Walsall Wood 2-0 Newark Flowserve — Kyle Dixon sees red as quick-fire double sinks The Highwaymen
Both teams finished with ten men as two goals in a minute sank Newark Flowserve at Walsall Wood in the Midland Football League Premier Division, writes Tony Smith.
Flowserve’s fifth defeat in eight league games sees them still in fourth spot in the table, but leaders Coventry United won 3-1 at South Normanton Athletic and are now eight points clear of The Highwaymen with a game in hand.
But the visitors began brightly on a tricky playing surface and more than played their part in a close game at Lichfield Road against illustrious hosts, who were billed among the pre-season title favourites.
The Lowfields outfit went close after just five minutes following a one-two between Joel Brownhill and Matt Cotton, with the latter shooting just over the crossbar.
Four minutes later Brownhill was again the provider as he supplied a cross across the box that saw Massiah McDonald clear the bar from six yards.
In the 12th minute, in an action-packed opening, a long ball over the top left Javia Roberts running through on goal, before Flowserve skipper Tom Potts stuck a foot in and diverted it for a corner.
Roberts continued to cause a problem to the visitors’ back line as he latched on to the ball, but was then thwarted by the diving Alfie Smith-Eccles, before the referee blew up for offside.
Jaimie Walker’s powerful free-kick hit the roof of the net before Danny Meadows got to the by-line and crossed along the six-yard box only for the ball to just evade the foot of the sliding McDonald.
And The Highwaymen finished the half on top with Brownhill releasing Cotton for a shot which flew past the left hand upright.
The second half saw Flowserve on the ascendancy, and good work by Potts down the right released Brownhill for a shot into the side netting.
Then, on 55 minutes, came the first game-changing moment when Ben Greenwood cleared the ball near the goal-line.
The home centre-forward followed through, taking Greenwood’s ankle with him, and the referee awarded a corner, which was hit hard and low and was deflected for an own goal.
Almost from the re-start Michael Nelson went down appealing for a free-kick and, as the Flowserve defence stopped, waiting for the whistle, Nelson jumped up and hit a screamer inside the far post.
The game then became a bit of a midfield stalemate before, on 73 minutes, a bad tackle on the touchline resulted in Kyle Dixon pushing the offender.
Walsall’s Harry Harris, who had been on the pitch for two minutes, floored Dixon, and the referee issued red cards to both players.
On Saturday, Flowserve travel to the Shrewsbury Sports Village, where they will hope to return to winning ways against Haughmond.
Flowserve: Smith-Eccles, Potts (c), Walker (Gorman 58’), Greenwood, Robinson (Barrow 75’), Brownhill, Meadows, Dixon, Brownhill (Nangle 58’), Cotton, McDonald.
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