NEWARK FLOWSERVE completed a Midland Football League Premier Division double against Lye Town but they were made to battle all the way for their victory against visitors who belied their bottom three position.
The 3-2 win lifts The Highwaymen into second spot, just two points behind leaders Coventry United and with two games in hand, but it was a match in which the men in orange and their faithful supporters had to live on their nerves.
Another 262 filed through the Lowfields turnstile, making it 4,016 for the season with an average home gate of 286, which is a hugely gratifying reward for the hard work being done at the club on and off the field.
On the field Flowserve are still in all three cup competitions as well as their lofty place in the table, but in this game they proved that they can scrap for the points as well as turn on the style – a mark of quality in any football team at any level.
Both sides spent the opening exchanges feeling each other out, with the visitors having most of the possession. A superb cross from Danny Meadows from the right was the highlight of Flowserve’s contribution to the probing, but there was no-one on the end of it.
On 16 minutes a free-kick from Jake Heath was powerfully headed over the top by Ryan Bridgewater as Lye went in search of the opener. Then at the other end Kyle Dixon fired in a shot from the right that flew just wide and followed that with an effort with his left boot that nestled in the arms of the visiting goalkeeper.
It was Lye who got the breakthrough just before the half hour mark. The goal when it came fell to Town’s most impressive performer, with Bridgewater’s trickery on the left being a constant thorn in the side of the hosts, and he struck with a left foot shot that flew across Joe Searson before hitting the right hand post and flying into the back of the net.
Flowserve were level within four minutes through new boy Massiah McDonald. The former Ilkeston Town, Notts County and Rushden and Diamonds striker pounced when a loose kick downfield from Lye keeper Ben Newey struck the lively Zak Goodson on the back and fell to McDonald who bore down on goal and planted the ball past the chastened custodian.
Six minutes later and Flowserve were in front when a trademark flick from Ben Hutchinson released Goodson and the speedster broke clear of the last defender and finished with aplomb for his seventh goal in orange.
Goodson nearly grabbed a second four minutes after the break when a superb pass from McDonald released him again behind the visiting defence before shooting beyond the right hand post with the left foot.
The goal that sealed the points was the pick of the game in the 65th minute. Jurelle Phillip raced to the bye-line and pulled back the perfect cross to set up Hutchinson to power home a header off the underside of the crossbar to register his 13th goal of the season.
There was still time for Lye to bag a second to trigger a nervy finish when Adam Meacham steered home a header with seven minutes left on the clock, but Flowserve held on comfortably to claim the victory and maintain their remarkable progress.
Newark Flowserve: 1 Joe Searson; 2 Lavell White; 3 Jurelle Phillip; 4 Lawrence Gorman; 5 Mitch Robinson; 6 Tom Potts (captain); 7 Danny Meadows (Matt Cotton 80mins); 8 Kyle Dixon (Jack Beckett 65mins); 9 Zak Goodwin; 10 Ben Hutchinson (Sean Woolley 65mins); 11 Massiah McDonald.