Grainger and Newmarket Town would love to emulate Suffolk Premier Cup progress

Kevin Grainger

Kevin Grainger - Credit: Archant

Newmarket Town manager Kevin Grainger would love to emulate last year’s feat and reach the semi-final stage of this season’s Omni Freight Services Suffolk Premier Cup.

But Grainger knows his side face a tough task to beat higher-league Bury Town tonight if they are to progress beyond the second round, writes Nick Garnham.

The Jockeys, who lost 2-0 to Lowestoft Town in last season’s semi-final, head to Ram Meadow after back-to-back defeats – 3-2 at home to Long Melford and 2-1 at FC Clacton.

They are two games Grainger feels Newmarket, who have slipped down to sixth in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division table, should have won.

“We were 2-0 up against Long Melford and cruising. They then missed a penalty and it changed the game; they had three chances and scored three goals!

“Then at Clacton on Saturday we should never have lost; we did enough to win the game.”

Newmarket face a Bury Town side who were held to a goalless draw at home by Bostik League North Division promotion rivals Bowers & Pitsea on Saturday.

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Grainger continued: “It is a massive task for us. Bury Town are having a good season, but we would love to go as far as we can in the competition.

“We want to do well and it won’t be for the want of trying if we don’t.”

Grainger had a squad of 18 players but Steve Holder has returned to Mildenhall Town, one of his former clubs, and Charlie Bowen has gone back to Godmanchester.

“Lewis Whitehead, last season’s top goalscorer, has been out for nearly eight weeks, but played 45 minutes on Saturday, while Scott Paterson has missed a big chunk of the season.

“We have not been able to put out the starting XI we have wanted to for the last 12 weeks, which is most of the season, but both Adam Dalby and Scott Paterson are back at Bury,” added Grainger.

Tonight’s other second-round tie sees Bostik League Premier Division Leiston host North Division new boys Mildenhall Town, who are Suffolk’s sole remaining side in Saturday’s Buildbase FA Trophy Third Qualifying Round when they travel to Lancaster City.