Chambers wonder strike but it’s a draw at the Sports Village
RICHARD LANE reports on a day of missed chances for Newark Town;
The Blues dropped points for only the second time this season as they finished the match level with Retford for the second time in three weeks, having previous lost on penalties in the Floodlit Cup.
In front of a crowd of 138 Retford almost struck first, a diving Nathan Burrows saving Smith‘s shot with his feet but Newark were ahead in the 8th minute as Luke Parsons found Craig Bridge who picked out Lewis Chambers. The striker unleashed a perfectly judged volley from 25 yards out which the despairing Crosby got a hand to but couldn’t keep out.
As the visitors retaliated James Evans timed his tackle well to dispossess Smyth as he lined up his shot. Play switched to the other end with Ben Castell seeing a goal bound shot cannon off a defender for a corner. Town then lost Matty Stevens who limped off to be replaced at left back by Michael Minty. With play switching from end to end a Bridge free kick was beaten away by the keeper before Retford squandered a good chance to level the scores as Mlynarski steered the ball wide of an open goal. Burrows was then called into action again on the half hour touching a looping effort from Danson over the bar. Retford drew level in the 36th minute as a player went to ground in the Town penalty area which an under pressure referee decided was worthy of a penalty, Casburn converting from the spot. Newark were extremely unfortunate not to retake the lead three minutes later, Kieran Job seeing his 30 yard lob come back off the bar after the keeper had come out of his area to head clear as Chambers threatened. Job then had what looked like good grounds for a penalty waved away as he was pushed on the edge of the penalty area.
The second half followed the same pattern as the first in the early stages with neither side seizing the initiative, Retford’s attacks often broken up by Ricky North who turned in an outstanding performance in a defensive role for the Blues. Wayward finishing let down the visitors as first Lawrence and then Casburn blazed high over the bar from promising positions. Job was replaced by Tyler Martin with twenty minutes left to provide a fresh pair of legs at the front, but Retford were carving out more opportunities, Evans again timing his tackle to perfection as Casburn bore down on goal. Burrows then pulled off a point blank save from Brook. Town did have a good chance to take the points with five minutes remaining but Crosby produced an outstanding fingertip save to divert Chambers’ lob over the bar.
Taking the match as a whole, a draw was probably a fair result.
After Wednesday evenings match against Clifton All Whites in the NottsSenior Cup, Town travel to Clay Cross the following Tuesday at 7.45pm, the match having been moved forward from the original Saturday due to a shortage of match officials
TEAM Burrows, A Martin, Stevens, North, Parsons, Evans, Job, Lewis, Chambers, Bridge, Castell SUBS Wroughton (for Minty), T Martin (for Job), Minty (for Stevens). NOT USED Munton