Newport Pagnell Town 2-0 Rothwell Corinthians
United Counties League Premier
Saturday 22nd August 2015
Willen Road. Att: 86
The match against Rothwell Corinthians presented a tricky challenge for the Swans. Little will have been known about a Corinthians side who were promoted as runners up from UCL Division 1 last season. The men from Sergeants Lawn had made a good start to the season, winning their opening fixture against Huntingdon Town 3-0 before drawing 1-1 with Oadby Town, their only blip so far coming with the defeat to Thrapston Town in the FA Cup. Saturday gave Corinthians a chance to test themselves away from home for the first time this term.
A relatively lively opening few minutes soon gave way to a war of attrition in the baking sunshine. The game turned in the 15th minute when Corinthian’s Dom Page committed a lunging two footed tackle with both feet off the ground, uncertain refereeing saw Page only receive a yellow card when a dismissal would surely have been more appropriate. Sparked by this injustice the Swan’s took the lead on 19 minutes with a fierce drive from the edge of the box by Sam O’Neill that was fumbled into the net by Corinthian’s keeper Martin Thorpe.
Despite the heat both teams managed further goal attempts with the keepers at either end pulling off fine saves. The Swans had to wait until the 34th minute for their second, Sam O’Neill providing an inch perfect cross for Fazel Koriya to head in his 5th of the season.
A largely uneventful second half saw Newport put together some good passing moves only to be repeatedly thwarted by a well worked offside trap.
With no let up in the sunshine and pitch side temperatures soaring to 30°C the referee inexplicably failed to repeat the hydration break he had deemed necessary half way through the first half.
The best goal scoring chances of the second half came to the visitors. Only a scrambled clearance in the 66th minute and Josh McAdoo’s brilliant 69th minute point blank save from a Dom Page thunderbolt preserved the Swan’s lead. There were further chances for both sides as the game was played to it’s conclusion.
Corinthians showed that they are a well drilled, hard working, physical side and they should have a strong season. On another day they may well have taken all the points. The Corinthian’s squad was severely depleted due to a group of players attending the V Festival, a lack of commitment that left the Corinthian’s management team frustrated and disappointed.
Three points in the bag and a well deserved clean sheet for Josh McAdoo were the highlights of the game but in reality this was probably the Swan’s worst performance of the fledgling season so far. Even though this was a generally lethargic and lacklustre showing, it is apparent that Darren Lynch has a team of players who are prepared to grind out results. They are willing to run endlessly for each other and the closeness of the players is clear for all to see.
19 mins 1-0 Sam O’Neill
34 mins 2-0 Fazel Koriya
Newport Pagnell: 1.McAdoo, 2.Pryke (14.Mulkern, 63mins), 3.Williams (12.Tapp, 75mins), 4.Smeathers, 5.Brady, 6.Liam Smyth, 7.Darryl Smith, 8.Ling, 9.Crawley (16.MacDonald, 81mins), 10.Koriya, 11.O’Neill Unused subs: 15 Lewis Smith, 17 Filipiak.
Rothwell Corinthians: 1.Thorpe, 2.Smith, 3.McLaren, 4.Tom Johnson, 5.Henson, 6.Ben Johnson, 7.Wright (12.Denton 72mins), 8.Page, 9.Foster, 10.Goodband, 11.Starsmore Unused subs: 14.Locklin, 15.Clarke, 16.Large
Officials: Paul Mihalache, Simon Trussler, Mick Matthews
Photograph courtesy of Kelly Parsons.
© Andy Gunn