Meadows on Fire as Flowserve Turn Up the Heat

DANNY MEADOWS made a remarkable home league debut with a four-goal haul as Newark Flowserve started life in football’s step six with an 8-0 thrashing of Arnold Town.

The fixture attracted the East Midlands Counties League’s biggest crowd of the day as 168 people basked in the sun at Lowfields, but it was Flowserve who turned up the heat as the visitors faded under constant pressure.

Rugged visiting defender Colin Woodward was shown a yellow card as early as the first minute when debutant David Kolapo was brought down on the edge of the box. Fellow debutant Meadows – an exciting pre-season signing from Grantham Town – waited for visiting complaints to die down and then hit a powerful free-kick into the bck of the net.

Seconds later Meadows made it two when Arnold lost the ball from the restart and Flowserve swept down the field. Kolapo neatly guided the ball into the path of the exciting youngster and another powerful finish doubled the home side’s lead with the game only two minutes old.

Jordan Thomas had failed a pre-match fitness test on his strained right hamstring, leaving only four substitutes on the home bench, but it seemed a minor irritant as the visiting defence handed Flowserve a third when a defender panicked and planted the ball past his own goalkeeper in the 11th minute.

The Flowserve players wore black armbands and there was a minute’s applause before the game in memory of the club’s late groundsman, Colin Briggs, who passed away in the days leading up to the season’s opener.

Kolapo had a headed goal ruled out for offside in the 23rd minute, and half-time was reached with no further addition to the score-line, thanks in the main to some profligacy from the home attack.

A third debutant, Mustapha John, replaced Kolapo at the break, and Flowserve continued their scoring ways just before the hour mark when Meadows fired in a free-kick from wide on the left and Sol Miller got the finishing touch amid a crowd of players.

 Sam Agar, always a thorn in the visitors’ sides, got the fifth on 77 minutes when he was the first to react to a loose ball after player-manager Steve Kirkham had won a header in the box.

The pick of the bunch was the home side’s sixth in the 83rd minute when the crowd erupted with joy as home favourite Meadows completed his hat-trick with a Beckham-esque direct free-kick which curled delightfully around the wall and into the top corner.

There was still time for left-back Tom Perkins to show an outrageous piece of skill when he pirouetted around an opponent who was left floundering in his wake, and Meadows added his fourth in the 85th minute before Mustapha netted his first league goal for the club with two minutes remaining.

Arnold Town were very poor, and look set for a season-long struggle. But that does not lessen the performance of the home side. Newark Flowserve – who recorded their second successive 8-0 victory – looked very, very good.

Newark Flowserve: 1 James Beddingham (Yinka Adebowale 80mins); 2 Liam Moran; 3 Tom Perkins; 4 Steve Kirkham; 5 Tom Potts; 6 James Cullingworth (captain); 7 Danny Meadows; 8 Jack Beckett, 9 Sam Agar; 10 David Kolapo (Mustapha John HT); 11 Sol Miller (Tyler Martin 78mins).

Arnold Town: 1 James Elliott (captain); 2 Cameron Thurgood; 3 Will Bouwen Declan Kemp 67mins); 4 Colin Woodward (Ryan Winstanley 67mins); 5 Ryan Marsh; 6 Connor Winstanley; 7 Kris Drackett; 8 Jordan Knight; 9 Kelvin Mushambi (Thomas Fearn 83mins); 10 Dillon Bird; 11 Curtis Millward.

Referee: Tom Bingley.

Attendance: 168.