Saturday 16th February
Ladies 1s v Loughborough Students
Newark Ladies 1st team had a very early start on Saturday, with a mid-table clash against promotion hopefuls the Loughborough Students. Not sure if it was complacency on the part of the visitors but Newark were rampant in the first 10 minutes, raising a few visitors’ eyebrows.
The students finally got to grips with the home force and the game became very open with chances at both ends, however the score remained 0 – 0 at the interval.
With Newark fielding a makeshift defence, Trish Trafford was the only regular member but Rachael Vickers and Ellie Peachment were absolute rocks keeping the Students at bay. Di Jones returned to the first team for the first time in years and was outstanding in goal, throwing herself around like a teenager.
Just 12 minutes into the second half the deadlock was broken as, a game of “pinball” in front of goal ended with the ball crossing the Newark line.
Newark raised their game - Pask, Harris and Coe all came close to scoring. = With just 8 mins to go, Hannah broke free and went 1 on 1 with the keeper, beat the keeper but sadly for Newark put the ball wide.
A fabulous performance from the 1s, sadly not the result but with possession at 60% - 40% in Newark’s favour the future looks promising
Ladies 2s v SBUs
Newark ladies 2’s set out knowing that nothing but an away win would do against bottom of the table SBU 2, to keep their hopes of promotion on course. The 2’s started positively with much of the pressure in the first 15 minutes, resulting in a short corner deflected towards goal, but not hitting the target. Sara Jackson was working hard from her position in the centre of the field and was involved in most of Newark’s build up play and at one point stretching well out on the Right to keep the ball in play to maintain possession.
Felicity stepped up to the 2’s for the first time, having a great game linking up well with Sara down the right resulting and another short corner to Newark. This time Newark moved the ball right to felicity, but again the SBU defence stood strong. Newark won a string of short corners with Sara slapping the ball towards goal, but straight at the keeper’s pads.
Newark’s pressure eventually capitalised, again from a short corner, with Jackson slipping the ball out left and short to Dani Croson, who struck the ball sweetly and directly low into the SBU goal - rattling the back board to make it 1-0 to the away side.
SBU were dangerous on the break, however Amy Couch got the measure of their attack, stepping well in front of them to win back possession on a number of occasions. Newark ended the first half how they started it, with a driving run from Sarah down the right, carrying the ball to the base line, pulling the ball back the oncoming shanked Bradley, who was unlucky to convert on her favoured reverse. The rebound came out dangerously up off the SBU keepers’ pads, resulting in another Newark short. They repeated their goal scoring effort, pushing out to Dani, who hit the ball too high into the net, with the goal rightly disallowed by the umpire. GK Lily stepped up confidently at the end of the first half, to smother the ball in a 1v1 after the SBU attack managed to slip the ball through the Newark defence to keep the score at 1-0 at half time.
SBU started out the stronger in the 2nd half, but service soon resumed for Newark, with Sara driving into the D slipping the ball left to Bradley who shot directly at the keeper, with the follow up coming straight out to her, she managed to push the ball strongly and accurately towards goal, finding an SBU foot blocking the ball on the line resulting in a penalty flick to Newark. Up stepped defender come forward, Croson, who confidently put the ball left of the SBU keeper to make it 2-0 to Newark.
SBU followed with a long period of pressure on goal and were unlucky not to covert past dean in goal and the Newark defence led by Lindsey at centre back. SBU’s effort was eventually rewarded when they scored a scrappy goal after a goalmouth scramble to bring the score back to a nail biting 2-1.
Newark managed to get the ball back under control and finished strongly, with Rachael bickers, slipping he ball through to terrier Bea in the D, who was unlucky to find the keepers pads with a low strike. The keeper could do nothing but trap the ball between her pads and the ground, resulting in another Newark short, which came out nicely to the top, only to be sent straight back to taker Jackson, who put the ball just wide.
