Interim manager Ricky Hunter had to come on as a substitute as injuries and player unavailability again took their toll on Newark Town, who lost 5-2 at Welbeck Lions.

Hunter, whose plans for the match were hampered by the late withdrawal of squad members, played for the final 15 minutes in the disappointing fourth defeat of the Central Midlands League North season.

Town made the breakthrough when Kyle Nicholson’s 50-yard pass from a free-kick was headed into the top corner by Ian Wade.

After Sam Baird levelled against the run of play, the visitors regained the lead. Thomas Johnson ran from the halfway line and when his deflected shot hit the bar, Jordan Johnson tapped in.

Four Welbeck goals in the opening 15 minutes of the second-half, however, transformed the match as the side that finished bottom last season gained their first win. Baird completed a hat-trick and Shane Burton and Curtis Burchill also netted.

Hunter said: “In the first-half we were fantastic and it looked like we would play them off the park, but the second-half was an embarrassment. We capitulated and it was not good enough.

“We started fine and showed a high tempo with lots of quality passing and movement before scoring a cracking goal.

“The first-half was perfect and we played some of the best football we have shown this season, especially considering it was a makeshift team.

“But then the first ten minutes of the second-half did for us.

“If I had everyone available we would have won, but some players let me down. I don’t want to play anymore or name myself on the bench at 36.

“My time for playing has been and gone, but if I am needed I will come on and help the lads,” he said. “I have also signed on some more players.”

Lee Cope, who used to play for Harlow Town and alongside Hunter at Nettleham, has joined Town’s backroom team.

- Newark Town Reserves launched their season in Notts Amateur Alliance Division One with a 12-1 win at Gedling Town.