THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE
Newmarket Town 0
Stowmarket Town 2
Newmarket Town were unable to bounce back from being knocked out of the FA Vase last time out as they were defeated at home by promotion rivals Stowmarket Town on Saturday.
Two goals in five first-half minutes proved to be the difference as the Old Gold & Blacks inflicted a first home defeat of the season on the Jockeys and made it 10 games without loss in the Thurlow Nunn top flight.
Josh Mayhew broke the deadlock with his 24th goal of the season on 19 minutes, before turning provider for Dave Cowley four minutes later, as Stow went into the break with a 2-0 lead.
Newmarket searched for a way back into the game in the second half, with Stow goalkeeper James Bradbrook making a fine reaction save, but the visitors put in a strong defensive display to ensure they went home with all three points.
After a quiet opening 15 minutes, the game came to life a few minutes later as the visitors went in front with their first shot on goal.
Ethan Clarke beat his man to a ball over the Newmarket defence and set up Mayhew for a simple finish.
Four minutes later and Stow had doubled their lead, as Mayhew played the ball through on goal to Cowley who, after bringing Newmarket goalkeeper Alex Archer to the ground, created space to shoot into an inviting net for his second goal in as many games.
Chances after that were few and far between for both sides, with Mayhew drawing a save from Archer before the break, while in the second half Bradbrook made a fine reaction save and substitute Chris Bacon headed wide.
In added time the ball fell to Simon Swinton in front of goal, but the Newmarket defender’s touch meant it was a comfortable save for Bradbrook, while at the other end Cowley forced Archer to keep his effort out as Stow finished with their two-goal lead.
n In the League Challenge Cup, Newmarket advanced on Tuesday night with a 2-0 win at Haverhill Rovers.
Goals came from Chris Bacon, who was later sent off, and Austen Diaper.
n The fourth-placed Jockeys will travel to Kirkley & Pakefield on Saturday (3pm), before hosting Haverhill Borough on Tuesday (7.45pm).
n Ely City extended their good form to just one defeat in five league outings by recording a 2-0 win over Thetford Town on Saturday.
First-half goals from Sam Goodge and Alex Theobald did the damage for Brady Stone’s side, who moved up to ninth.
n The Robins were due in League Challenge Cup action at First Division Wisbech St Mary last night.
n A trip to 22nd-placed Ipswich Wanderers, who have won just twice so far this season, is up next for Ely on Saturday (3pm).
n As part of major restructuring plans to the non-league game, it has been confirmed two clubs will be promoted from the Thurlow Nunn top flight up to Step 4 this season.
A new Step 6 division will also be implemented under the Eastern Counties banner and is likely to be made up primarily of clubs from Essex.