Spot of bother for Thetford Town against Newmarket

Thetford Town boss Matt Morton. Picture: Thetford Town FC

Thetford Town boss Matt Morton. Picture: Thetford Town FC - Credit: Archant

Thetford Town 3 Newmarket Town 4

A controversially awarded penalty settled this rip-roaring clash at Mundford Road as Newmarket Town extended their unbeaten run to eight league games and moved into second place in the Thurlow Nunn Premier League table with a 4-3 win over Thetford Town.

For Thetford there was disappointment, as despite a hat-trick from Liam Hemming they fell to their third successive defeat.

Both sides traded chances as the play swung from end to end in a lively first half, before Hemming put Thetford in front when, after shaking off Joe Robinson he calmly lifted the ball over Alex Archer in the 36th minute.

Newmarket drew level four minutes later when Blake Kicks broke in unchallenged from the left hand side and passed into Ross Paterson who finished from close range.

Thetford quickly responded with Hemming's second goal, a fine glancing headed finish from Ross Bailey's free kick.

The game turned in the first eight minutes of the second half as Newmarket started full of purpose. Michael Shinn should have scored within a minute of the restart, but shot wide from close range.

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However, two goals for the visitors soon arrived. Ross Paterson scored his second with a cleanly struck effort from the edge of the penalty area which flew into the top left hand corner. Then, Scott Paterson found the same corner with a delightful left foot curling strike.

Thetford drew level in the 72nd minute with their first significant effort of the half. Hemming completed a wonderful hat-trick with another header, this time delivered with power and accuracy from just inside the penalty box.

The moment of controversy came in the 77th minute when Matt Morton was adjudged to have fouled Jack Chandler inside the penalty area. Morton was sent to the 10 minute sin bin for his reaction and Jack Watson sent Jamie Humphrey the wrong way from the penalty spot.

Just a few minutes later Watson had the chance to secure the win, following another penalty decision the home side strongly disputed, but Humphrey saved well low to his right.

It gave Thetford hope they could find a late equaliser and it took a good Archer save from Hemming's well struck effort to deny them.

The Jockeys' player-manager, Shinn, had sympathy for Thetford describing the decisive penalty award as 'very harsh', feeling a draw would have been a fair outcome. "Thetford had the better of the first half and we were better in the second half," he said. "The game was full of chances. It could have ended 7-7!"