Newark welcomed Mansfield to the Magnus for the 3rd time this season and were hoping to bounce back from their defeat last week to the hands of Leicester Panthers. They started the game knowing a win would keep them top of the league and 2 points clear of Panthers.
Newark started the game strong pressing Mansfield back into their own half and not allowing them a touch of the ball. Newark started to create chance after chance but they were unable to put them away but on 7 minutes Newark picked the ball up in the middle of the pitch and with some crisp passing found Ryan Foster coming in on the back post and he put the ball into the back of the net. Newark piled the pressure on Mansfield and they won a short corner with coach Halfpenny calling the routine from the sideline. Scott Robinson dragged the ball low and hard onto the end of Tom Roper's stick who deflected the ball into the back of the net.
Newark continued the pressure on Mansfield winning a couple of short corners but some sturn defending from Mansfield kept the ball out of the Net. Mansfield then started to create a foothold in the game moving the ball well and pressing Newark back over the half way line but the Newark defence held strong and limited the chances on goal to only a few tame efforts. Newark then got hold of the ball and started moving it around with a string of short passes which found them trapped in the corner but some good short passes between Davies and Eagles allowed Eagles to play the ball in to the D and to find Foster on the back post again for his second of the Day. This led Newark into half time 3-0 up and a very strong showing of possessional hockey.
Newark started the second half as they finished the first moving the ball well and creating chances at will but were struggling to put away but this did not last long as Roper broke through the Mansfield defence at the top of the D and slipped the ball over the on rushing keepers leg and found Foster again free in front of goal to just touch the ball into the back of the empty net making it 4-0 to Newark. This again woke Newark into action and they won a short corner again and just like in the first half Robinson dragged the ball low and hard on to Ropers stick who deflected it into the back of the net making it 5-0 and Newark looking in full control, this seemed to of awoken Mansfield who went down the other end and won a short corner of there own and they fired a low hard shot into the back of the Net making it 5-1. Newark tried to respond to the goal but they only managed to find the woodwork and not add to their goals already but controlled it again to the final whistle and run out 5-1 winners.
Goals: Ryan Foster x3 Tom Roper x 2
Man of the Match: Tom Roper
Newark travelled to Sutton Coldfield with only 11 players and Luke Pearce and Mark Roper making their 1st appearances having stepped up from the 3s.
Newark took an unexpected lead from a short corner with Nigel Bett firing home from a Steve Littlewood pass. However Sutton Coldfield were soon putting Newark under pressure and from the resulting short corners some slick moves saw them convert 3 of them before half time.
Newark moved a few players around at half time and managed to get more of the play and put Sutton Coldfield under more pressure. However another Sutton Coldfield short corner saw them go 4-1 up. Newark kept battling and a quick pass from Simon Higgs found Luke Pearce free in the D and a first time shot went under the keeper for Newark’s second goal.
Newark had other chances to get another goal with the best going to Simon Higgs who after rounding the keeper was pushed to wide and his shot went well wide. However a much better performance in the 2nd half kept Sutton Coldfield from scoring any more goals.
M.O.M:- Luke Pearce
Newark Ladies 1s had a tough double header at the weekend as they took on fellow table toppers University of Nottingham on Saturday and then Nottingham Players on Sunday.
Without vice-captain Laura Donaldson, the team took the field against a strong university side who were fit and fast. The team were coping well with the opposition and had a couple of opportunities to put the visitors under pressure. Welcoming back Millie Hill, Newark had options but nothing quite came off until Hannah Coe put a very weak ball into the corner of the goal, and the goalkeeper thought the ball was going wide.
However, University hit back with two quality penalty corner goals to lead 2-1 at the break. In the second half the discipline of Newark left them as Kate Lambert was sin-binned for 15 minutes and Becky Wells for 2 minutes.
Newark had to work hard to keep University at bay and thankfully the visitors seemed to think they had the match all sown up. However the flow of play was only toward their own goal. A penalty corner gave Newark hope, and on the second time of asking captain Katie Sandell hammered the ball home to even the match. Newark threw everything left at University but with time running out it wasn't to be and both teams settled for a draw, as they had done in the reverse fixture.
Player: Hannah Coe
On Sunday Newark took to the field with a very similar team, and just watched the Ladies 2s play out a thrilling draw with Manning. Taking on the top of the table team should have inspired the Ladies 1s to an easy victory but it was anything but.
Despite getting the ball across the line, the first goal for Newark was not given, and this seemed to put the team to sleep rather than wake them up. Millie Hill was the inspiration again as she ran back to the half way line and stole the ball from Players, only to run back towards goal and picked out Hannah Coe who slotted the ball home. Again rather than push on from this, Newark were caught napping and a sloppy goal from Players made the game even at the break.
In the second half, Newark had plenty of penalty corners but couldn't capitalise on them, and it took a bit of magic from two of the younger players to give Newark the three points they desperately needed. Becky Wells picked up the ball in midfield, drove at the defence and passed to Dani Ashwell. Her first shot was blocked by the 'keeper but she had another bite of the cherry and her second shot hit the back of the net.
Whilst the job of securing points was achieved, Newark will have to do better in the coming weeks to secure promotion.
Player: Georgia Andrews
Newark Ladies 2s started their double weekend at home against Aztecs on Saturday. New training jackets supplied by sponsor Sims Metal Management kept the full squad of 15 dry during the warm up and toasty during the rotations off the pitch.
