Newark Town 8-1 Clifton Development: Nathan Arnold's blues breeze to second round of Notts FA Saturday Trophy
As expected, the Blues progressed to the second round of the Notts FA Saturday Trophy with a comfortable 8-1 win against Clifton’s Development squad, who, to their credit, fought gamely against considerable odds.
Town gave a first start to young Gabriel Rattigan, while ‘keeper Nick Eatough also made his first appearance for the club.
After a strangely lethargic start, Newark found themselves a goal down after 10 minutes, the referee seemingly allowing play to continue after a Clifton player went down in the area before making a belated decision to award a penalty.
Jack Woodroof stepped up to beat Eatough from the spot.
This seemed to inspire Town and, four minutes later, they drew level as Mark Faflik skilfully worked his way along the goal line before pulling the ball back for Lewis Chambers to thump the ball home.
On 16 minutes Newark were in front, as following several blocked efforts in a crowded goalmouth, Matty Clarke provided the final touch.
It got even better for the Blues in the 22nd minute as Mason Rhiney fired past Clifton ‘keeper Shay Abell.
Rhiney was again on target from 25 yards as his effort flashed past the ‘keeper.
Town then wrapped up the first half with two more goals in three minutes.
With 42 minutes played, a great run by Chambers down the right set up Rhiney who completed a well taken hat-trick from close range.
There was an element of good fortune about Town’s sixth goal which arrived a minute before the break as Rhiney’s shot which seemed to be covered by Abell took a big deflection off a defender which diverted it into the net.
As is often the case when a team builds up a substantial half-time lead the second 45 was something of an anti-climax.
Newark went further in front in the 52nd minute as Faflik set up Chambers to round the keeper and stroke the ball home.
The home side then brought on all three substitutes, Clarke, James Gardner and Zak Kersey making way for Niall Parsons, Jeremiah Ogie and Sam Bartle.
The final goal of the game on 59 minutes almost inevitably came from Rhiney who capped an outstanding afternoon by scoring from an acute angle after a long ball from Bartle was played in by Ogie.
The Blues’ next opponents will be Notts Senior League Foundation Division team AFC Bull Farm from Mansfield.
They now face three away matches beginning with Tuesday night’s trip to Sheffield Reserves (7.45pm)