Blues narrowly beaten in opener
New-look Newark Town showed some promising signs in their opening Central Midlands League North match against Askern
,Report by Warwick Lane.
A goal in either half for their opponents, however, settled the points at Station Road as Ricky Hunter tasted defeat in his first game in charge.
The start of Newark’s season had been put on hold for two weeks while the club regained some stability following a difficult pre-season campaign that saw manager Tony Joynes step down.
Five players made their debuts in the match, which started in disappointing fashion as Askern took a second-minute lead.
Askern had lost their opening two matches, but neat interplay around Newark’s penalty area allowed Jason Kearsley to calmly finish.
Newark struggled to settle early on and the visitors went close to adding a second as they shot just wide.
Town’s best chances to find an equaliser came from set-pieces with captain Sean McGuiness seeing his header from a corner cleared off the line.
Striker Harry Brown came close to a debut goal as he saw a header parried by the keeper before he volleyed wide from the resulting corner.
The Blues improved as the first-half wore on, but they were dealt a blow on half-time when Reece Carlisle was forced off with an ankle injury following a heavy challenge.
Newark played against the wind in the second-half and struggled to impose themselves in attack with Askern looking the more likely to add a second.
Luke Sayer, who had already saved an effort in the first-half, got down well to block a low shot from Kieran Benson.
Substitute Morgan Chappell almost levelled for Newark, but a poor first touch from a Pete Moss cross allowed the keeper to clear.
Askern made the points safe in the 80th minute as they exposed a tiring defence. Tony Hattersley took advantage of a two-on-one counter-attack by powering his shot past Sayer.