AFC Portchester 7 Newport 0

On a beautifully sunny day in Portchester, Newport embarked on their third league game in seven days, having picked up three points from the earlier two matches this week. Following the disappointment of the loss at home to Fareham on Thursday, Port had a difficult job in hand, facing a team placed fifth in the league who had previously netted seven times in the encounter at St George’s earlier this season.

Port travelled without a number of first team players, many out with injuries we hope won’t see them out for long. However, there was a positive vibe from the team on the journey over, mostly led by the manager Derek Ohren, who saw player absenteeism as an opportunity to showcase the future of Newport Football Club through the selection of many youth and reserve players.

Sadly for them, against an experienced and unforgiving Portchester side, there was little opportunity for the Port’s future talent to shine, at least not on this occasion.
From the off, Portchester dominated and whoever was responsible for the social media updates must have been cursing both teams as shots and chances pummelled the Newport goalmouth relentlessly. Portchester got their break on 18 mins from Baldacchino and the lead was quickly doubled on 23 mins when Birmingham pounced on a misplaced back pass and slotted the ball into an empty net.

Newport showed some good movement late in the first half but shots were just not hitting the target. However, Gary Streeter remained the most troubled of the two keepers and produced some fine saves to keep the scoreline at 2-0 at halftime.

Portchester kept up the pressure in the second half and despite efforts from Martin McDonough and fine clearances from the solid Liam Newbold, Portchester scored their third on 52 mins, courtesy of
a Stone header at the back post from a dangerous corner.

Portchester went on to grab four further goals and despite some admirable defending and fine Gary Streeter saves in the second half, the scoreline matches that at St George’s earlier this season.

Late on Streeter collided with a Portchester player and spent the last third of the second half hobbling on one foot, Port having used all their substitutions. Hats off to him for his bravery for remaining on the field and let’s hope he’s back for the last of the season’s games over the next two weeks.

Despite the scoreline, spirits remain high in the Newport camp which is testament to the dedication, camaraderie and commitment of the team. Who knows how the season will end; we never say never at Newport and if things eventually don’t go our way we will only come back stronger. UTP