JAMMY LLOYD was among the group of frustrated home players at Newark Flowserve after his close range effort flew over the bar against Radford.
RADFORD FC reserve goalkeeper Jack Nason can dine out on his side’s 1-0 win at Newark Flowserve for many a year after his performance at Lowfields on Saturday afternoon.
His heroics, coupled with those of his courageous team-mates, meant that The Highwaymen failed to deliver in front of goal for a second successive home game, but for vastly different reasons.
Against Carlton Town in midweek, Flowserve had failed to create the clear-cut chances their dominance had deserved as they exited the County Cup. Against Radford it was like a scene from the Alamo.
Nason had taken the gloves after first-choice custodian Hadlee Dunn had further tweaked a back problem during the warm-up. What followed was the stuff that goalkeeper’s dream of.
Flowserve made one change from the Carlton cup game, with Tyrell Shannon-Lewis resting his own back problems, and new signing Jahred Russell starting in the number ten shirt after impressing as a Clifton All Whites substitute at Lowfields two weeks’ previously.
The home side, once again cheered on by an impressive crowd of 197 – with Forest at home and the weather far from clement – went on the front foot from the off, eager to atone for their profligacy in the cup.
They had the ball in the net as early as the fifth minute, only for the referee to bring the game back after an injury to a Radford player in the build-up following a stray elbow in an aerial challenge. He then restarted the game with an uncontested drop-ball, with a visiting player allowed to hoof the ball back to the Flowserve keeper.
If everyone struggled to understand that moment, what was equally baffling was how Flowserve failed to score in the remaining 40 minutes of the first half.
A succession of corners followed in the home side’s favour before Danny Meadows curled a direct free-kick just wide of the near post.
The Flowserve choristers were in full flow as their heroes poured forward, and a mass scramble on the edge of Radford’s six-yard box saw Nason and his defenders hold firm before Rhys Lewis headed over from an umpteenth corner.
Then Meadows was released on goal by an exquisite touch and pass from Sam Agar but his shot brought a fine one-handed block from Nason to add to his rapidly growing portfolio.
Only a goal was missing to cap all Flowserve’s possession and attacking intent, and Jammy Lloyd was the next to be denied, this time by Nason’s feet, before a deep cross from the right by Meadows resulted in an Agar header that drifted just beyond the far post.
Eight minutes before the break Blair Anderson swung in a free-kick from the right, Meadows’ shot was saved at point-blank range by Nason, and Lloyd’s instinctive flail at the loose ball saw his effort fly over the top.
And then Radford scored. With the crowd anticipating something warm to ease the cold or something cold to ease the nerves, Conor Moore latched on to a ball from the right to convert a breakaway and give the visitors an interval lead.
The second half was a repeat showing of the first, with Radford straining every sinew to keep a clean sheet, and Nason saving his best moment to keep out a rasping drive from new boy Russell which the day’s hero tipped over the angle of crossbar and post in spectacular fashion.
The Highaymen’s consolation was that title rivals Selston also slipped up as they lost 3-2 at Gedling Miners’ Welfare, but Sherwood Colliery also won as the top four of the East Midlands Counties League contracted.
Flowserve will need to find their shooting boots quickly – and without the assistance of leading marksman Agar who misses the next two games through suspension.
Newark Flowserve: 1 Joe Searson; 2 Sol Miller (Daryl Price HT); 3 Will Rawdon; 4 Tom Potts (captain); 5 Rhys Lewis; 6 Jammy Lloyd (Elliot King 67mins); 7 Jack Beckett; 8 Danny Meadows; 9 Sam Agar; 10 Jahred Russell (Curtis Price 80mins); 11 Blair Anderson.