The Port continue their fine form in cup competitions, progressing to the next round of the Emirates FA Cup after beating fellow Wessex League 1 side, Amesbury Town.
Newport made two changes to the side that drew 2–2 away to Alton the previous Saturday, with Spike Pearce replacing Scott Sampson in central defence, and Kyle Drew playing up front in place of George Holmes.
In what was very much a game of two halves, Amesbury dominated a first half in which they could easily have been three goals ahead at the break, only to come unstuck in the second half, after two inspired substitutions by the Newport manager.
Newport kicked off towards the allotments end, on a hard pitch, in overcast, drizzly conditions.
Amesbury showed their attacking intent early in the game, with Harry Beckley shooting narrowly past the post in the fourth minute.
Newport replied with Jared Wetherick breaking through in the sixth minute, but unfortunately, he found himself unable to control the ball.
The Wiltshire side continued to press the Newport defence, with Tyler Brockway nearly scoring in the tenth minute. Then, in the fourteenth minute, after an undignified scramble in the home side’s penalty area, Rob Owen shot into the right corner from five yards out, to give the away side the lead.
Amesbury continued to dominate throughout the remainder of the first half, with Rob Owen, Harry Beckby (on a couple of occasions) and Tyler Brockway, all coming close to increasing the Amesbury lead. At the other end, the physical presence of the Port’s centre-forward, Jared Wetherick, appeared to be the sole threat for the home side.
Half -time: NEWPORT IoW 0–1 AMESBURY TOWN
Newport emerged late from the half-time break, with the youngster, George Holmes, coming on to replace the luckless Kyle Drew, who had left the field of play shortly before the interval. Whatever choice words Andy Sampson had used with his team in the dressing room appeared to have had the desired effect almost immediately, as just two minutes after the break, a looping ball found substitute Holmes at the near post, who tucked it into the back of the Amesbury Town net from five yards, to make the scores level.
The game then became scrappy, with Mark Taylor and Amesbury’s Rob Owen both booked after a tussle outside Newport’s penalty area. Then came time for Andy Sampson’s second inspired substitution of the game, with Lewis Fleming coming on to replace Craig Castle in the 72nd minute. Within a minute of his arrival on the field of play, in the 73rd minute, Lewis had scored, latching onto a long ball and powering past Dave Cardus in the Amesbury goal, to blast the ball into the empty net, and give the Port a 2-1 lead.
Not to be overshadowed by the youngsters, it was now Jared Wetherick’s turn to show his strength and experience, breaking through the Wiltshire side’s defence in the 77th minute, to slot the ball into the left-hand corner, and make the score 3-1 to the Island team.
By this stage, Amesbury had lost their composure and discipline. When, in the 79th minute, the Amesbury defender, George Higgins, tussled with Lewis Fleming over a ball that had gone out of play, he appeared to throw a punch at the Newport player. Fortunately, the punch did not connect, but the referee took a dim view of his antics, awarding Higgins a straight red.
Newport nearly managed a fourth goal in the 82nd minute, when Mark Taylor rounded the Amesbury keeper, but the angle was too acute for him to extend Newport’s lead.
Final score: NEWPORT IoW 3–1 AMESBURY TOWN
Newport: Hall, Harmer, Lamb, McDonough, Pearce, Charlesworth, Wright, Drew (42 Holmes), Wetherick, Castle (72 Fleming), Taylor (84 Catania)
Amesbury: Rob Owen 14
Newport: George Holmes 47, Lewis Fleming 73, Jared Wetherick 77
Man of the Match: Martin McDonough
Referee: Michael Ballard
All photos courtesy of Simon Dear. Twitter @sjddear
Newport receive £2,250 for their win in the extra-preliminary round of the Emirates FA Cup, and will travel to Wimborne Town of the Southern Premier League in the next round, in two weeks’ time.
This Saturday, 16 August, Newport face Petersfield Town at home in a Wessex League One fixture.