Town let it slip
The Blues relinquished a two goal lead to fall to a disappointing defeat against Phoenix.
Despite the defeat this was in some respects the most promising performance of the last couple of months as, especially in the second half, there were periods when they showed real pace and fluency going forward, but this wasn’t enough as a two goal lead was surrendered.
The match had a frantic start, neither team holding on to the ball for very long. Jammy Lloyd
had the first chances but saw his first shot deflected wide while his second effort was straight at the keeper. At the other end Town were given a warning as Esberger hit the post, the same player bringing a last ditch save from Nathan Burrows
at the foot of a post. The Blues thought they’d broken the deadlock on 29 minutes, Tyler Martin
showing great determination to shake off his marker and fire home via the post, but a late flag ruled out the effort. Two minutes later the deadlock was actually broken as Davidson headed Phoenix into the lead from close range. A probing ball from new signing Brad Scott
almost set up Martin but keeper Seymour narrowly beat him to the ball. On the stroke of half time Martin sent a raking ball across the area but Dom Swingler
couldn’t make contact.
Newark opened the second half on the attack. Kieran Wall was brought down on the edge of the area by Gallagher, Scott beating the wall with the free kick which went narrowly wide. The equaliser came on 51 minutes Wall showing a turn of pace to beat his marker and hit his shot past Seymour. Ian Wade
got in just enough of a challenge to take the steam out of Esberger’s shot which shaved the post before Newark’s injury jinx struck again as Damian Lloyd went down with an ankle problem and was substituted by Gary Clark
. Newark still had plenty of impetus going forward as they took a 58th minute lead. Again Wall was the inspiration, as his shot was parried Martin reacted quickly to send a diving header past the keeper. Two minutes later Newark got a third as Wall lost his balance but recovered quickly to find Clark whose lofted ball across the box was turned in neatly by Swingler. Unfortunately it was all downhill from here, the game turning in the 67th minute when Hussain unleashed a 30 yard piledriver which streaked past Burrows. Wall was unfortunate minutes later when his goalbound shot struck team mate Callum Thorpe
, but Town’s fate was sealed on 75 minutes as Phoenix drew level, Davidson adding his second, and after Wall had also left the action injured, Esberger struck with just four minutes left to leave Town undeservedly pointless.