ANDOVER — There were a lot of what ifs for the Newton High School boys’ soccer team in its non-league game Thursday against Andover Central at Andover Stadium. What if the Railers came out stronger? What if the Railers took advantage of several breakaway chances? What if the Railers defended better in the final minute of the first half? If the Railers had come up with the answers, they might have avoided the 2-1 loss. “We just didn’t show up in the first half,” Newton coach Scott Jantzi said. “We allowed them to control the flow in the first half. They came out aggressive. They have a nice throw in, and we gave up close to 10 throw ins in the first half. They were able to pop one of them in. What really hurt was, with 33 seconds remaining, they popped one in. We have to finish the half.” Newton falls to 6-4. Central improves to 1-6. Central scored in the ninth minute on a goal by Jace Peckham on a header set up by a Matt Hamm throw in. Newton tried to counter in the 13th minute on a Mark Kreider one-versus-goalkeeper chance that Central keeper Chad Brown was able to break up before a shot could be taken. Newton spent the rest of the first half in its own defensive end. Newton keeper Nat Dick stopped a one-v-goal chance by Central late in the first half. Central scored again with 33 seconds left in the first half when Tanner Conrad took a weak clearing ball by the Railer defense and put it back in. Newton was outshot 7-0 in the first half, including a shot just before the first period horn. Newton’s first shot of the game came on a breakaway in the 48th minute that went inches wide of the post. Newton’s first shot on goal came in the 51st minute. Newton finally broke through on set piece in the 58th minute when Jared Rangel tapped a free kick to Frank Vasquez, whose shot slipped through the hands of the Central keeper. Newton missed a breakaway chance just wide in the 84th minute. Rangel took a shot that was saved in the 88th minute. Newton took another shot that was saved with seven seconds to play. “We have our chances in the second half, we just weren’t able to put one in the back of the net,” Jantzi said. “They were an 0-6 team. Psychologically, we thought we could beat them. They are a good, quality squad. They had the toughest schedule in the state. They could make some noise in the playoffs.” Newton plays at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Derby. “They are another quality squad,” Jantzi said. “We have to be able to play with these quality squads.”
Newton 0 1 —1 A.Central 2 0 —2 1. AC Jace Peckham (Matt Hamm) 9:31 2. AC Tanner Conrad (unassisted) 39:27 3. N Frank Vasquez (Jared Rangel) 57:31 Total shots — New. 0-7—7, AC 7-1—8. Shots on goal — New. 0-4—4, AC 7-0—7. Saves — New.: Nat Dick (L) 5-0—5. AC: Chad Brown (W) 0-3—3. Corner kicks — New. 1, AC 6. Fouls — New. 12, AC 13. Offsides — New. 1, AC 2. Cautions — AC: Jackson Waldrip 72:29. JV — Andover Central 2, Newton 1