Newark travelled to Hucknall on a sunny Saturday to face Woodthorpe's experienced team. After a delay getting on to the pitch, Newark started out strong under the direction of coach Glynn. Showing they were back on form, they dominated play and made the most of their lower average age.
Maddie Horrocks and Tash Gresswell were quick up the wings and a cross from Ann Crockett-McLean to Izzy Wells saw a beautiful strike to score. Newark utilised their defensive skills against Woodthorpe's big hitters, picking the ball up easily and they remained in the lead at half time.
The second half started even better than the first, with Sara Jackson and Jacky Nullis working hard in midfield and Emily Crisp playing high as well. A new position for Hannah Bond on right wing saw her narrowly missing out on scoring from the right post, but a short corner was awarded and a straight strike from Ann found the back board easily.
Newark were awarded goal number 3 shortly after as Tash dragged the ball across the goal, finding a Woodthorpe foot before it crossed the line. As Newark continued with some excellent play, defenders Sue Birkett, Louise Goodman and Rachel Spolton had energy to spare on the occasions Woodthorpe did manage to get the ball past the halfway line. Di Jones in goal was let off lightly as Woodthorpe failed to make in-roads. Newark managed to squeeze another one in before the final whistle as Izzy caught the ball on the rebound and slotted it home.
Newark put last week's poor performance behind them to show that they deserve their place at the top of the table.
Player: Izzy Wells and Emily Crisp
Newark Ladies 1s suffered a major setback in their hunt for promotion when they came up against a determined Boots 3s team on Saturday. An early start in Nottingham is always tough to prepare for and Boots were ready for it.
Despite an overwhelming victory in the reverse fixture, Newark knew they could not be complacent, especially as Newark 2s captain Mel Woods and team mate Amber Smith were asked to step into the team as five regular first team players were unavailable.
Early exchanges were even and when Newark got the ball into the circle, they found the home goalkeeper on top form. Laura Donaldson was thwarted several times as she tried to break the deadlock.
Boots took solace from this and slowly built up their momentum towards the Newark goal. Captain Katie Sandell, without her usual partner in crime Kate Lambert, rose to the challenge and kept Boots at bay for long periods of the game. Thus giving her the player of the match award.
Boots scored their first goal from a penalty corner. A straight strike clattered the backboard and the pressure was on the visitors. Newark showed glimpses of why they are in the fight for promotion but it just wasn't consistent throughout the whole game.
The second half played out much like the first. Newark put pressure on themselves as they turned over the ball time and time again. The second goal for Boots came following a scramble in the circle, and although George saved the first shot the ball was not cleared properly and it danced around the goal line before ending up in the back of the goal.
The team were very disappointed but remain optimistic as the league title is still possible. Next week Newark face their toughest challengers as they welcome Southwell Brincliffe in the league on Saturday and Manning in the Cup on Sunday.
Newark this week took the trip away to a Derby side which has been unbeaten since Christmas but Newark knew only a win would do to keep their hopes of being league champions on track. The day did not get started in the way Newark would of wanted with half the team ending up at the wrong location but once Newark arrived they got straight down to business with the umpires only giving a short warm up time. Derby started the game well pressing Newark back for the opening few minutes but Newark held strong and started establishing a foothold in the game and thought they had taken the lead within the opening five minutes when Sam Smith slid the ball under the Derby keeper but the umpire ruled the ball had already gone out of play. This did not stop Newark as they continued to press high and they managed to steal the ball high up the pitch, a few quick passes between Davies, T Smith and Eagles found Davies free on the penalty spot to deflect the ball in from Eagles passed the keeper. Newark continued to press but this left gaps at the back which Derby tried to exploit, but the Newark defence was unphased and held strong, allowing the attack to press the Derby defence, which resulted in a string of short corners and balls being flashed across the Derby “D” but no Newark player was unable to get on the end. On the 18th minute Davies stepped up on a short corner changing the original call he took the ball round the runner and fired the ball low into the corner putting Newark two up. It was only moments later when Newark won another short corner this time the corner did not go to plan but the ball fell to Sam Smith who fired it into the back of the net giving Newark their third of the game and a comfortable lead for the interval.
A mere five minutes into the second half Davies picked up a green card for some unusual use of his feet, more at home at Newark FC than HC this however did not stop the Newark charge as they kept creating chances, but some strong defending from Derby and so poor finishing from Newark gave Derby a let off for most of the half. After the return of Davies giving Newark a full strength team again they pressed again and Robinson found himself alone in front of goal with only the keeper in front of him but the keeper came charging out and won the ball, this only kept Newark out for a few moments when Newark were awarded another Penalty corner, this rime it went to plan where Davies played a one-two with Eagles and he fired the ball into the back of the net and completing his hat trick and giving Newark their fourth. In the later stages of the half Newark broke again this time Davies finding the on rushing Eagles who could of slipped the ball back to Davies or found S. Smith free on the back post for an easy tap in but took the shot on himself and fired wide of the goal, soon after the final whistle went leaving Newark four-nil winners and still 2 points clear at the top of the table with only one to play.
Goals: Alex Davies x3 and Sam Smith.
Man of the match: Tom Smith
Newark played Burton looking to get some points to help the relegation battle they are in. Burton were an experienced side who didn’t allow Newark to settle into any kind of rhythm.
A well struck shot from Burton went through a host of players and into the roof of the net before a second came from a drag flick from a short corner. Newark’s response was not helped by a injury to Andy McMunn which saw they play out the end of the 1st half with 10 players. During this time Burton got a third goal.
Back to full strength at the start of the 2nd half with McMunn playing upfront to protect his injured hand Newark started the brighter and good ball from Steve Littlewood found Andy McMunn in space whose through ball found Simon Higgs one on one with the keeper and finally he managed to round the keeper and find the back of the net (having previously missed two similar chances in the last games).
This gave Newark renewed hope of a comeback but was short lived with Burton scoring two more before Steve Littlewood scored a second from a shirt corner.
Burton however scored the last to give them a 6-2 lead. Thanks to Doug Thompson who stepped up to play to give us the 11 players.
Next week Newark travel to Chesterfield for must win game to try to consolidate their promotion from last season.
Goal Scorers:- Simon Higgs & Steve Littlewood
M.O.M:- Simon Higgs