NEWARK FLOWSERVE put two successive defeats behind them with an accomplished 3-1 victory at AFC Wulfrunians to stay top of the pile in the Midland Football League Premier Division on Saturday afternoon.
A hat-trick from Zak Goodson secured all three points as title rivals Coventry United and Heather St John’s also won.
Thankfully the strong winds that had buffeted the team bus on its journey down from Newark to the Black Country had abated by the time the Flowserve players arrived at the sparsely populated CKW Stadium.
Lawrence Gorman dropped to the bench, with Jamie Walker the latest new boy in the ranks as the left-sided midfielder from Basford United slotted in at left-back. The Wulfs had three players out through injury, including their goalkeeper, giving stand-in Vitor Pinheiro the chance to don the gloves for the first time in six months, and he promptly set about denying the visitors with a string of superlative saves.
Kyle Dixon and Goodson exchanged passes as early as the fourth minute before the former was denied by the advancing home custodian, and then Massiah McDonald and Danny Meadows combined to square a pass across the face of goal, only for Goodson’s boot to connect with the upright rather than the ball.
Midway through the first half Meadows and Dixon were denied in quick succession by the diving Pinheiro, before Craig Cregg got free on the left and fired a left foot effort just over the bar in the Wulfs’ first foray. Then, on 28 minutes, came the breakthrough when Goodson cut in from the right and thumped a left foot shot across the keeper and inside the near post to give Flowserve a deserved lead.
Messrs Kirkham and Roche pointed out over the cuppas that it should have been 5-0 rather than 1-0 at the interval, but the wintry sunshine after the break gave a glimmer of hope to the hosts as they levelled on 49 minutes when Tommy Poole netted totally against the run of play and had the decency to look as surprised as anyone. To their credit, Flowserve raised their game again, and they were rewarded when Goodson put them back in front on 74 minutes when a great through pass from Dixon sent him clear and he neatly clipped the ball past the keeper. Goodson headed home his hat-trick goal – and his 12th of the season – after reacting quickest when his initial shot had been parried with four minutes remaining.
The smiles were back on Flowserve faces. And Zak Goodson’s smile was the widest of them all.
Newark Flowserve: 1 Alfie Smith-Eccles; 2 Lavell White; 3 Jamie Walker; 4 Tom Potts (captain); 5 Mitch Robinson; 6 Jermaine Hollis; 7 Danny Meadows; 8 Kyle Dixon Jurelle Phillip 89mins); 9 Massiah McDonald (Romello Nangle 67mins); 10 Ben Hutchinson (Kairo Edwards-John 88mins); 11 Zak Goodson.