Pinchbeck United 5-2 Newark FC: Ruthless Knights defeat much-changed Newark as manager Craig Roche feels pre-season vibes from league fixture
Newark FC manager Craig Roche said it felt like pre-season again after introducing a raft of new players to his squad on Saturday.
Newark are five games into their league campaign and sit 11th on seven points after the 5-2 loss to Pinchbeck United.
A stunning start helped set Pinchbeck on their way to victory as they scored four goals in the opening 45 minutes.
The hosts broke the deadlock after just two minutes as 17-year-old Enoch Opayinka was fouled in the box and picked himself up to convert the resultant penalty.
Pinchbeck doubled their lead three minutes later when Warren Hebblethwaite won possession before freeing Haydn Havard to apply a fine finish.
Opayinka hit his second soon after and, on the half-hour mark, completed his hat-trick.
Opayinka earned a fourth in the second period, but Newark fought back with two quick-fire goals of their own as Nathan Smith and Danny Meadows each netted.
However, any hopes of what would have been an incredible comeback were halted as Newark’s Will Rawdon was red-carded.
“On the results side, it is poor and of course it is not what we wanted,” said Roche.
“But in the grand scheme of things we find ourselves in a mini transitional period again — a lot of new faces have come into the dressing room this week.
“We have a lot of good players and we were the better side without a doubt but we just didn’t turn our possession into goals and we were sloppy at the back.
“They had their four chances on goal plus the penalty and that was that.
“We just need to get our balance right again because Saturday had a pre-season feel to it with how different the squad was.
“We will tweak a few bits, put that behind us and then we will go again.”
Roche said numerous players had transferred to Eastwood — where former join manager Stephen Kirkham manages — while others had gone elsewhere.
“We needed new faces in and, for a lot of them, Saturday was the first time they had met so it was a case of learning on the job,” said Roche.
“As daft as it may sound, there was a lot of positives. We are confident the group is good enough, we just need to become a team rather than a group of individuals.”
On Saturday, Newark return to league action, hosting Heanor Town (3pm).