ANDOVER TOWN 2–0 NEWPORT (IoW)
‘The Port’ lose on the road to Wessex League leaders, Andover Town.
Lying in 21st position in the league, and without a win in 2018, Newport travelled to North Hampshire to play a team unbeaten since the start of December.
The island team made three changes to the side that lost 3–0 to Alresford on 30 January: the giant Belgian, Aurele Beya replacing the veteran striker, Tom McInnes, up front, Lewis Wright coming in for Jack Turkington, and Emmerson Tattershall making a welcome return in place of Liam Triggs.
The game was played in less than perfect conditions: on an icy pitch in driving rain.
The game started badly for ‘the Port’, with their keeper, Gary Streeter, sustaining a head injury in the 3rd minute following a clash with Joe Wright, requiring a stoppage for medical intervention. Things got worse in the 8th minute, when ‘the Bluebirds’ went one–nil up through a shot by George Hallahan. The home team then doubled their lead through a Mike Gosney free-kick in the 16th minute – his 24th goal of the season so far.
At the other end of the pitch, Newport midfielder Emmerson Tattershall made a number of lively runs, almost scoring early on, but without being able to provide the finishing touch. Shortly before the half-time break, Emmerson provided a great chance for Aurele Beya, but the giant Belgian was unable to beat the Andover keeper.
HT Andover Town 2–0 Newport (IoW)
The second half was a frustrating affair for both teams, with ‘the Bluebirds’ failing to add to their lead, and ‘the Port’ unable to reduce the deficit. Andover’s best chance in the second half came in the 66th minute, when experienced Newport keeper Gary Streeter denied Andover’s Adam Costello a headed goal. Charlie Urry proved to be a thorn in Andover’s side, but found himself constantly thwarted by the linesman’s offside flag. The away side’s inability to make a breakthrough led to a loss of discipline, leading to the referee showing a flurry of yellow cards to the island team.
Full time: Andover Town 2–0 Newport (IoW)
‘The Port’ now have a run of home games, starting with a Wessex League Cup fixture against Sholing on Tuesday, 13 February. Let’s hope the weather stays fine, and that there are no further postponements.
Newport: Streeter, Newbold, Quigley, Sainsbury, Pearce, Taylor, Wright, Beya (Holmes), Urry (Turkington), Kelly, Tattershall