Newark 1-1 Lye Town: Classy Craig Westcarr keeps his cool from penalty spot in Midlands Football League clash
A last-minute penalty gave Newark the chance to extend their unbeaten start to the season as they drew 1-1 with Lye Town at another capacity Lowfields.
The visitors took the lead in the 14th minute after Newark goalkeeper Jason White clipped an on-rushing Lye forward, which resulted in Jordan Harrison, the Midland Football League’s top-scorer, converting from the spot.
The Highwaymen should have pulled level in the first half but Kevin Bastos failed to finish as the ball flashed across the face of the goal.
Danny Meadows hit a shot from range that forced a good save from the visitors’ keeper as Newark threw everything forward in the second half.
Joint-managers Craig Roche and Stephen Kirkham introduced Elliot King, Romello Nangle and Zibusiso Sibanda in a 15-minute period as the Highwaymen chased a late equaliser.
And their pressure eventually paid off in the third minute of injury time when Nangle out jumped the Lye keeper, who barged into him in the air with excessive force, giving the official no option but to point to the penalty spot.
The responsibilities were given to Craig Westcarr instead of Ben Hutchinson, who had scored 11 of his last 12 penalties, and the former Football League striker kept his nerve to pull Newark level.
Roche said the fixture proved their were no easy games in the division.
“They are a good side,” he said. “There are no easy games in this league and to be fair to them they came here and had a go.
“They came into the game off the back of two good 4-1 wins, which shows they have goals in their team.”
Roche also dismissed claims that his players were suffering from an FA Cup hangover.
“We are disappointed in our performance,” he said. “The FA Cup has gone. It is done and dusted. We warn the players week after week that if you show complacency you will get found out in this league.
“We have to win the battle first (before showing our quality) and we never quite got going in the first half. In the last 20 minutes we threw the kitchen sink at it and we got the penalty and took something out of the game.”
This evening Newark travel to Selston (7.45pm kick-off).
NEWARK: White, Potts, Stainfield, Francis, Rawdon, Bastos (E. King 69’), Meadows, L. King (Sibanda 74’), Wells (Nangle 60’), Hutchinson, Westcarr