BAFFINS MILTON ROVERS 2–1 NEWPORT (IoW)
20 February, 2018. ‘The Port’, winless in 2018, fail to hold on to a lead for the second game in succession.
On Tuesday, Newport, lying in 21st position in the Wessex Premier League, travelled to Portsmouth to play mid-table Baffins Milton Rovers.
The island side made four changes to the one that had lost at home to Hamworthy United: Andrew Payne replacing the injured Gary Streeter in goal, Jacob Reynolds taking the place of Turkington at left-back, George Holmes coming in for Will Quigley and the formidable Belgian striker Aurele Beya replacing Liam Triggs.
Baffins gave ‘the Port’ a battering throughout a one-sided first half, yet somehow avoided putting the ball in the net. The puzzling inability of the home side to score was largely due to the woodwork in Payne’s goal – which was hit on no less than three occasions – and the heroic efforts of the Newport keeper, who made goal-stopping saves in the 20th and 31st minutes. Were in not for the goal posts, cross bar and the fine first-half performance of the keeper, Baffins could well have gone into the break with a five goal lead.
At the other end of the pitch, Newport top scorer Charlie Urry was unusually anonymous, the main threat from ‘the Port’ coming from runs by Emerson Tattersall. However, goal scoring opportunities were few and far between for the away side, with the Baffins keeper, Tony Male, largely being a spectator to proceedings at the other end of the pitch.
HALF-TIME BAFFINS MILTON ROVERS 0–0 NEWPORT (IoW)
The second-half started badly for Newport, with Emerson Tattersall being forced to limp off, to be replaced by Radford.
Then, in the 53rd minute, completely against the run of play, ‘the Port’ took the lead: giant Belgian striker Aurele Beya scoring a fine strike from outside the area into the bottom left-hand corner of the Baffins goal to beat an outstretched Male.
Newport then made a substitution to strengthen their midfield, with Darren Powell replacing Charlie Urry. However, this change was insufficient to prevent Baffins from dominating the game. In the 57th minute, Freeman Williams finally succeeded in turning dominance into goals, with a strike into Payne’s right-hand corner to equalize for Baffins. Then, in the 69th minute, Payne could only block a shot from Stockford, which Achard then dispatched to the back of the net to give Rovers a 2–1 lead. In truth, Baffins could have breached the away sides defence on at least a further two occasions, with Payne making further fine saves, and Aurele Beya and Jacob Reynolds both having to clear off the goal line.
FULL-TIME BAFFINS MILTON ROVERS 2–1 NEWPORT (IoW)
Newport now lie ten points behind Cowes, who are in nineteenth place, but still have two games in hand over their island rivals. Had Cowes not suffered a 0-1 home defeat to Brockenhurst, the points difference would be even greater.
‘The Port’ now have a number of home games to win in order to reduce the deficit and reach safety, starting with Shaftesbury on Saturday, the 24th, and Team Solent on Tuesday, the 27th. Let’s hope the Newport public turn out to support their home town team.
Newport (IoW): Payne, Reynolds, Pearce, Wetherick, Holmes, Wright, Sainsbury, Kelly, Urry (Powell), Tattersall (Radford), Beya Sub not used: Butt
Baffins Milton Rovers: Male, Seibou, Leigh, Stockford, Saunders, Cornish, White, Boam, Neal, Dart, Williams
Goals: Baffins Milton Rovers: Williams (57), Archard (69) Newport: Beya (53)