Another point in the bag
WHEN the occupants of the opposing dug-out are urging their players to use time-wasting tactics ten minutes from time, you realise how far Newark Flowserve have come in a short space of time.
Last season Coventry United finished in a respectable eighth position in the Midland Football League Premier Division. This time round they are encouraging their players to hang on for a considered precious point at the home of a team taking their first strides in step five football.
One of the home committee members asked a Coventry counterpart who he thought the favourites for the title were. The unequivocal answer was: “With the signings that you have made, you are.”
And so the underdogs from Newark are considered to be likely lads in the title race. And a remarkable midweek crowd of 345 turned up on Tuesday evening at Lowfields to see what all the fuss is about.
The width of the crossbar prevented Sam Agar from sealing all three points with a 69thminute header, which would have added to the impressive three points picked up against Worcester City at the weekend. But, as it is, the Highwaymen are equal second in the fledgling Midland Football League Premier Division table.
Flowserve dictated much of the first half with an unchanged starting line-up from the weekend, with the new boys again to the fore. Ryan Ebanks looked composed at right-back and an always eager outlet; Jack Andrews on the left of defence again excelled, including one crunching tackle which will have reminded watching fans of a Reds’persuasion of a certain Stuart Pearce; and Lawrence Gorman once again exuded class in the number five shirt.
Kyle Dixon and Matt Cotton added their usual non-stop contributions, and were at the centre of all that was good.
But it is the way that the ‘old guard’ have slotted in seamlessly alongside them that has added to the new dimension that Flowserve now have to offer, and they are a joy to watch.
Jack Beckett was first to every loose ball in midfield, though his crosses were wayward, while Danny Meadows looks back to his best and Agar is the usual handful on the left, combining well with central striker Elliot King whose summer fitness work has been an example to all.
Skipper Tom Potts, who has been the stand-out contributor so far, was at his impudent best in the first half when he was closed down in his own area but lofted the ball over his challenger and then swiftly turned to clear his lines, while the second half was just seven minutes old when he acrobatically hooked the ball off his own line and to safety after keeper Joe Season had struggled under pressure.
The moment of the game came with 21 minutes left to break the deadlock. Dixon’s neat through ball released King down the right and his cross was met by the forehead of Agar.
The crossbar ensured that the deadlock remained unbroken. Much to the relief of Coventry.
Newark Flowserve: 1 Joe Searson; 2 Ryan Ebanks (Jahren Barrow 60mins); 3 Jack Edwards; 4 Tom Potts (captain); 5 Lawrence Gorman; 6 Jack Beckett (Paulo Piliero HT); 7 Danny Meadows; 8 Kyle Dixon; 9 Elliot King; 10 Matt Cotton; 11 Sam Agar.