to the byline and his cut back was smashed in by home debutent Tyler Phillips.
Newmarket couldn't break out of their own half and jokey's dangerman Josh Townshend was man marked by Matt Simpson, who out paced and muscled him throughout. With Newmarket failing to find an outlet, Munday and Davis pushed up the Greens line. Jim Orvis got on the ball and his clip through to Elite graduate Scott Callaghan saw him race clear but his shot was blocked. Callaghan did get his reward though, when after Phillips raced through, his shot was blocked but Callaghan smashed home from an acute angle for 2-0. The momentum was with Soham throughout the half, with Davis, Munday and Phillips all coming close and twice denied by goal line clearences.
At half time, Gibson and assistant Nathan Nicholls told the young Greens to just play and enjoy the game and not chase the 3rd, as if it was to come- it would. the Greens started quick again and Newmarket still defended resolutely, Simpson again was fantastic in his defending of Townshend and when Newmarket did get through, Jake Cotton and James Poulton swept up their line. As the game got deep into the second period, legs were tiring, Callaghan went close, Phillips was just beaten to a one on one by the away keeper and Lowe was adjudged offside when through. Luke Sterna has a shot blocked and Davis drove wide as the clock crept down. Soham kept composed and Newmarket had some good breaks into Soham territory but the Greens defended well. Newmarket kept the ball as time ran out, but although when the whistle went there was dissapointment in the overall result- the Greens had played superb to even get the chance of getting through.
After the game, Gibson was full of praise for his teams performance.
"They gave me everything. The attitude, the desire and we didn't rush anything tonight. Even when 2-0 up, we said we wanted to win the game and if the 3rd was to come, then it would. Don't panic and let the win slip away from you. The damage was done in the first leg, we were not at the races and had several injuries and tired legs. This game was important to win, not about progressing through. We dominated huge chunks of the game and we kept Newmarket restricted in what they had to offer. It was a good way for the Under 18's to finish, a win, clean sheet and a well worked performance. Although Tyler gets my man of the match, Matty Simpson was imense tonight- he did exactly what I asked of him. All the boys did well and I thank them for their hard work."
D. Turner, R. Lowe, M. Simpson, J. Poulton, J. Cotton, L. Sterna (H. Horton), C. Munday, S. Davis, J. Orvis, S. Callaghan, T. Phillips
Score: (2-0) 2-0 - Newmarket Town win 3-2 on aggregate
Scorers: T. Phillips, S. Callaghan
Man of the Match: Tyler Phillips