Newark started at a good pace, Hannah Laughton running the left wing and Shanade Bradley on the right created space in the middle for Sophie Chambers to enjoy, linking up well with Vicky McMunn supported by Susan Tate and Mel Woods in the midfield. Newark soon earned a penalty corner followed by a few more but were denied by the opposition keeper. Newark’s break finally came from a wonderful team goal, Vicky picked the pass from Sophie on the left, changed direction and sent the ball back across to Mel who fired it into the D across goal for Hannah who placed it perfectly for Shanade to put firmly away for the lead! Newark were clearly thrilled but also cautious to protect their lead this time and the momentum had to be kept up. The effort from the Newark Ladies was apparent and mistakes started to show, luckily an abundance of substitutes meant the girls could have a break and regroup. Aztecs equalised before half-time against the run of play following a penalty corner retake and a Newark player sent to the half-way line.
Newark started the second half in the same high tempo as the first. As the game progressed the players accuracy decreased somewhat and the umpire started finding his cards for various stick tackle offences – for both sides! Newark had more chances via penalty corners created by excellent runs by Sophie and Hannah but, similar to the previous week against North Notts, they wouldn’t convert. Aztecs scored an excellent penalty corner strike to go ahead but Newark were still enjoying most of the possession and making better decisions to maintain hold. Newark went down to 10 (wo)men following another card but in the excitement Coach McMunn sent a sub on who had to quickly depart the playing field for being an illegal addition! Aztecs went on the break and scored their third from the floor and finally bagged all 3 points with a fourth close to the end. Despite the result it was a very positive performance from Newark. Thanks to the home crowd for the support.
Final Score: 1-4
Daisy of the Match: Coach McMunn
Player of the Match: Sophie Chambers
Newark ladies 2s went in to Sunday's game against table toppers Manning, after a positive performance on Saturday, which did not deliver any points.
The ladies started well keeping their shape and passing the ball well, working together well as a unit. Newark were on top in the first 15 minutes with some great work by Hannah Laughton to win a couple of early penalty corners, which Newark failed to capitalise on.
Manning looked dangerous on the break, when they got the ball up the field, however lacked accuracy in the 'D'.
On 17 minutes captain on the day, Sue Tate took a nasty blow to the forehead, after the ball deflected up off a stick. After a lengthy stoppage and some commendable bandaging to stem the flow of blood, Sue was taken over the road for some superglue and steri strips. We are pleased to report that Sue is OK, but may have a battle scar as a result.
Play resumed with Shanade Bradley taking on the Captains arm band, and slotting into the centre midfield, where she put in a commanding performance delivering the ball well to wingers Rosie Staniforth and Hannah.
Newark’s domination finally paid off with an excellent team goal starting at the back with Anna Hall passing the ball out wide to Lauren Verrills then onto Rosie, who interchanged passes with Sophie Chambers and Vicky McMunn, who found Shanade Bradley in the centre. Shanade fired a cracking ball into the 'D' which deflected off a Manning defender and into the goal. 1-0 Newark at half time. The second half began in much the same style as the first with Newark unlucky not to extend their lead.
Against the run of play, Manning equalised from a penalty corner with a well-executed deflection on the right post. This did not deter Newark, who came straight back with a fantastic solo effort by Hannah Laughton who took the ball down the left skipping past several defenders and across the face of the 'D', calmly slotting the ball passed the Manning keeper.
Newark sensed they could get a result out of the game, and continued to work well together. Manning began to pile on the pressure in the last 20 minutes with Newark’s defence standing strong, scrambling the ball away from the face of goal on a number of occasions. Lily Dean stepped up in goal to make a couple of excellent stops when Manning broke through. Sadly Newark could not hold on for the win with Manning playing the ball early through the centre and slotting the ball home with 15 to play. Newark continued to fight hard to the final whistle, and held on for an extremely valuable point and 2-2 draw against top of the table opposition, which should give their opposition over the coming weeks something to think about! A great team performance for the draw which felt like victory, giving the team confidence going forward into their game against 5th in the league Nottingham Players next week.
Final Score: 2-2
Daisy - Sue 'the warrior' Tate!
Player - Shanade Bradley
Top of the table Newark had an early start away against 2nd place Players for what was anticipated to be a hard match. An evenly matched start saw both teams being awarded a penalty corner in the first 5 minutes but there were no goals for their efforts.
Newark were first off the mark with a shot from Ann Crockett-McLean rebounding off the keeper straight to Zoe White in the middle of the D who was quick to strike into the net.
Players fought back and found Newark to be panicked and scrappy. Laura McMunn suffered an injury to the elbow shortly after coming on to the pitch and making an amazing call for the ball and Players took the opportunity to push up the field but were unable to get past defenders Sue Birkett, Hannah Bond and Emily Crisp. A green card for Rachel Spolton was swiftly followed by a yellow for Players as they argued against a penalty corner in Newark's favour. Newark failed to capitalise on the advantage and Players managed to equalise before half time.
A stern half time talk from coach Paul gave Newark slightly more focus in the second half and they were unlucky not to score from a penalty corner as a hit from Zoe to Sara Jackson came off the keepers pad. Jacky Nullis, Izzy Wells, Maddie Horrocks and Louise Goodman passed the ball well but Players snuck up and, despite the best efforts of Freya Grocock, managed to slot the ball into goal.
Newark finally woke up in the last 10 minutes and quick runs from Tash Gresswell on the left saw Newark making the most of a penalty corner 5 minutes before the final whistle as Zoe slipped the ball to Rachel on the left who hit it home.
Overall, Newark were not on form and were lucky to claim a draw.