The weekend certainly produced a few classic matches, plenty of goals, a local derby, and an eleven-goal thriller involving our finest, non-league clubs.
The derby, in the United Counties League Premier Division, went in favour of the visitors as Newark won 2-1 at Eastwood, whilst in Division One, Dunkirk coming from behind, on several occasions, to win an eleven-goal thriller, with a 94th minute winner, away to Leicestershire outfit, Kirby Muxloe.
At Eastwood, in the UCL Premier North, it would be the visitors who’d take an interval lead, as early as the twelfth minute, and from the penalty spot; James Berrett was followed following a cut-back in the box, the referee pointed to the spot, and Mason Rowley duly despatched high and wide past the diving Warren Squires in the home goal.
Although the goal was seen to spur on the visitors, both sides gave it their all during an entertaining, first forty-five with Ben Henderson, Kyle Dixon and Joe Harrison probing well through the middle of the park for the hosts, Berrett, and Josh Stevenson, pushing for the visitors.
The second goal for the visitors would come on the counter-attack, after an Eastwood break was sent back upfield, something which caught the home defence off-guard and, with Rich Sylla racing into the area with the ball at his feet and his ball, across the face of goal, was put away by Kyle Blake on his debut.
It would be a goal that would, eventually, awaken the hosts, and, with ten minutes remaining, home supporters were given something to cheer as Sam Meakin released Henderson down the left flank who, after some twists and turns, fired past Ben Andrew in the away goal; Meakin continued to torment, but to no avail and it would be the visitors who’d take the three points and affording them breathing space towards the bottom of the table.
Eastwood Community: Warren Squires, Callum Jones, Jacob Sturgess, Louis Anthony, Sam Meakin, Joe Harrison, Kyle Dixon, Ben Henderson, Kaylum Mitchell, McKenna Parton, Kyle Stovell.
Newark: Ben Andrew, Josh Stevenson, Ryan Ebanks, Mason Rowley, Dean Freeman, Kyle Blake, Isaac Currie, Rich Sylla, Josh Mundell, James Berrett, Sean Devlin.
Meanwhile, in UCL Division One, a humdinger of a game ensued in Leicestershire as the mid-table duo of Kirby Muxloe, and Dunkirk, clashed at the former, with the visiting Nottinghamshire side going in heavily under-strength.
A see-saw encounter exploded into life as early as the second minute as Joseph Kerins slotted the ball under visiting ‘keeper Jake Want, before hitting the upright minutes later; twelve minutes in and the match was level for the first time after a long-throw from Oliver Whaley isn’t dealt with fully, Max Taylor eventually nodding home.
Within six minutes and the hosts led again as a quick free-kick is headed home at the far post by home captain, Adam Parry, on eighteen, a lead that would last until ten minutes before the break, but not for the lack of trying either.
Christian Hatley and Reuban Nwadike combined on the right and the latters cross was met by Harrison Mellors, he sweeping the ball home for 2-2, before taking the lead for the first time straight from the restart after a long-throw from Hatley is fired goal-wards from Max Taylor, his shot is parried by the home shot-stopper and Jack Oldham put in the rebound for an interval lead.
Within five minutes of the restart and the hosts this time were level, Jude Coates finishing low into the far corner, before retaking the lead just before hour mark, Coates with his second of the game as he breaks through and lifts the ball over the advancing Jake Want.
Another ten minutes would elapse before Dunkirk were awarded a penalty after Aaron Large was brought down in the box, Jack Oldham stepping up to fire home the games’ eighth goal; Muxloe would net their fifth with fifteen minutes remaining when Coates completed his hat-trick following a quick, one-two.
Then, yes there was time for a few more of them, the visitors snatched another equaliser, and hit 5-5 with two minutes to go, Aaron Large firing home after a Hatley deflection is claimed by Max Taylor, for Large to level, then (told you there’d be more) deep in stoppage time, Dunkirk snatched a winner with their sixth of the afternoon, getting on the end of a loose ball on the edge of the box to fire home.
Dunkirk: Jake Want, Harrison Mellors, Oliver Whaley, Ewan Head, Kieran Driver, Greg Tobin, Christian Hatley, Reuban Nwadike, Max Taylor, Aaron Large, Jack Oldham
Elsewhere in Division One, whilst we’re there, and Kimberley Miners Welfare moved joint-top with Hinckley after a narrow, 1-0 win away to Ingles, Aaron Coyle with the only goal of the game; a first half brace from Callum Smith helped Radford on their way to a 4-0 win away to Holwell Sports to move joint-second with Belper United (ten behind the top two).
The remaining UCL One game, at Birstall United Social, would see the visiting Clifton All Whites continue their push for a top ten finish with a 1-0 win, Kieran Cummings with the only goal of the game, late in the first half.
Elsewhere across Nottinghamshire, and with Basford United slipping to a three-goal reverse away to Radcliffe in the Northern Premier League Premier Division; Worksop Town came from behind to win 2-1 away to Pontefract Collieries, goals coming from Liam Hardy and substitute Ben Tomlinson in the NPL East, whilst in the NOL Midlands, Carlton Town were held to a 3-3 draw at home to Halesowen Town as Alex Howes, Aaron Opuku and Lawrence Gorman netted.
In the Northern Counties Eastern League Premier Division, AFC Mansfield held to a goalless draw when home to Goole, and Sherwood Colliery win 2-0 at Thackley, Lewis Weaver and Gareth Curtis netting alongside plenty of goals involving clubs in Division One, eight coming at Ollerton and six at Retford.
Ollerton defeated visiting Armthorpe Welfare 5-3 having trailed 3-2 at the break, George Slack and Luke Francis keeping the hosts in the game, the visitors themselves netting through Adam Baskerville, Jamie Austin, and Noel Burdett; the second period would see the hosts equalise through Conor Green just shy of the hour mark, before late efforts from Jacques Etia and Francis’ second of the afternoon, ensured the three points stayed with the home side.
Retford meanwhile defeated visiting Brigg Town 4-2 thanks to goals from George Severn, Adam Scott, George White and Liam Bennett, whilst Rainworth Miners Welfare won 2-0 away to Swallownest, Morgan Boyle and a penalty from George Simpson wrapping up the points.
Meanwhile, in the Central Midlands League Premier North, the top three sides are separated by a point, with Newark Town leading the way following their 2-0 win away to Askern Miners, Lewis Chambers and Jonny Wiles scoring, whilst second place Retford United romped to victory in a local clash with mid-table SJR Worksop with Aaron Fell netting in each half during a 5-0 win, taking his tally to thirteen for the season.
Fell’s goals were added to by Mark West (35 goals in 29 games), captain Tom Brook, a late Igor Mlynarski effort, and an own-goal; the Premier South game on the other-hand saw Arnold Town win 5-1 away to Ashland Rovers as Billy Owen bagged a hat-trick as well as goals from Raheem Gordon and Kieron Lane.
During the week the Nottinghamshire FA made the draw for the Senior Cup competition, ties to be played 22 April, as the winner of Basford United and Mansfield Town oppose Newark, and Carlton Town welcome Nottingham Forest U23s.
*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).
*Main image @NewarkFC2 Mason Rowley scores from the spot for Newark against Eastwood.