Newport travelled to troubled Fawley AFC on Saturday 14th January with an early kick off at 2pm due to technical issues with electric supply at the Waterside Sports Ground.
Straight from the start The Port looked by far the stronger and better team playing some comfortable football and build up play from the midfield. Young Lewis Wright made the starting 11 and looked impressive and in control every time he took a touch on the ball.
Newport were picking away at chances on goal but it was on 35 mins when The Port broke Fawley’s defence with Connor Kelly receiving the ball out on the right from Lewis Wright in the centre of midfield.
Connor made a one touch perfectly weighted ball through the middle of Fawley’s defence that saw the pace of Joe Butcher run onto. Out came Fawley’s goalkeeper and Joe slotted the ball along the grass to the left of the keeper who had no chance to put The Port into the lead.
Fawley didn’t look to add any pressure onto Newport however on 38 mins Fawley were pressing in Newport’s half which saw players from both sides close together on the right just outside of the 18 yrd box.
A Fawley player went down requesting a free kick but the referee allowed play to go on, other challenges were going in to clear the ball away.
A further Fawley player went down from a challenge by The Port which saw Spike Pierce react to this tackle on the Fawley player who was on the ground.
The game was stopped and tensions rose between both teams. The referee consulted both lineman and Spike Pierce saw a straight red card for his challenge on the Fawley player. Newport now down to 10 men and ending the first half leading 1 nil.
HT: Fawley AFC 0:1 Newport IW FC
With The Port down to 10 men from the start of the second half this didn’t seem to have much effect and The Oilers didn’t take full advantage of this.
Newport created chances but were unable to deliver that final ball to finish the game off.
It was the last 20 minutes of the second half that Newport started to get punished for the red card. As Newport fell deeper into their own half Fawley began to continually press.
Newport were inviting Fawley into their half and were struggling to deal with the pressure. The ball would be cleared by The Port but it would come straight back at them.
The Oilers failed to create many good opportunities on goal with their possession to claw back the 1 goal lead.
Newport made a change on 75 minutes bringing on Keelan Walsh for Joe Butchers.
On 80 minutes Newport made another substitute bringing on Jospeh Thumbi for Jared Whetherick and a fresh set of legs up top for The Port.
85 minutes saw the breakthrough for Fawley as a cross came into the back post from out on the left, the ball was scrambling around in the 6 yrd box with Fawley managing to get a touch on it and slip the ball past Gary Streeter just inside of the right hand post. The game now all level at 1:1.
Further pressure from Fawley dominated for the last 5 mins plus injury time. A final change for Newport saw a debut appearance for young Alex Harmer.
The game finally come to an end with both teams settling for a point however Fawley knowing that they could and perhaps should have had more than a point out of the game against 10 man Newport.
Final score; Fawley AFC 1:1 Newport IW FC
Team; Streeter, K Sainsbury, Pierce, West, Newbold, Powell, Triggs, Wright, Butcher, Kelly, Wherherick. Subs; Walsh, Thumbi, Harmer.