36 goals were scored at the weekend but Newark Hockey Club claimed few of the victories. The Ladies 4s a bright shining light in a windy weekend as Storm Brian blew in from the west.
Playing the entire game with a formation of 3-1-5-1, Newark got off the mark early on in the match when winger Dave Beedham stroked the ball past the Berkswell keeper in the 4th minute after an incredible moment of play. But the celebrations didn’t last long as Berkswell responded well by scoring up the other end after another 4 minutes.
Short Corners played a significant role in today’s game as in total there was 12 with 3 of them leading to goals. Berkswell found the back of the net again in the 11th minute following a save by 'keeper Ben Bradley who couldn’t stop the rebound going in. Newark gained a short corner in the 18th minute after a superb run by Andrew Smith, and it was worth it as midfielder John Clarkson scored the equaliser for Newark.
Berkswell pressured Newark for the following 10 minutes as the entire Newark team soaked it up and defended well, with the home side welcoming back Adam Lefley playing alongside Gary Barker. The crucial defenders put in some crucial tackles along with Bradley making some great saves. In the end the Berkswell attack managed to grab a late goal from a short corner at the near post to give the visitors the lead.
Berkswell came out ‘guns blazing’ after the break and the possession was all theirs in the opening 10 minutes of the second half, as they had a goal disallowed in the 36th minute due to it coming from outside of the D. However, the visitors did eventually add to their lead in the 44th minute after scoring once again from a short corner, and it’s hard to argue that it wasn’t deserved due to their complete domination leading up to it.Newark had a few good spells when on the ball, most of it in their own half, but when in the opposing half they looked to break away quickly but the Berkswell back-line stopped it with ease.
The dominance continued even after the goal with Berkswell being awarded 3 short corners in a row. The first 2 had been cleared by Andrew Tallis and the 3rd resulting in Berkswell’s second disallowed goal of the game, as one of their players admitted to the ball hitting his foot showing great sportsmanship at the same time.
The final 10 minutes of the game were still being dominated by Berkswell, and Newark were being frustrated by their lack of options and possession of the ball. More short corners for Berkswell in the 60th and 63rd minutes were being dealt with but Berkswell wanted more and even hit the post. Berkswell were toying with the prospect of another goal and got agonizingly close but left back Ciaran Logue cleared the ball off the line despite Berkswell’s best efforts.
It looked like the game was over in the 69th minute but Berkswell’s determination eventually granted them one final goal to really rub salt into Newark’s wounds, the goal game after an initial shot hit the post and fell straight to a Berkswell player to tap into an open net.
Full Time – Newark 2-5 Berkswell & Balsall
Player of the Match – Gary Barker.
The Ladies 4’s travelled to West Bridgford to take on their Ladies 5’s. With a West Bridgford push back the teams were evenly matched with end to end hockey and a couple of unsuccessful attempts on goal for both teams.
An early game-ending injury to Lucy Wade put the pressure on in midfield, but we were lucky to have Suzie Gray on the squad to keep the strong midfield alongside Kanky Andrews. A welcome return for Vicky Jones consolidated the midfield line-up.
Moira Chambers and Holly Wynn played solid defence and pushed up the field to keep West Bridgford out of their attacking area and the team out of danger.
The half-time score was 0-0 and with a special pep talk from coach Sally Halfpenny, a different team appeared on the pitch for the second half! A penalty corner utilising the routines practiced at training yielded an early second-half goal from Jamie Davison. With instructions to keep their heads and not concede an immediate goal, the team knuckled down and capitalised on their lead with a great strike from Suzie Gray.
A struggling West Bridgford team managed to win a penalty corner and although their initial routine did not get past goalie Clare Dent, a scrap in front of goal let them find the back of the net to pull the score back to 2-1.
Great defensive play from George Redican backed up by the big-hitting Jess Hull sent the ball into midfield and up to the forwards for several attempts to break through the West Bridgford defence.
Newark found some extra energy with support from the sidelines and Jamie Davison managed a reverse stick shot on goal putting us 3-1 ahead. This galvanised the team further and great work on the wings by Millie Wightman and Emilie Timlin provided several pushes towards goal with another successful hit on target by Suzie Gray.
Final score Newark 4 West Bridgford 1
Player of the match - for the third week running players tied for votes, with both Moira Chambers and Jamie Davison taking the honours this time earning five votes each.
The Ladies 1s suffered another loss as they travelled to Nuneaton and went down 2-1. At home the Ladies 2s lost 5-2 to Ashfield Aztecs, and the Ladies 3s took a point from a 0-0 draw with high flying West Bridgford 2s.
The Mens 1s are still searching for their first points as they lost 4-2 at Derwent but are off the bottom of the league due a better goal difference, and the Mens 3s lost 7-3 at Tamworth.