Newark Town blast past Renishaw Rangers while Collingham keep their cool to secure late win over Thorne Colliery
It was double delight for both Dean Hyde and Luke Parsons as the two managers saw their teams end the year on a high in their respective Central Midlands League North Division clashes.
Parsons, who told the Advertiser Newark Town were halfway to the title after last week’s draw against second-placed Dinnington Town, took his side to fourth-placed Renishaw Rangers and left the former mining village with three points and extended their gap at the top to 12 points.
The Blues, playing in their eye-catching yellow away kit, fielded a strong side in the 3-0 win, with new signing Jonny Wiles on the bench along with late arrival Lewis Chambers, there were starts for Daryl Price and Jack Durkin.
The first major incident saw the referee wave away a Town penalty after Danny Boulton was brought down.
The in-form Rhys Lewis then put Boulton through but his well-directed shot was punched clear by keeper Moore.
But, on 24 minutes, Town found the breakthrough as George Asplin advanced down the right, before playing the ball into the area where Price hammered it into the roof of the net from an acute angle.
Five minutes later, after Boulton had been hacked down on the edge of the area, an offence which didn’t apparently warrant a caution, Price fired home the resulting free kick, which took a deflection on its way past Moore to double the advantage.
Nathan Burrows, who had been relatively untroubled in the Town goal was eventually brought into action, first saving well from Ryan before diving bravely at the feet of Talbot as he broke clear.
Price almost completed his hat-trick as half-time approached when Steve Carty’s cheeky backheel was met with a curling shot, that spun just wide of the post.
With Chambers replacing Boulton at the break, the sizeable following of Town’s support didn’t have to wait long for the important third goal as within a minute of the restart, Asplin, playing in an unfamiliar position on the right, cut in and twisted his way past three defenders to place his shot across the keeper.
Renishaw had their best chances to get on the scoresheet in the closing minutes when a mis-kicked clearance by Burrows fell to Wood, whose inviting ball across the Town area was knocked wide of the post by Hicken.
In the last minute Burrows pulled off a great double save from Edridge and Hancock to preserve Town’s tenth clean sheet of the season.
At Station Road, Hyde’s Collingham side were pushed to the final whistle in their 2-1 win over Thorne Colliery.
The tightly-fought match eventually fell in Collingham’s favour on 65 minutes when Chris Self converted, however, with nine minutes to play, the visitors levelled through Darren Bird and it looked as if a draw was nailed on.
But with nine minute left, Self was the unmarked man again as he completed his double to secure the win.
More by this authorConnor Thompson