Newmarket Town manager Kevin Grainger targets maximum points in title chase

Lewis Kemp (yellow shirt) heads home Sam Diaper's cross to give Debenham LC the lead against Newmark

Lewis Kemp (yellow shirt) heads home Sam Diaper's cross to give Debenham LC the lead against Newmarket Town, but the visitors hit back to win 2-1 - Credit: Archant

NEWMARKET Town joint manager Kevin Grainger believes his side will need maximum points from their final three matches of the season if they are to win the Thurlow Nunn League Division One title.

The Jockeys still trail Cambridge University Press by two points after Saturday’s results – CUP scored three times in the opening six minutes as they won 4-1 at Whitton United – with three matches each left to play and both teams already having secured promotion.

Newmarket entertain Saffron Walden tomorrow night while CUP are at home to Downham Town, before the Jockeys visit Halstead Town on Saturday while CUP face Fakenham Town.

The chances are that the destination of the title will not be settled until Newmarket host CUP on Tuesday, May 1.

Grainger said: “Over the course of the whole game we were pretty much in charge of it. The pitch was a massive leveller, and at times we struggled to get the ball down and play, but we kept going.

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“I am pleased with the win and the three points to keep us in the title race. We have just got to win all three games, but we are running out of players – Tony Brown has now injured his hamstring and John Olive has a badly bruised big toe.”

Debenham LC interim manager Stuart Reavell was left fuming after seeing his side denied a point.

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Reavell said: “I m very disappointed with the referee’s performance today as I felt we had two stonewall penalties turned down in the first half.

“I am pleased with the performance – all our boys’ attitude was spot on – and Newmarket have scraped the victory.

“Sam Chilvers made a great save from the free-kick and the boys battled so hard, to hold one of the best two sides in the league until the 88th minute.”

Reavell, who is waiting to hear if he is appointed manager on a permanent basis for next season, said: “I definitely want to stay, and I believe we have a very good foundation to work with for next season.

“I will try to keep the same players together because we have a brilliant group of boys and the spirit in the changing room is fantastic.”

Reavell praised the “superb” contribution of captain Ed Cussons, who has worked alongside him as his assistant while he has been sidelined in recent matches.

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