“you can only beat what’s in front of you”
Newark Town will face far tougher opposition over the season than that provided by Askern on Saturday, but as the saying goes “You can only beat what’s in front of you”, which the Blues did with something to spare.
With a strong wind against them, Town opened positively and were rewarded with a 7th minute goal as George Asplin jinked past a defender and played the ball through for Craig Bridge to place out of keeper Jones’s reach. After Nathan Burrows had stretched high to catch a lofted shot from Toomer, Bridge almost added a second in the next attack as he struck the base of the post after being set up by Lewis Chambers. The woodwork came to Askern’s aid again on 18 minutes as Asplin’s cross was met by a header from Kieran Job which Jones, at full stretch, did well to divert on to a post. Askern posed little threat in the early stages, though Burrows had to be on his toes to make a sharp double save from Hattersley. As Town continued to press, Chambers saw a curling left foot shot clawed away and a Job free kick was turned over the bar as Jones worked overtime. The Blues doubled their lead with 33 minutes played, Arron Martin playing the ball through to Chambers whose shot was parried giving Christian Andersen a chance which he promptly put away. With Town firmly in control, Chambers was again the provider for Job on 40 minutes who put Newark three up with a well-executed shot on the turn. The woodwork was hit for the third time a minute later, but goal number four was not long in coming, Jack Durkin curling a shot home from 20 yards out in first half stoppage time.
The second half began more quietly with Bridge being denied as Jones acrobatically turned his 20 yarder over the bar. Ben Castell and Job made way for Jawanza Grant and Ngoni Dongo, who immediately made his presence felt with a number of swift interceptions. Askern pulled a goal back on 54 minutes, Hattersley netting from close range. A mazy run by Chambers ended with Grant’s shot being blocked before the Blues restored their four goal lead in the 78th minute with a fine individual goal from Asplin who twisted past two men in the area before beating the keeper from close range. His second goal, five minutes later saw him produce a perfect volley as a high ball dropped into the penalty area. Hattersley forced Burrows into a sprawling double save as the final whistle approached but Newark had the last word as a Bridge free kick was flicked on by Luke Parsons for Grant to apply the finishing touch and complete a comfortable win.