Newport (IoW) 0–0 Shaftesbury – match report:
24 February, 2018 ‘The Port’, winless in the Wessex league since early December, endured another frustrating afternoon at St George’s Park.
Newport made four changes to the side that had lost two-one away to Baffins in midweek: Newbold taking the place of Reynolds at left-back, Quigley coming in for Holmes at right-back, with Liam Triggs and Mark Taylor playing in midfield in the absence of Charlie Urry and Emerson Tattersall (both suspended). The absence of regular Newport centre forward and top scorer, Charlie Urry, resulted in Jared Wetherick moving from central defence to an attacking role.
‘The Port’ began the game attacking the Shide end in the late winter sunshine.
Unfortunately, Mike Kelly’s side suffered an early blow, when Will Quigley was forced off the field injured in the twelfth minute, to be replaced by Jacob Reynolds.
‘The Port had three clear chances to earn three points in the first half. Jared Wetherick had the first clear chance in the 23rd minute, when he rounded the Shaftesbury keeper, only to shoot into the side-netting from a sharp angle. In the 27th minute, Conor Kelly almost scored direct from a corner, the ball being headed off the goal line by a Shaftesbury defender. The last chance of the half for Newport came at the stroke of half-time, when ‘the Bear’ (Aurele Beya) found himself clear in the 45th minute, only to be blocked by ‘the Rockies’ keeper, allowing the north Dorset side to go into the half-time break with a clean sheet.
Half-time: Newport (IoW) 0–0 Shaftesbury
The second half saw ‘the Port’ continue to attack in what was a relatively open game, with Conor Kelly making a number of promising runs up front, but with the absence of regular centre-forward, Charlie Urry, and combative midfielder Emerson Tattersall, Newport appeared to lack a cutting edge. Three times in the second half Conor Kelly found himself clear: in the 50th, 78th and 82nd minutes, but each time was unable to get past the Shaftesbury goalkeeper. In the 60th minute, ‘the Port’ finally managed to bundle the ball into the away side’s net, but the goal was disallowed for a foul on the keeper. Aurele Beya attempted a number of long range efforts: forcing a good save in the 66th minute – but all his other attempts went high and wide. Jared Wetherick had two good chances to score during the final minutes, again rounding the keeper in the 88th minute, and again hitting the side netting from an acute angle, and then a minute later with a header, but it was all to no avail.
Shaftesbury also had their chances, with shots being cleared off the Newport goal line in the 85th and 90th minutes. However, the game was destined for a no-score draw.
The second half also saw two cautions for the home side, with Spike Pearce and Jacob Reynolds both being yellow carded.
Final score: Newport (IoW) 0–0 Shaftesbury
Cowes’s match at Amesbury was postponed, leaving ‘the Port’ now nine points adrift of the nineteenth placed team, with one game in hand.
Newport’s next opportunity to make up the deficit comes on Tuesday the 27th, when Team Solent come to St George’s Park. Let’s hope the game against the students does not fall foul of the weather.
Newport (IoW) 0–0 Shaftesbury
MOM for Newport – Andrew Payne
Newport: Payne, Newbold, Quigley (Reynolds), Sainsbury, Pearce, Taylor, Wright, Triggs (Powell), Wetherick, Kelly, Beya Sub not used: Holmes