Shakespeare & King Richard III's (heavily modified!!) words were apt for the weekend as several Newark sides had difficulty fielding full strength sides at the weekend due to a couple of late withdrawals from the teams.
The Mens 2s side were at home to Coventry HC and started the match with 9 players, had 10 for the majority but finished the game with 9, due to ijury In the first half Coventry began with a heavy possession style of play and were on the front foot for most of the match and it payed off as they scored just after the 6th minute. Newark were really suffering from their lack of men as for the first ten minutes it they had their backs against the wall with keeper Robbie Robershaw pulling of two great saves from a short corner within a matter of minutes! Newark’s attempts to start a counter attack were being dealt with effectively by the Coventry defence.
The 13th minute arrived, and Coventry had a short corner which Robbie handled with ease, but two minutes later Newark’s Ryan Foster sparked a counter attack out of nowhere and converted his shot beautifully! The counter attacking methods of Newark worked wonders yet again as Simon Higgs scored a minute after the first, making it 2-1 to the home team! It appeared Newark had found a weakness in Coventry as every time they gained possession they swiftly broke away at speed resulting in end to end action around the 22nd minute mark.
Coventry stuck with their tactics of dominating possession and were given a short corner in the 29th minute, which resulted in a very controversial goal being allowed for Coventry. It appeared that a a Coventry player brought the ball down with his chest and then scored after, but the goal stood. Emotions were high on both sides when an altercation between two players resulted in a yellow cards and both missing the remainder of the half.
Half Time Newark 2-2 Coventry
Second Half: Coventry switched up their tactics slightly in the second half by putting an extra player in defence to help cope with the counter attacking methods of Newark. Defender Adam Lefley came off momentarily in the 38th minute for treatment due to splitting the nail on his thumb, he came back on raring to go.
The 41st minute came, and the domination continued for Coventry which eventually resulted in a goal for the visitors and Newark were being frustrated by their lack of possession. Newark must have been hit with a curse on the day a when Tom Scoutney limped off the pitch with a deep gash in his knee following a horror challenge by a Coventry player, and the defence were feeling the effects of his absence as they had to double their efforts to prevent salt being rubbed into their wounds.
The domination of the opposition continued even into the later stages of the game, but Newark weren’t giving up and were running their souls out but unfortunately couldn’t get chances in the final third until the 69th minute when they received a short corner. Newark were nervous and got very close to scoring following a diving shot but it just wasn’t to be.
Full time Newark 2-3 Coventry - and Newark felt like they could have taken something from the game but it wasn't to be.
Newark’s Man of the Match – Robbie Robertshaw (GK)
With “The Management” of Sally, Moira and Sam all unavailable for the away match at West Bridgford, the responsibility fell to stand-in Captain Vicky Jones with Alex Davies as coach and the injured Lucy Wade as cheerleader and form-filler-in - great to see that nobody is indispensable and everyone gets stuck in when required!
A strong start from Newark saw an early goal from Suzie Gray after only five minutes. The team kept focused following the goal with yet another good break from Suzie, but she was unable to find the back of the net. This was followed by a run from Gabby Lucas also to no avail.
A penalty corner was awarded to Newark in the 17th minute and unable to get a good shot on goal with some fighting play in front of goal, a great reverse stick shot from Bea Smith found a gap and hit the back of the net to take the score up to 2-0.
Just four minutes later, a break and shot from Gabby Lucas hit target to put the visitors ahead 3-0 but just before half time West Bridgford were awarded a penalty corner, but struck the ball wide. Subsequent play netted the home team another penalty corner which this time found the back of the net to put the half time score at 3-1.
Newark did not start the second half quite as well as the first with several penalty corners being handed to West Bridgford. Great defensive play saw clearance from these penalty corners from Jess Hull, Jane Stead (goal keeper) and Hannah Broomfield but sadly it proved to be fourth time lucky for the home side when they converted another one to bring the score to 3-2 about ten minutes from the end.
A tired Newark managed to keep ahead until full time and with another win in the bag and a great team effort, the Player of the Match was yet again awarded to more than one player, with Jess Hull, Hannah Broomfield, Gabby Lucas and Jane Stead all on the honours board this week.
This result sees the Ladies 4’s steaming up the league table to third place and just five points short of their total for last season with 14 games still to play.
The Ladies 1s had an emphatic 9-1 home win against West Bridgford Ladies, and the Ladies 2s also won convincingly with a 6-0 drumming of Nottingham Players. The Ladies 3s lost as the game was abandoned with 10 minutes to go when a Newark player was injured and the game could not continue (thankfully she is ok!). The Mens 1s lost 4-0 way at Panthers, and the Mens 3s lost 7-0 away at Atherstone Adders.