Port made five changes to the starting line-up that drew 2–2 with Ringwood Town a fortnight ago: youngster Ryan Hall replacing veteran Gary Streeter in goal, sixteen-year-old Ryan Hughes taking the place of Alex Harmer as right-back, Spike Pearce coming in for Mark Taylor in central defence, Martin McDonough returning from injury to take the place of Lewis Wright in midfield and Louie Fleming replacing Liam Triggs on the wing.
Port kicked off facing the allotments end on a cold afternoon on a good pitch.
Totton & Eling started the brightest, Ryan Hall being forced to punch the ball away twice in the first five minutes. However, it was Port who were to score first, after Jared Wetherick had been fouled in the penalty area, for which the referee awarded a corner (the first of a series of confusing decisions by referee, Tim Godfray). Justice was served, when—in the 19th minute—after a goalmouth scramble, the ball fell to Joe CRAIG, who dispatched the ball into the back of the net from ten yards.
Jared Wetherick was then involved in a number of physical incidents with the Totton players—including one in which he was hit in the face by both feet of an opponent—all of which went unpunished, before he himself was booked for a seemingly innocuous challenge.
It was the Millers who were now having the lion’s share of the chances, with Sam Vidler missing a sitter in the 25th minute, and Neo Lamb stopping a powerful shot on the line from Joe Selby in the 40th minute, before the away side inevitably equalized on the stroke of half-time, Luca Cordeddu sending a low shot past Ryan Hall in the 45th minute.
HT Newport (IoW) 1–1 Totton & Eling
The Millers were to apply further pressure in the second half: Cordeddu shooting narrowly past the post in the 51st minute and Hall pulling off stunning save in the 59th minute. However, it was Port—largely against the run of play—who were to take the lead, Jared Wetherick directing a header across the face of the goal for Joe CRAIG to divert into the back of the net with a bullet header in the 62nd minute. Andy Sampson then threw on his substitutes: Mark Taylor and Lewis Wright replacing Darren Powell and Harrison Yates. Taylor was only on for a couple of minutes before being booked for another seemingly innocuous challenge. Totton then hit the crossbar with a shot many of their players believed had crossed the line. However, now it was Port applying most of the pressure, having two shots stopped on the line, and Louie Fleming almost scoring when he won the ball off the Totton keeper with an aerial challenge.
Eventually, Newport scored a third after a goalmouth scramble, when Jared WETHERICK—in the thick of the action throughout the afternoon—pounced in the 77th minute to make the score 3–1 to Port. Newport then received their third mystery booking of the game—this time the victim being Spike Pearce—Totton hit the post from a free kick, and full back Ryan Hughes almost scored, shooting the ball just over the bar.
Final Score: Newport (IoW) 3–1 Totton & Eling
Scorers: Newport: Craig 19,62, Wetherick 77 Totton & Eling Cordeddu 45
Newport: Hall, Hughes, Lamb, Pearce, McDonough, Barron, Powell (Taylor), Harrison Yates (Wright), Wetherick, Craig, Fleming (Jayden Yates)
Referee: Tim Godfray
Newport man of the match: Ryan Hughes