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First-half Newark FC collapse sees Heather St. John's steal the points as attention turns to Deeping Rangers FA Vase

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Three goals in nine first-half minutes all but confirmed Newark’s fate as they lost 4-1 at home to Heather St. John’s.

The Highwaymen got off to a sluggish start and were made to pay when William Mansfield fired the visitors ahead on 16 minutes despite the linesman flagging for offside, with the visitors playing to the whistle.

James Spruce, Cameron Collins and Oliver Jarrett all found the back of the net in a chaotic period before the end of the half as Newark shipped three goals in nine minutes — Spruce scoring the pick of the goals with an effort from the edge of the box.

Credit: Steve McKeown (52425582)
Credit: Steve McKeown (52425582)

Newark’s joint managers Craig Roche and Paul Rawden made two changes at the start of the second period, introducing James Snedden and Tariq Wilson before waiting a further 15 minutes to bring Ayleal Dill into the fray.

And their impact made a difference as Newark managed to pull one back from the penalty spot through captain Danny Meadows on 71 minutes, though it was too little too late for the hosts.

Rawden said: “I was disappointed in the way that we played in the first half.

Credit: Steve McKeown (52425579)
Credit: Steve McKeown (52425579)

“We got taught a harsh lesson in football and they moved the ball around well on what is a big pitch.

“Some of the players that were on show on the night didn’t perform anywhere near where they can.

“We had three young lads who came on in the second half and they made a difference, but of course it is no good when you are 4-0 down.

Credit: Steve McKeown (52425558)
Credit: Steve McKeown (52425558)

“It did give us some positives to look forward to and no doubt they will all feature on Friday night in the Vase.”

Tomorrow night, Newark are again in action at Basford United’s home ground, hosting Deeping Rangers in the FA Vase — a competition that has previously offered memorable trips for supporters.

“Last year’s squad was on nearly double the budget that we are on now, so we have to put things into perspective,” said Rawden.

Credit: Steve McKeown (52425566)
Credit: Steve McKeown (52425566)

“Just because we beat Deeping away a couple of weeks ago, it doesn’t mean we will again.

“Of course it would be great to have a run in the Vase but when we were in Newark with 400 (supporters) behind us, it gave players a lift, but when it is 100 (supporters) away from where you are based it is a different atmosphere.”

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