Saturday 9th February
Ladies 1s Vs Kettering 2s
It was the first league match back after the Christmas break for the 1s, but despite the long break, Newark started off with an early goal from Sarah Pask. After the initial good work, it took a while for Newark to get back into the swing of things and the team looked venerable leaving Kettering to get 2 goals going in half time.
After a half time talk from coach Paul Halfpenny, Newark came back out fighting and began to work together as a team. After several chances in the D, Hannah Beckett, Trish Trafford, Dani Ashwell were all rewarded for their hard work with exciting goals, leaving Newark with a great start to the second half of the season winning 5-2.
Ladies 2’s v North Notts
The Newark 2’s played away at North Notts on Saturday, after beating the home side 2-1 earlier in the season and holding position at 2nd in the league, the team looked to have the advantage. But with several key players injured or away and the home side having a winning streak on home turf, it was going to be a tough match for Newark.
With the bare 11 players, coach Sally Halfpenny was keen to get the team prepared for a game of making the ball do the work. Newark put in some excellent tackles, often taking North Notts by surprise and charging towards goal before North Notts. The home team began to pack their defence to put Newark off their stride and prevent shots on goal. In response, the Newark attackers tried winning penalty corners to give an overload situation in the attacking D.
After winning several penalty corners, Newark failed to convert them, causing frustration on the pitch which was worsened by North Notts scoring from a rebound on a penalty corner.
Defensively, Newark prevented any other real chances for North Notts and Amy Crouch, Lyndsey Sayer and Mel Woods moved the ball away from danger and up the pitch to the wingers, supported by Susan Tate and Rachel Vickers in midfield.
Going into the second half 1-0 down, Newark were determined to turn the game around but a series of shots on goal didn’t make it over the line and after a lapse of concentration in the final minute North Notts pushed hard into the D, drew goalkeeper Lily off the line, making a cracking save but the rebound was intercepted North Notts scored making it a 2-0 loss for Newark.
Player of the match – Anna Kempster
Ladies 3’s v Worksop
After losing several must-win matches, you would have expected the 3’s side to have felt downhearted at the prospect of playing 3rd in the league team Worksop who Newark lost to earlier in the season in a convincing 4-1 defeat. The team only had a couple of minutes to warm up, but right from the first whistle the team showed fighting spirit and kept possession well, moving the ball around the pitch and creating chances in the D within the first few minutes.
Worksop were a well-oiled team and had several key players who Newark looked to eliminate from the match, using the speed and skills of Zoe White who man-marked the Worksop centre forward for the whole match. This caused disruption to the away side, clearly frustrated at the Newark defence, Jacky Nullis in particular made some key tackles in front of the Newark goal and goal keeper Freya Grocock won several one-on-one attacks. After a series of penalty corners, Worksop finally broke the Newark defence and scored from scrappy play in front of goal.
Undeterred, Newark fought back and worked the ball around the pitch with great runs from wingers Tash Gresswell and centre forward Alex Olivant. Youngsters Zara and Felicity both showed real skill and passion in the centre, beating a number of skilled Worksop players. After a number of penalty corners, Newark’s hard work finally played off, with Sophie Chambers sweeping the ball past the Worksop goalie making it 1-1 at half time.
The second half was just as exciting and tensions ran high on the pitch. The game was fast-paced and both sides began to tire in the final 10 minutes. The Newark defence fought off a number of penalty corners and sent the ball back up to the attack, Zoe White and Sophie Chambers sent some fantastic balls into the D, but the wingers were not quite able to get on the end of them in time to score a last-minute goal. Worksop pushed on, and GK Freya saved the Newark team on a number of occasions with some incredible saves, making the final score 1-1.
Player of the match – Zoe White, with votes for Zara, Freya, Felicity and Jacky.
Ladies 4’s v West Bridgford With several players either unavailable or nursing injuries, it was a tough ask for the IVs to take on West Bridgford. However, the two sides were fairly evenly matched, put with pace at the front lacking, the Newark side found themselves down 2-0 at half-time. Coach James Barker made several changes to the team at half time to great effect and the fightback began. Goals came from Sophie Chambers, who powered through the defence and also from Millie Wightman, with a great solo effort to beat the defenders and goalie. Sadly, the Newark side ran out of time and despite chances were unable to level the score. Final Score, 3-2 to West Bridgford
Player of the match - Millie
After losing to Chesterfield 2’s earlier on in the season, Newark Me’s 1s faced a challenge hosting Chesterfield at home on Saturday, but in a thrilling match Newark delivered a 3-2 win.
The Men’s 2s lost 9-0 to University of Nottingham 4s, man of the match was Thomas Linford, whilst the Men’s 3s lost 11-0 to Belper 5s, man of the match was Logan Tustin.