Newark Town 3-2 Radford (United Counties League Division One) 26.11.22
A fun fact to begin with, when googling the distance between these two grounds, for some reason, the first option was the near 483 mile, seven hour travel between Newark, New Jersey, and Radford, Virginia – now that’s a (near thousand mile) round trip.
Fortunately, in Nottinghamshire, England, it’s about twenty plus miles, and around forty minutes travel time, between the two, United Counties Division One clubs, and, on Saturday afternoon, at the YMCA Activity Village, Newark, the hosts edged a five-goal, derby thriller.
It was to be a victory that moved the hosts into sixth, whilst the visitors remained fourth, the pair part of a contingent of five Nottinghamshire clubs bunched together (joined by Hucknall Town, Clipstone, and Dunkirk).
Somehow, the opening twenty minutes remained goalless, even though the hosts’ Alex Hales and George Asplin, within a minute of each other, rattled Radford ‘keeper, Yinka Adebowale’s woodwork, with Lewis Chambers also seeing an effort cleared by Conor Moore.
Just before the half hour and the home side opened the scoring, Tristan Drummond continuing a counter-attack down the right, but his effort is well-saved by Adebowale, the rebound however is snapped up by Chambers, who nips in to score.
Minutes later and the sides are level, a Pheasants free-kick, twenty-five yards from goal, is whipped in by Michael Fitzhugh and, although Blues shot-stopper, Harry Chapman, gets there first, the ball is spilled to the incoming Sacha Markelic, who, as Chambers did moments earlier, slots home.
Had the sides been level at the break, neither support would have had much complaint, however, it would be the Blues who’d go in with an interval lead, Asplin seeing a space in Adebowale’s goal at distance, and let’s fly from fully thirty yards out; the shot stays the course, and flies past the Pheasants number one and into the top left corner.
Markelic is seen to fire the first real chance of the second, but his effort sails over Chapman’s crossbar, before then seeing a second effort, when played in by Kyle Stovell, creep past the left post.
Around the hour mark and the hosts net again, Jamie Lloyd’s deflected shot falls to Chambers who, although looking slightly offside, fires home a decisive third, the officials not flagging and the goal standing.
Not long after the hosts opened a two-goal cushion, the visitors would have several chances to peg the score back, however, efforts from both Greg Tobin, and Kyle Stovell, went begging, Markelic also being seen to send a shot of his own over Chapman’s bar.
The visitors, they’d make a trio of changes in the closing stages as they hunted goals in which to get something from the game, managing to notch a second with ten minutes remaining.
Markelic again would be the one to score when a cross from Craig Meakin evades all, Moore puts it back into the goalmouth, and Markelic doubles up when smashing home, the visitors now going all-out for what would have been a deserved point.
They nearly got it as well, Newark having tightened up at the back to compensate the attacking nature of Radford line, and, with the game heading into stoppage time, a third was netted, Moore finishing seemingly well following a throw-in on the right, however, he was adjudged to have been offside.
David Boafo has an even later effort for the Pheasants, but his, from a corner, again goes over the home cross bar as Newark hold on for a hard-fought, 3-2 win.
Newark face a trip to St Andrew next, in the league, but have to wait until Tuesday 6 December, whilst Radford return to action with another derby, this time at home to Hucknall Town, on Saturday 3 December.
Newark Town: Harry Chapman, Tristan Drummond, Jordan Haywood (Ben Sharpe 66), Matty Clarke, Luke Andersen, Rhys Lewis, Jack Beckett (Jackson Buckthorp 73), Alex Hales, Lewis Chambers, Jamie Lloyd, George Asplin (Rory Harrison 82).
Radford: Yinka Adebowale, David Adegbola (Craig Meakin 70), Will Bailey (David Boafo, 63), Joe McLaughlin, Conor Moore, Kuwasi Ofushine (Joe Meakin 79), Kyle Stovell, Michael Fitzhugh, Scott Litchfield (Anton Robinson 79), Jonathan Jebbison (Greg Tobin 52).
Venue: YMCA Ground (134)
*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).
*Main image @NewarkTownFC action at the YMC in the United Counties League.