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Supporters reassured of step four ambitions as chairman Gary Clarke and joint manager Craig Roche leave Newark FC



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Supporters have been reassured that the town’s highest-ranked football club will fight for promotion, despite its chairman and joint manager leaving.

Newark FC have confirmed the departure of chairman Gary Clarke and joint manager Craig Roche, but the club has detailed its plan to move forward ahead of the second half of the season.

Paul Rawden and Steve Kirkham will continue to manage the team, and have also taken on new roles to lead the club alongside Glenn Cobb and Kevin Presland.

Joint manger Steve Kirkham (left) remains at the club while Craig Roche, centre, has stepped down.
Joint manger Steve Kirkham (left) remains at the club while Craig Roche, centre, has stepped down.

A spokesman for the club said: “Many meetings have been held and we can announce that the football club is financially secure to finish the current season and plans are being made for the future, including a hopeful return to Newark.

“(Joint managers) Steve and Paul are setting ambitious plans on the field and are targeting a real push to finish this season strongly.

“The aim for the club is to attain step four football for the town of Newark within two seasons, even if it means playing out of the town short term.

"The managers hope to get the full backing of supporters through the turnstiles wherever the club is playing.

“The easy thing was for Steve and Paul to walk away and see the years of hard work come to nothing and, perhaps, the club would fold and lose its step five status and FA Cup football.

“We did not want that to happen and now it gives us a real purpose to get this club back to Newark as soon as possible with the help of our supporters and local council.

“The football club is nothing without it supporters and volunteers.”

Newark remain 15th in the 18-team United Counties League Premier Division North after Monday’s dramatic 3-2 defeat at home to Melton Town.

It was Newark who were 90th-minute winners when the teams last met in November but, this time out, it was the visitors who left celebrating an injury time winner.

Melton opened the scoring after ten minutes when Paul Anderson converted Ryan Calver’s cross at the back post.

CLUB captain and centre midfielder Danny Meadows (left) played 90 minutes for Newark. (49883315)
CLUB captain and centre midfielder Danny Meadows (left) played 90 minutes for Newark. (49883315)

Newark replied instantly, needing just 120 seconds to level the game as a low cross found Danny Meadows, who fired a half-volley past the visitors’ ‘keeper.

Having gained momentum, Newark took the lead after a corner caused chaos in the Melton box.

A failed clearance following the corner reached Newark's Mason Rowley, who hit a low, driven effort through the crowned penalty area to give Newark the lead on 30 minutes.

Newark looked good for their advantage and held on until the 82nd minute when a cleared Melton cross dropped to Anderson, who fired his second from 20 yards to give his side a shot at the win.

Newark — unable to get going again — rode their luck as the visitors hit the post moments after scoring but, as stoppage time approached, their luck ran out as Ryan Calver raced behind the Highwaymen's defence before finishing to seal the win for the visitors.

Rawden and Kirkham will be pleased with moments from the game as they look to build on the Melton performance ahead of the visit of 14th-placed Quorn on Saturday (3pm kick-off).

As part of their re-structure, Newark have issued an appeal for further volunteers.

To get involved, contact the club via Twitter or visit its new website.



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