THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION
Newmarket Town 5
Haverhill Rovers 3
A game that was a fine advert for Thurlow Nunn League football ended with Haverhill Rovers being edged out 5-3 by Newmarket Town.
Haverhill thought they were in front with three minutes gone, Rafal Wozniak beating Newmarket goalkeeper Ollie Froud with a volley, but the referee’s whistle went a split second before his strike, for a foul on visiting midfielder Ben Bradley.
The hosts took the lead themselves in the 18th minute when Jamie Thurlbourne’s inch-perfect cross was met by a fine header from Austen Diaper, and the ball found the bottom left corner of the net.
Newmarket were only ahead for four minutes, however, Jordan Palmer knocked down a free kick and Wozniak again volleyed the ball, this time from 15 yards out, with an effort that curled into the far bottom right corner, past Froud at full stretch, to give him his first goal for the club.
The home side went 2-1 up on 27 minutes, Deakan Napier rising to flick Paul Betson’s cross from the left just under the crossbar and into the top right corner of the net.
The Newmarket goal then led a charmed life, Wozniak rounding Froud and finding the net, only to be denied by a dubious offside decision.
Within seconds of the restart, Luke Haines saw a well struck free kick pushed away from the near top corner by Froud, before Palmer had a header cleared off the line and a shot saved by Froud.
Lewis Whitehead beat away goalkeeper Charlie Turner at his near right post to make it 3-1 to Newmarket on 37 minutes, before Rovers pulled it back to 3-2 on the stroke of half time.
Haines’ 15-yard curling left-foot volley found the bottom right corner to reduce Haverhill’s arrears.
Newmarket made it 4-2 two minutes into the second half when Thurlbourne placed a shot into the top left corner from the edge of the area.
With an hour gone the tie was effectively sealed, in controversial fashion, the away team waiting for a foul to be given for a high foot on Bradley, and Diaper took advantage of their confusion with a 20-yard volley into the bottom left corner to make it 5-2.
A minute into injury time Rovers got another goal they fully deserved in a game they did not deserve to lose.
Jonathan Milne laid the ball off for Bradley to fire home from 15 yards out for the eighth goal of the afternoon.
Haverhill Rovers: Turner, Geoghegan, Halls, Milne, Holmes, Boddey, Bradley, Haines (Weaver 72), Wozniak (Jebb 72), Palmer (Longley 88), Abbott. Subs not used: Hunt, Philp. Booked: Boddey, Haines, Palmer. Attendance: 115.