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Newmarket Town were set up in July 2014 and have just completed their first season in the league, playing in the S-Tech Cambridgeshire League South Division and going on to win the title at the first time of asking.
It has been a very successful season for Newmarket and after a very good start to the year and some very good and convincing performances, they were pulled back after Christmas when injuries started to hit. The team rallied together though and still managed to hold and grind out results, despite a depleted squad and losing their goalkeeper from January.
There have been many key and important games and goals for the team throughout the season, including the following games. One of the biggest was their entry into the FA Women's Cup, where they put in the performance of the season despite eventually going down 2-0 to Norfolk League Premier Division side Wymondham Town. This was a game that Newmarket learnt a lot from, including finding a new formation which was the basis for their successful campaign.
With regards to the league season, there was a number of important results that helped the team along the way. A 1-0 win away to March Town Utd was a game that became a real battle, and defences were on top, Newmarket managed to break the deadlock through Beth Fisher just before half time. On the hour mark Newmarket went down to ten players after a controversial red card, but despite this, they managed to hold on, create the better chances and come away with an important win.
Newmarket went into their game with Cambridge Rangers with only ten players and knew that playing against eleven was always going to be tough. Despite having the better of the game, Newmarket couldn't break clear with Rangers always pulling goals back. It was a late flurry of goals that gave daylight between the sides and gave the ten players of Newmarket a 6-3 victory.
The match with Sawtry changed the course of the season and brought teams back in to the title race. Again having only ten available players for the game, it was always going to be tough against a well organised Sawtry side and the result proved that the game was too tough for Town with ten on this occasion. The 4-0 defeat started a poor run of form and Town were beaten in their first four league and cup games after the holiday period.
Newmarket recovered their form and at the end of April, their meeting with Milton Ladies was probably the biggest game of the season for Town, knowing a win would leave it in their own hands with their final game, but a loss would take the league out of their own hands. With the game finally poised at 1-1 and approaching 65 minutes, and Newmarket not being able to find a way through the Milton defence, Town were awarded a free kick 30 yards out. Up stepped Calley Melville-Taylor, who planted the ball over the keeper in to the back of the net to put Newmarket 2-1 up at this point Milton's heads dropped after they had fought so bravely and Newmarket went on to win 4-1.
Two weeks later came the most important game of the season that did not involve Newmarket; a 1-1 draw between Sawtry and March Town Utd was the result that meant the team won the league with a game to spare.
"Throughout the course of the season there were many important results and goals that helped us on the way to our league victory," manager Shane Lebbon told Women's Soccer Scene, "although it was not helped by injuries after Christmas. But the team really responded well and worked hard for each other to keep the results coming and, although it was tight, held on and managed to win the league."
Beth Fisher ended the season as leading goalscorer for Newmarket's successful team, which was captained by Lizzie Quigley. "It would be unfair to single anyone out because the season has been a fantastic team performance," added Shane. "After losing our goalkeeper, Manager's Player of the year Joeli Kirby and the winner of the clubman award Hanna Tirrell both had extensive stints in goal to bridge the gap left.
"Yasmin Woodfield made the step up from Under-16s football to get 90 minutes most weeks and was voted as Young Player of the Year, whilst Jodie Woodfield was voted Players' Player of the Year. I could say something about everybody else; because the whole squad contributed and played as massive a part in winning the league as each of their team mates."
Newmarket Town Ladies are looking for new experienced players ahead of the new campaign in the S-Tech Cambridgeshire Women's League Premiership. Anyone interested should have previous experience of playing and can get in contact via firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Team Manager Shane Lebbon on (07725) 918979. Pre-season training will start up on Tuesday 7th July.
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