What looks like a narrow victory on paper was in fact a great deal more emphatic in reality. The Blues were in control for the majority of the match and thoroughly deserved the three points as Richard Lane reports.
Manager Luke Parsons partnered Ricky North in a solid back four which has conceded just one goal (a penalty) in the last seven league games, releasing Rhys Lewis to join Jack Beckett and Jammy Lloyd in midfield.
With a brisk breeze blowing the length of the pitch Town got the perfect start in the third minute, Lewis Chambers sending a diagonal defence-splitting ball across the Thorne penalty area or the incoming Jammy Lloyd to steer the ball home at the far post. Thorne retaliated with Nick Howcroft crossing from the left to Ryan Smyth who managed to lift the ball over the bar from a couple of yards out before Darren Bird headed over the bar from another Howcroft cross. Chambers was then played in by Lloyd, the striker wriggling past two defenders but seeing his shot finish inches wide of the post. The home side were finding it difficult to judge the strength of the wind, many balls forward being overhit, Town’s defence comfortably dealing with any remaining threat. Beckett went close on 34 minutes thrashing the ball just too high after Steve Carty had crossed from the left. Tyler Martin was next to threaten, picking up another inch-perfect ball from Lloyd and forcing keeper Rich Watson to beat his shot away.
Now with the wind in their favour, the Blues picked up where they had left off and almost added to their lead on 48 minutes as Watson and Geddes fell over each other, Jonny Wiles’ goalbound shot being hoofed off the line. Beckett then headed over from a swirling Wiles cross before Chambers shot on the turn brought a fine one handed save from the keeper. As Thorne’s attacks became even more isolated, Lloyd was next to threaten as Town used the width of the pitch, Wiles and Beckett combining well to set up the midfield dynamo who couldn’t quite keep his header down. Nathan Burrows was by now a virtual spectator, while at the other end both Tom Moore and Lloyd again went close. With 15 minutes to play Daryl Price replaced Tyler Martin and immediately posed more problems for the increasingly pressurised Thorne defence with his close control. Newark carved out yet another opportunity in the final minute, Chambers, cross from the left finding Lloyd once again, his diving header beating the woodwork by inches.
This was another excellent all-round team performance against tough opposition who had taken points from Town in the previous meeting but were without doubt second best this time round. If there is any more football to be played this season, Newark’s next scheduled game is a week on Saturday at Crowle Colts.
TEAM – Burrows, Moore, Carty, North, Parsons, Lewis, Beckett, Lloyd, Chambers, Wiles, T Martin (Price)