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Greg saves the day

Flowserve grab injury time point

GREG SMITH took his Newark Flowserve tally to six goals with a fine double to seal the greatest comeback since Lazarus as The Highwaymen plundered a point at Long Eaton United in the Midland Football League Premier Division on Tuesday evening.

For the second match running, Flowserve were forced to attempt to save a game with ten men this time after the sin-binning of Zak Goodson with five minutes remaining  but the equaliser by Smith came so late in stoppage time that Goodson was able to return to the fray for the dying embers.

Flowserve started the game like an express train, clearly eager to atone for their 4-1 reversal at Coventry United at the weekend. Indeed, such was their domination that the men in orange looked to have an extra man on the field in the early exchanges.

And that appeared to be the case until the referee belatedly spotted that the Long Eaton goalkeeper’s orange shirt clashed with that of the opposition, and the game was held up while the custodian changed into a green one.

As early as the second minute Flowserve should have taken the lead when Danny Meadows whipped in a trademark cross from the right only for the ball to graze the studs of a lungeing Goodson in front of goal, and two minutes later Kyle Dixon  suspended at Coventry  burst from central midfield and fired in a left foot shot that hit the right-hand post and bounced to safety when it looked to be heading in.

On 13 minutes Goodson spun and shot wide from in front of goal as he spurned the chance to break his duck for the club in the final game of his one-month loan spell from Basford United.

Mitch Robinson then rose to meet Dixon’s corner from the right only for the United keeper to claw the ball out at the foot of his right-hand post as Flowserve just couldn’t get the breakthrough that their superiority merited.

Then, with their first shot on target, Long Eaton broke the deadlock through Romaine Graham on the half hour mark, and they added a second a minute into first half stoppage time when Rhys Doolan swept the ball home to give the hosts a 2-0 interval advantage.

Flowserve struggled to put passes together after the break, but they were constantly urged to lift their game by Smith, who was a leader in the trenches when his side most needed him.

His inspirational performance was capped when he pulled a goal back in the 71st minute. Sub Sol Miller latched onto the ball on the right and played it inside to Goodson who in turn passed on to Smith who guided the ball back across the face of goal and inside the far post. Hope blossomed briefly.

But it was still an uphill battle as full-time came and went due to a spate of injuries. The game was in the fifth minute of stoppage time when a last heroic surge from Flowserve saw the ball ping around the edge of the box until Smith, sure-footed, took control of proceedings majestically and swept the ball home to trigger wild celebrations among the visiting ranks.

Newark Flowserve: 1 Joe Searson; 2 Lavell White; 3 Jurelle Phillip; 4 Tom Potts (captain) (Elliot King 88mins); 5 Mitch Robinson; 6 Jack Beckett (Jammy Lloyd 55mins); 7 Danny Meadows; 8 Kyle Dixon; 9 Ben Hutchinson (Sol Miller 69mins); 10 Greg Smith; 11 Zak Goodson.

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