Newark Flowserve force Coventry Sphinx to crumble at Lowfields in 8-1 thrashing
Substitute Matt Cotton scored a ten-minute hat-trick as Newark Flowserve pulled out all the stops with an 8-1 win at home to a woeful Coventry Sphinx at Lowfields in the Midland Football League Premier Division on Saturday afternoon, writes Tony Smith.
The sun shone on another glorious Indian summer’s day on Hawton Lane, but it was the quality of Flowserve’s attacking moves that lit up the occasion, with Sphinx blown apart as the tomb-raiders in orange romped to victory.
Ben Hutchinson made another impressive stride to match fitness, with impudent flicks and another superb goal to add to his hold-up play as he led the line magnificently, but it was Cotton who once again grabbed the headlines.
The 23-year-old signing from Lincoln United scored the first hat-trick of his career in the final pre-season friendly at Quorn in Leicestershire, but his second treble came in just ten minutes after he had replaced the tiring Keylun Pollard on 62 minutes.
His feat overshadowed the two-goal contribution of leading marksman Kyle Dixon, who took his tally to six goals in nine appearances – from midfield – while Sol Miller marked his first appearance of the season with a goal, and there was a first of the season from Danny Meadows with a bullet header.
Cameron Dear, another new signing from last season’s MFL champions Ilkeston Town, made his debut, while action man Jack Beckett was back in the starting line-up for the first time since the end of last month.
Sphinx goalkeeper Tom Cross was in sparkling form in the early exchanges as Flowserve struggled to break down a Coventry side who had set up to take a point on their travels. One member of the travelling party even observed that it was the “first time that the club had played in Europe”, such was his opinion of the distance covered for the fixture.
Cross denied Meadows with a fine save to his right as early as the seventh minute, and then pulled off a fine stop to his left to keep out an effort from Pollard on 22 minutes. But that was as good as it got for the Coventry custodian.
A minute later he was picking the ball out of the back of his net as that man Hutchinson side-footed home neatly from a Meadows cross from the right to begin a master class in a number nine shirt. The former Celtic man oozes quality on and off the field and is a credit to his wonderful family.
If the first goal had taken some time in arriving, the second and third goal were like buses as Sphinx crumbled.
On 31 minutes Meadows powered home a header from Dixon’s corner from the left which a defender on the line was unable to keep out, and then two minutes later provider turned scorer as Dixon shaped neatly before curling his right-footed effort round the keeper.
Beckett hit a trademark piledriver inches wide of the right-hand upright as the one-sided first half came to a close.
Hutchinson’s quality shone again just before hour mark. Dixon went on a typical surging run from his own half and, although he was temporarily halted in a tackle, he won the ball back and continued his progress before feeding the ball to Hutchinson. The big man back-heeled his return pass to Dixon, who rounded the keeper before slipping the ball into the net from an acute angle.
Four minutes later sub Charlie Faulkner pulled one back for the visitors after slack play in the home defence blotted the side’s copybook when a clean sheet would have completed a perfect heist for The Highwaymen.
But that 62nd minute also brought the arrival of Cotton, and his silky skills wrapped up the points.
Ten minutes after his introduction he made it five. And ten minutes later he had sealed his hat-trick as Sphinx surrendered meekly, undermining their 14th spot in the nascent league notches.
Miller wound things up with goal number eight two minutes later, and no doubt the journey home would seem even longer for Sphinx’s beleaguered souls.
Newark Flowserve: 1 Joe Searson; 2 Sol Miller; 3 Jack Andrews; 4 Tom Potts (captain); 5 Lawrence Gorman; 6 Jack Beckett; 7 Cameron Dear (Ryan Ebanks 77mins); 8 Kyle Dixon; 9 Ben Hutchinson (Elliot King 80mins); 10 Danny Meadows; 11 Keylun Pollard (Matt Cotton 62mins).