Brantham grab the points over Newmarket and consolidate their fourth-placed position
- Credit: Photo:Stan Baston
Brantham Ath 2 Newmarket Town 1
Brantham consolidated their fourth position in the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division, with this narrow victory, that saw them move two points behind third place Stowmarket, writes John Campany.
On a comparatively mild afternoon the playing surface was perfect and both sides made the most of the conditions by entertaining the crowd with some expansive football.
Both sides were looking to redeem themselves following Christmas defeats, but Brantham always had the edge over The Jockeys, who slipped to eighth in the table.
George Clarke was the star performer for the home side with two goals and might have completed his hat trick late on when he unselfishly passed the chance to substitute Peter Maina who should have added a third.
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The game started with two excellent strikes and saves.
Firstly, a home move involving captain Edward Nobbs and George Clarke culminated with a powerful shot from Michael Brothers that was acrobatically saved diving high to his right by visiting custodian Alex Archer.
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Secondly, a stunning shot from the wide left from Jamie Thurlbourne resulted in Callum Robinson magnificently palming clear.
As the game ebbed and flowed, Newmarket’s Omer Riza had a couple of half chances while at the other end Brothers had an attempt blocked and Jack Smith drilled a good effort over.
The home team went ahead in the 41st minute.
A deep cross from the impressive Nobbs was headed back into the area for George Clarke to volley home to give the hosts an interval lead.
Smith was replaced by substitute Maina and Brothers moved to a more central midfield role.
Brantham should have added a second when Clarke released Ben Newson who missed the target from six yards, but while the visitors enjoyed good possession, they fell further behind on the hour.
Brothers sent a long ball into space down the left and Clarke chased and retrieved, what appeared a lost cause, and then cut inside driving low, Archer partially saved, but the big striker tapped home the loose ball.
The Jockeys, who had worked hard throughout, pulled a goal back after 66 minutes when Zak Ollington moved forward with pace before crossing to Riza who coolly slotted home, but the hosts deserved the points.
Referee Mr Richard Carter.