Luck is really out for lowly Woodpeckers as Woodbridge Town face 1-0 defeat against Newmarket Town

Woodbridge Town entertain Newmarket Town at Notcutts Park on Saturday. A close encounter saw a late

Woodbridge Town entertain Newmarket Town at Notcutts Park on Saturday. A close encounter saw a late goal seal victory for Newmarket Craig Stuart and Lee Clift - Credit: Archant

Woodbridge Town 0 - Newmarket Town 1

Woodbridge Town entertain Newmarket Town at Notcutts Park on Saturday. A close encounter saw a late

Woodbridge Town entertain Newmarket Town at Notcutts Park on Saturday. A close encounter saw a late goal seal victory for Newmarket Sam Mead shoots - Credit: Archant

They say you don’t get any luck at the bottom of the league, and that proved to be the case on Saturday as Thurlow Nunn Premier Division basement side Woodbridge Town succumbed to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Newmarket Town.

Woodbridge Town entertain Newmarket Town at Notcutts Park on Saturday. A close encounter saw a late

Woodbridge Town entertain Newmarket Town at Notcutts Park on Saturday. A close encounter saw a late goal seal victory for Newmarket Tom Deller and Jake Wayne - Credit: Archant

Woodbridge have virtually been pinned to the foot of the table since the first league ball was kicked in August, but after a mini-revival under new boss Lee Elliston, had a chance to move off the bottom of the pack before the action from around the grounds kicked off on Saturday.

Woodbridge Town entertain Newmarket Town at Notcutts Park on Saturday. A close encounter saw a late

Woodbridge Town entertain Newmarket Town at Notcutts Park on Saturday. A close encounter saw a late goal seal victory for Newmarket Ross Paterson stretches for the ball - Credit: Archant

And, despite fellow strugglers Wivenhoe Town sitting one position above the Woodpeckers in 19th place going on to record a 2-1 victory over Kirkley & Pakefield, Elliston and his team were left scratching their heads after they departed Notcutts Park empty-handed.

Three times they saw penalty appeals waved away by referee Moore.


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But while Woodbridge will have felt hard done by, Newmarket will have left delighted – the Jockeys are enjoying a fine season as they look to top off a steady league season with League Cup glory as they take on Felixstowe & Walton in the final of the Red Insure Cup later on in the campaign.

In truth, neither side deserved to lose this largely excellent and exciting match.

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It really was a joy to watch. Man-of-the-match Lee Clift’s goal was the difference but to be honest, the final scoreline could have gone either way and been far different.

The hosts started the brighter and man-mountain striker James Hubbard, who was playing his fourth game this week after performing for both the British Army team and Woodbridge in mid-week, was left cursing a couple of decisions he felt should really have gone his way, as he bared down on goal.

Hubbard and fellow striker Sam Mead, who played in the number 10 role, linked up well all afternoon and Mead looked to have won his side a 19th-minute penalty after twisting and turning away from Mark Webster before tumbling under a clumsy-looking challenge from the centre-half.

However, the Woodpeckers appeals were waved away and Mead was booked for diving.

Newmarket grew into the half and after Jack Higgs tested stand-in ‘keeper Jack Spurling from range, the reliable Craig Stuart spared Spurling’s blushes after superbly clearing Clift’s effort off the line following the stopper’s hesitation.

The second half continued in the same frantic fashion as Woodpeckers skipper Tom Trevivian saw an early long-range effort turned away by Jockeys ‘keeper George Lawton, before the unfortunate Richard Chadwick saw his header cleared off the line.

Mead, who was a constant nuisance to the Jockeys’ defence, then struck the foot of the post with a 25-yard free-kick that had Lawton beaten all ends up before the gangly frame of Hubbard took a tumble under the goalkeeper moments later, but the referee awarded a corner.

Newmarket struck their decisive goal in the 83rd minute as stand-out player Clift was on hand to bundle home Ross Paterson’s dangerous and almost undefendable cross-cum-shot.

Clift should really have sealed the win for Newmarket in the dying minutes when clean through on goal but he placed his effort wide, before substitute Jonathan Fryatt looked to have won his side a penalty with just seconds to go after going down under the challenge of Lawton.

But the whistle never came,and for Woodbridge it was another frustrating result where their efforts certainly deserved more.

Woodbridge Town boss Lee Elliston was left feeling understandably frustrated as his side lost by a single goal to Newmarket Town on Saturday.

The Woodpeckers arguably shaded possession and chances created over the 90 minutes but couldn’t find that elusive goal, with the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division outfit having three shouts for a penalty turned.

“I’m bitterly disappointed,” confessed a distraught Elliston afterwards.

“The performance was great, I thought we put all of our performances from the last two or three games into today.

“We had work-rate, we had passion, and I thought we had a bit of quality as well.”

When asked whether he thought his side should have been awarded as many as three penalties, Elliston replied: “I think one of them is definitely not, but I think two of them are stonewall.

“It’s just bitterly disappointing for my lads because they’ve worked so hard and deserved the win.

“To be fair to Newmarket, they’ve been honest enough and said that we should’ve won the game, but when you’re at the bottom of the league, you don’t seem to get the rub of the green.”

Despite the defeat, Elliston has urged his side to take the positives from the encouraging performance.

“We’ve got things to work on again but it was a really positive performance,” he added.

“Compare that to the away game against them where they deservedly beat us 2-0, I think you can see how far we’ve come.

“We’ve come away knowing that we should’ve won the game and our progress from that defeat has been massive to be honest.”

Woodbridge have the opportunity to make amends Wednesday evening as they host Gorleston, kick-off 7.45pm.

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