Portland win battle of the Islands

Newport’s final home league match of the season saw them entertain title chasing Portland United, in front of their biggest gate for mainland opposition this season. Prior to kick off, Club Chairman StuartRoss presented the Supporters Player of the Year trophy to Gary Streeter.

Newport attacked the Allotment end in the first half and after two minutes Connor Kelly fired in a curling shot that narrowly missed the post.

Portland took the lead from an Alex Halloran free kick on 15 minutes when the ball was played into the penalty area where Lewis Whyton was unmarked in front of goal and he had plenty of time to place the ball in the net.

Newport had a chance to equalise shortly afterwards when Liam Triggs put the ball across the face of the goal but Alex Harmer racing in blasted it over from close range.

On 39 minutes Ed Bastick found Alex Godfrey unmarked in the penalty area. Fortunately Gary Streeter produced a fingertip save to turn his shot around the post for a corner.

Both teams had created chances in the first half but it was Portland who held a slender lead at the interval.

Half Time Newport 0 Portland United 1

Portland continued to attack in the opening period of the second half, keeping Newport penned in their own half. They made a substitution on 63 minutes bringing on Jamie Beazley for Ross Doidge.

Newport brought on Scott Sampson for Alex Harmer on 68 minutes and straightaway he went into attack. An excellent run by Connor Kelly saw him set up LewisWright for a shot but a defender managed to block it. Newport were beginning to have some success down the left and a surging run from Liam Newbold forced a corner. With ten minutes remaining and play now more end to end, Newport introduced Joseph Wangige in place of Keelan Walsh. Newport’s final substitution saw Will Quigley swap with Keelan Sainsbury.

In the final minutes, Newport pressurised Portland as the visitors desperately hanged on to their lead. Joseph Wangige crossed from the right and Scott Sampson got in a header that narrowly went over the crossbar then a cross from Connor Kelly landed on the top of the net. However despite Newport’s efforts, Portland managed to protect their slender league and remain second whilst Newport remain thirteenth.

Final Score: Newport 0 Portland United 1

Newport: Streeter, K Sainsbury (Quigley), Newbold, A Sainsbury, Pearce, West, Walsh (Wangige), Wright, Triggs, Kelly,  Harmer (Sampson).

Portland United, Lillington, A Smith, Clarke, Bessant, Whyton, Doidge (Beazley), Bastick, Halloran, Buckler, Godfrey, McKechnie.

Referee: Robert Ablitt.                          Attendance: 144