Amy finished with a flourish, dangerously running the ball up to the baseline on the right, pulling the ball back towards Shanade, who was unlucky not to connect. Newark won a string of shorts in the dying minutes, and although they worked the ball nicely, they were unable to find a way passed the strong SBU keeper. The final whistle went to the relief of Newark, who secured a valuable 3 points giving them a 5-point cushion over 3rd in the league Beeston, with 4 games left to play.
Ladies 3s v North Notts
After losing to North Notts 7-0 earlier in the season, Newark were under pressure going into the home match, with the added worry of being in the relegation zone with only 4 games left to move up the table. Despite losing a couple of key players to the 2s this week, the ladies relished the challenge and a ferocious game was played by both sides throughout. In the first few minutes, Newark applied the pressure on North Notts, but the strong defence kept the home side from taking a shot on goal and moved the ball up to the attackers in retaliation.
The Newark defence had learned some tough lessons from the last North Notts encounter, and man-marked several key players, which infuriated the N Notts midfield who were unable to feed the ball through to the D. Sweeper Rachel Spolton cleared the ball to the midfielders which some cracking hits, and with help from defender Ellie, who mixed up the game with some aerial balls, Newark were able to create an overload situation in the North Notts defensive 25. Despite some great runs from 4s player Eliza and centre forwards Alex Olivant and Ann Crockett-McLean, Newark were unable to get on the scoreboard.
After a twenty minutes, the away side were showing frustration at what was turning out to be an unexpectedly tough match. North Notts defaulted to purposefully fouling on the ball leading to 2 green cards, one of which was upgraded to a yellow card following back chat aimed at the umpire. This meant the away side went into the 2nd half with 9 players on the pitch, but Newark failed to take advantage of this. It wasn’t until a penalty corner was won by the Newark attack that the home side finally got on the score board, with a drag flick from Ellie.
This gave a huge boost of confidence to Newark, who capitalised with two further goals from centre midfield Sophie Chambers and a rebound from Alex Olivant. Newark beamed with a 3-0 lead, but North Notts frantically applied pressure, winning a number of penalty corners. Goalkeeper Freya Grocock took charge of the defence, keeping North Notts at bay, but a slip up in the D from open play allowed North Notts to score, followed quickly by another. It was 3-2 with minutes to go when the away side won another penalty corner. Panic prevailed on the side lien but the Newark defence had everything under control, and as the girls cleared the ball the final whistle was blown. A fantastic win and a nail-biting match to watch, Newark are fighting hard to stay in the championship with 3 games to go.
Ladies 4s v Aztecs
Final score – Newark 0 Aztec 5
Player of the match – Polly Richards
Men’s 1s v Nottingham 2s
The unbeaten run in 2019 continued for the men’s 1s who dominated the match against Nottingham 2s.
Final score – Newark 4 Nottingham 1
Scorers: Simon Higgs (2), Ben Eagles, Kian Hunter
Man of the match: Scott Robinson
Men’s 2s v Derby 1s
Newark lost 11-1 in a gritty but resilient performance against second in the league, goal from James Collier.
Man of the match Tom Scotney
Sunday 17th February
Ladies 1s v Ashbourne
Newark’s rearranged clash with Derbyshire team Ashbourne was a very 1 sided affair. The hosts held onto their momentum from Saturday and the visitors had no answer.
Newark opened the scoring on 12 mins from a penalty corner. Laura Harris’s thunderbolt strike was saved by the keeper but was sweetly finished at shoulder height by Dani Ashwell.
Laura Harris came close again as she intercepted a loose ball in defence went 1 on 1 with the keeper but sadly put the ball wide. Last ditch defending was the only reason the hosts didn’t add to their score at half time.
The huge home crowd had much to cheer in the second half with the Staniforth sisters really turning on the style down the right flank. But it was Harris who settled Newark nerves as this time she beat the keeper & smashed the ball home. Another superb display and Newark should now be safe from any relegation fears.
Mens 2s v Chesterfield 2s
Newark lost 4-0, man of the match Jacob Martin.
Mens 2s v Chesterfield 2s
Newark lost 4-0, man of the match Jacob Martin.