Newark FC opened up their United Counties Football League campaign with an opening day victory over Nottinghamshire neighbours Eastwood CFC on Tuesday night in a match played at Basford United’s Greenwich Avenue ground.
Both teams have joined the UCL Premier Division North for the 2021/22 campaign after a reshuffle to non-league football which includes Newark’s former Midland League opponents Selston, also joining the competition as the third Notts club involved.
Acting as step five with promotion to the Northern Premier League Midlands Division (which currently includes Carlton Town), Eastwood were promoted themselves to the UCL from the East Midlands Counties League in the summer but fell behind on 36 minutes on their season opener as Newark striker Jamie Llloyd hit home a half volley.
Eastwood levelled soon after the break when McKenna Parton slid home but new signing Kuwesi Ofushine gave Newark the lead before former Notts County winger Romello Nangle finished things off with 17 minutes remaining.
The win was the Tangerines sixth opening day victory in succession, played in front of 200 fans at Basford, the tie was switched, as are all Newark’s home games this season, following the clubs Hawton Lane ground being aligned for development, leaving the club concerned and without suitable home in their own town for the foreseeable.
After the match, winning Manager Craig Roche stated “What a win against one of the fancied sides.”
“Is going to be a tough season and we are not getting carried away with that performance, but we are very pleased with the effort, commitment and some of the quality the players gave us last night.”
“It was amazing to see so many supporters make the journey over from Newark.”
Next up for Newark is another home match (at Greenwich Avenue, Basford) in the FA Cup extra preliminary round against Lutterworth Town, whilst Eastwood travel to Lincolnshire based Bottersford Town in the same competition for a 3pm kick off.
Selston who opened up their UCL campaign with a 3-0 loss at Long Eaton United on Tuesday, will face a trip to Quorn in the FA Cup, also on Saturday afternoon.
*Main image @stevemack2017 Newark celebrate Kuwesi Ofushine’s goal.