Newport made four changes to the starting line-up to the team that beat Bashley earlier in the week. Newbold and Sampson came in to replace Triggs and Turkington in defence, with Mark Taylor and Darren Powell replacing McDonough and Radford in midfield.
Newport began kicking towards the allotments end on a heavy pitch in relatively mild weather.
‘The Port’ began brightly, with Charlie Urry and Aiden Radford both looking dangerous. In the ninth minute, Radford broke through, but was blocked by a last-ditch tackle well inside the penalty area, and in the twelfth minute, Charlie Urry shot over the bar from the edge of the penalty area.
Then, in the fourteenth minute, Radford was in the thick of the action again, when he appeared to have been pushed inside the box — the referee having little hesitation in awarding the penalty for the home side. Connor Kelly stepped up to take the penalty, which he efficiently dispatched into the top left-hand corner of the goal, to make the score 1–0 to ‘the Port’.
Unfortunately, the home team were unable to hold on to their goal advantage. In the eighteenth minute, a Fareham corner led to a goalmouth scramble, the end result of which was the ball falling to Sammy Kesseck, who shot the ball past Gary Streeter into the bottom right corner of the net, to equalise for Fareham and level the score at 1–1.
Things then took a turn for the worse, when, in the twenty-second minute, the ball was needlessly given away in the Newport penalty area, for Ashley Tattershall to pounce and give Fareham a 1–2 advantage.
Then came an incident that probably destroyed ‘the Port’s’ hopes of earning any points from the encounter. In the thirty-first minute, Spike Pearce made a clumsy two-footed tackle, possibly having slipped on the tricky surface. The referee, unfortunately, did not view this incident in a charitable manner, and to the astonishment of the crowd, harshly awarded the Newport defender a straight red card.
Being reduced to ten men did not break the determination or spirit of the home side, ‘the Port’ continued to press ‘the Creeksiders’, with Radford unlucky not to score in the thirty-sixth minute, when he headed wide from just five yards. The players were having trouble timing their tackles on the slippery pitch, with Mark Taylor being booked just before half-time.
HALF-TIME: NEWPORT (IoW) 1–2 FAREHAM TOWN
The second half was an open game, with chances for both teams, but Fareham’s one man advantage was ultimately too difficult to overcome for the home side.
Fareham score the first goal in the second-half in the forty-ninth minute, when, after a goalmouth scramble, the ball fell to Callum Laycock, who put the ball past Gary Streeter, to give Fareham a 1–3 advantage.
Newport centre-forward, Charlie Urry, appeared to have picked up an injury in the first-half, and was replaced by Martin McDonough, and the lively Aiden Radford was substituted by the promising George Holmes.
In the fifty-seventh minute, Conor Kelly, gave ‘the Port’ renewed hope, with a fine strike from the left hand of the penalty area to reduce the deficit to 2–3.
With Charlie Urry having come off the pitch, it was left to Jared Wetherick to lead the line. In the fifty-seventh minute he had a great opportunity to equalise after being put through by Connor Kelly, but was unable to beat the Fareham ‘keeper in a one-on-one situation.
Then, in the fifty-eighth minute, Callum Laycott put the game beyond Newport’s reach with a strike from the edge of the penalty area, to make the score 2–4 to the away side.
There was time for one more Newport substitution, when Jack Turkington came on in place of Darren Powell, and one more Newport booking, when McDonough saw his name in the referee, Jacob Wright’s book.
‘The Creeksiders’ wrapped up their victory in the eighty-fifth minute with a fine goal by Scott Hamilton.
Jared Wetherick nearly scored a consolation goal for Newport at the death, but shot across the face of the goal after being put through by Mark Taylor.
FULL TIME: NEWPORT (IoW) 2–5 FAREHAM TOWN
Newport: Streeter, Turkington, Pearce, Sampson, Charlesworth, Taylor, Powell (Turkington), Wetherick, Urry, (McDonough) Kelly, Radford (Holmes)