Newark Town Sunday FC 3 – 0 Crown FC
The score line appears to indicate that this was a comfortable win for the Newark Alliance outfit but in reality it was far from that in a very competitive, well contested encounter.
Only two minutes had elapsed when Town should have taken the lead but Liam Warner appeared to stumble and lose control with only the ‘keeper to beat from six yards and ten minutes later he was involved again by back-heading the ball into the path of Leigh Cooksey, who fired over.
Crown overcame this early onslaught and retaliated for Connor Croft to find brother Corey, who mishit his shot when well placed and then Connor was off target when through on a one-on-one with the advancing ‘keeper, only to steer his effort the wrong side of the post.
Crown were now enjoying a period of ascendancy and their next chance fell for Dominic Staff to fire into the side-netting and then Mitchel Woodward saw his teasing cross deceive Anthony Richardson in the Newark goal but drift agonisingly onto the roof of the net.
At the other end, Sean Flutcher saw his drive from twenty five yards rise just over the crossbar but it was Crown who finished the half the stronger, as Corey Croft was found by Woodward only to volley just wide from twelve yards and they started the new period on the front foot with Connor Croft testing Richardson with a long range free kick and then released Woodward with an incisive pass that the winger controlled well before seeing the Town custodian parry his near post drive.
All this effort seemed to have its toll on Crown, who visibly began to tire and their fitter opponents took control of the final quarter and after James Elliott had pulled off a thrilling double save to thwart Liam Warner and Stefan Bilyk they took an eightieth minute lead, when Corey Croft flicked a header on for Joe Braithwaite to roll the ball home and then, as Crown pushed forward Town took advantage of a stretched defence to increase their advantage with five minutes remaining, as Louis Cree saw his cross shot deflected past a stranded Elliott.
As the game entered a period of additional time, Newark made the game safe, after Warner was tripped in the area. The striker then stepped up to fire the resultant penalty kick into the top corner.
Notts FA Life Member; Mr Norman Frith, supported by Association Chairman, Brian Hambidge presented the Man of the Match award to Crown’s Kieran Miles, medals to both teams and the Sunday Junior Cup to a jubilant Luke Parsons for Champions; Newark Town Sunday.
Match report courtesy of John Wheat, Nottinghamshire FA Board Member.
Photographs courtesy of Alexandra Johnson Photography www.alexandrajohnsonphotography.co.uk