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AFC Phoenix 2-2 Newark Town: Phoenix rise for Town visit as Central Midlands Football League gets underway

The Blues’ opening league match ended in disappointment as they failed to reproduce their pre-season form, reports Richard Lane.

Newark Town could only manage a point from their trip to Rotherham as they found a goalkeeper in outstanding form, and also the bar three times in their 2-2 draw with AFC Phoenix.

A foul conceded by Ed Munton resulted in Phoenix taking a 24th minute lead as Adam Houghton got to his feet to curl a beautifully judged free-kick over the wall and inside the left-hand post.

Town levelled on 39 minutes, and the goal again came from a free-kick as Lewis Chambers was fouled.

This time, it was Mark Faflik who produced another perfectly hit effort.

The same player almost struck again on the stroke of half-time, but host keeper Joe Taylor saved his team.

Town played with more purpose at the beginning of the second half and were instantly rewarded when, after good work from Chambers, Marlon Grundy tucked the ball into the net.

A third looked on the cards immediately after as Chambers swivelled in the area and lashed a shot against the face of the bar.

But the lead lasted just seven minutes as Houghton was again felled, this time inside the penalty box and his shot from the spot sent Burrows the wrong way.

On 58 minutes, Chambers again hit the bar and, after the host’s keeper made a breathtaking save to push Jonny Wiles’ shot over the top, Town hit the woodwork again through Wiles’ header.

With Clay Cross, Harworth and Retford all recording opening day wins, it was not the start Luke Parsons’ team would have wanted or expected.

Town have the chance to redeem matters this evening at home to Renishaw at the YMCA. Spectators are welcomed.

Collingham, also on their travels, did not get off to the ideal start either losing 2-1 at AFC Bentley.

Brad Sykes put the home side ahead on 29 minutes, before Joe Smith doubled the lead.

Collingham’s Jake Morrison pulled one back on the stroke of half-time, but the visitors failed to find an equaliser.

On Saturday, Collingham travel to Renishaw.

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