Ladies 1s v Northampton Saints
After slipping to 7th in the league and still carrying a number of injuries, travelling the 90-minute journey to a blustery Northampton, the ladies 1s were under pressure to seal the win against bottom of the league side Northampton Saints. After Newark lost to Saints at home earlier in the season, perhaps the odds were in Saints’ favour, but the Newark team have improved and evolved as a team since then and coach Paul was confident in their ability to take home 3 points.
From the first whistle, Newark looked strong and Rosie Staniforth weaved the ball up the right wing with ease straight into the D taking the Saints’ defence by surprise and winning a penalty corner. With Newark missing their striker Hayley Chaplin, the team tried a different set but were unable to get on the scoreboard. The pressure was promising but after 15 minutes of settling into the game and Newark having the majority if possession, the defence let a Saint’s winger into the D unmarked and on a bouncy pitch, the home-side slipped a ball past GK Lilly Dean taking it to 1-0.
Newark were fuming, knowing they were the better side and stepped up the pace. Captain Rachel Vickers and defender Megan Cocker made some cracking passes to the forwards, but it was Sophie Chambers who fleeced the Saint’s defenders, drawing the goalie wide to hit the backboard, making it 1-1 at half time.
Newark re-grouped and with some restructuring of the defence, the away side increased the pressure once more, eager for the win.
Shanade Bradley, Susan Tate and Bea Smith used their skill in the middle of the pitch forcing Saints to make several errors and opening up space in the D. Bradley and Smith both had shots on goal, but it was Staniforth who scored Newark’s second goal deflecting a strike from a penalty corner in to the top of the net.
A third goal shortly followed from Bea Smith who beautifully hit the ball from another penalty corner.
Newark were then set-back when midfielder Kathryn Hawkins suffered a hit to the hand, but thankfully this week Newark benefitted from having a substitute on the side-line.
Saints fought back, looking to claw back the score line, sending their wingers high to goal hang, leaving Anna Hall under pressure when the Saints broke, although their efforts were squandered by defenders Megan Cocker, Lauren Verrills and Emily Crisp; GK Lilly didn’t have a touch of the ball in the second half.
Staniforth soon widened the gap taking her second goal of the game from open play and Newark left the pitch with a strong 4-1 win, moving them up the league to 6th but with some work to do in the next few games to avoid relegation.
Player of the match – Rosie Staniforth.
Ladies 2s v Worksop 1s
The Newark ladies had a tough start to the game with Captain Lyndsey out of action and cheering on from the side-lines. Worksop were eager for the win from the first whistle taking a relaxed Newark side by shock. Worksop quickly took the lead by slipping a goal past the defence and Newark GK in the first ten minutes.
This was shortly followed by an amazing dive from GK Freya Grocock, but a penalty flick was awarded as Freya tried to keep the ball away from the attackers and Worksop added a goal to their early lead.
Worksop tried adding pressure to the defence pushing the ball wide and creating aerial shots on goal.
The game settled down a little after 15 minutes, and the Newark side began to work the ball passing in triangles to keep the Worksop side at bay. Hannah Bond and Rachael Copson did well to take control at the back with some brilliant play and passing between Zoe White, Mel Woods and Ann Crockett-McLean, Newark had their fair share of attacking opportunities and shots on goal from Tracey Rimington.
The half time whistle went leaving the score at 5-0 but after a strong half time talk form coach Tim and captain Lyndsey, the Newark side went into the second half with a renewed sense of desire to claw back the score.
The Newark side did a fantastic job of keeping possession and moving the ball around the frustrated Worksop team, especially working the ball wide and high. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t meant to last, and Worksop put a few more past the Newark defence to the leave the final score at 8-0.
Player of the game was Zoe White
Ladies 3's V North Notts 2's
A tough game in the usual ways against a solid, hard hitting team. Another strong team performance despite losing several players to the 2’s and players doubling up.
Player Lucy Bateman
Ladies 4s v Ashfield Aztecs