At a murky St Georges Park, Newport returned to winning ways with a 2-0 victory against Bemerton Heath Harlequins.
Newport made three changes from the eleven that started against Brockenhurst last week. Oliver West, Josh Maloney and Mark Taylor returned to the side in place of Darren Powell who is recovering from an illness, whilst Liam Newbold and Connor Kelly were rested on the bench.
Bemerton kicked off attacking the Shide end. The opening passage of play was evenly contested with neither side able to create prolonged pressure. The keepers were hardly tested as most moves finished in the side netting rather than on target.
On 35 minutes, Newport were awarded a free kick right on the edge of the penalty area when a surging run by Joe Butcher was brought to an abrupt end. The keeper could only parry Aidan Sainsbury’s low free kick but when Tom McInnes followed in on the rebound he was adjudged to be offside.
As the game ebbed into stoppage time Liam Triggs was upended in the penalty area and Aidan Sainsbury calmly stepped up to steer the ball into the net to give Newport an interval lead.
Half Time Newport 1 Bemerton Heath Harlequins 0
On 56 minutes Bemerton made their first substitution bringing on Jake Rawkins for Elliott Cross on the left.
Newport should have extended their lead on 61 minutes when Josh Maloney appeared to have an open goal but a defender blocked it on the line. Shortly afterwards Jason Collins produced a good save to stop a Tom McInnes header.
Newport changed their defensive line up on 71 minutes replacing Keelan Sainsbury with Lewis Wright . He set up Connor Kelly for a run down the left, leading to a teasing low cross and although Joe Butcher managed to get his foot to the ball, it rolled against the post.
Newport’s second goal came on 84 minutes when the ball broke to Connor Kelly who ran at goal before chipping the advancing keeper and planting the ball into the net. Straightaway, before the restart, Jared Wetherick came on for Tom McInnes. With the comfort of a two goal lead, Newport were able to see out the final minutes without any worries.
Midway through the second half, Gary Streeter suffered a rib injury in a collision but played on after treatment. Although in obvious discomfort, so well did the defence play, that Bemerton were unable to test him. This was Newport’s first clean sheet in five matches and enabled them to leapfrog Bemerton into eleventh place.
Newport: Streeter, West, K Sainsbury (Wright), Pearce, Taylor, Sampson, A Sainsbury, Triggs, McInnes (Wetherick), Maloney (Kelly), Butcher.
Bemerton: Collins, Doe, Cole, Biles, Horlock, Blake, Griffin, Burgess, Slade, Burden, Cross, (Rawkins)
Full Time. Newport 2 Bemerton Heath Harlequins 0
Referee: Andrew Dunn Attendance 100