Port made four changes to the starting line-up that won at Fawley midweek. Veteran goalkeeper, Gary Streeter, replaced teenage goalkeeper, Ryan Hall; Mark Taylor returned in place of Jake Younie in defence; and, in midfield, teenagers George Holmes and Louie Fleming were replaced by the experienced Darren Powell and Liam Triggs.
The game was played in autumn sunshine on a good pitch, with Newport attacking the Shide End in the first half.
Ringwood began the match the brightest, shooting over the bar in the first minute, and forcing Gary Streeter to punch off the line in the seventh. However, it was Liam TRIGGS who was to open the scoring with a superb individual goal, dribbling through the penalty area to fire a low shot into the right-hand side of the goal to give Port a 1–0 advantage.
Newport continued to press ‘the Peckers’ with Joe Craig breaking through and coming close to scoring in the fifteenth, twenty-fourth and twenty-sixth minutes. In the 33rd minute, Mark Taylor collided with Darren Powell, and had to be carried off the field of play injured, to be replaced by Mitchell Rickets. The first half ended with a period of Peckers pressure, when they forced a succession of corners. Darren Powell was forced to head one Ringwood effort off the line, and Ringwood No 7, Rob Okumu, wasn’t quite tall enough to head a certain goal, had he connected on the Newport line just before half time.
HT Newport (IoW) 1–0 Ringwood Town
‘The Peckers’ continued to pile on the pressure early in the second half, with Jack Ormiston equalizing in the 53rd minute.
In the 63rd minute, Ringwood could have gone into the lead, but for a magnificent one-handed save from Newport veteran keeper, Gary Streeter.
At this point, Newport manager, Andy Sampson, made another of his inspired substitutions, pulling off Harrison Yates to be replaced by the nippy Louie Fleming. The substitution almost paid off within two minutes, when, after a great run, Fleming passed to Joe Craig, who shot narrowly wide. Then, in the 68th minute, Jared Wetherick put Louie FLEMING through, to round the keeper, and give Port a 2–1 advantage.
Unfortunately, Port were unable to hold onto their lead, a defensive blunder gifting the ball to Rob Okumu to score from close range. ‘The Peckers’ were unlucky not to return to Dorset with all three points when one of their players rounded the Newport keeper in injury time, but the referee awarded a foul to the home team, even though Gary Streeter appeared not to have made contact.
Final Score: Newport 2–2 Ringwood Town
Goals: Newport: Triggs 10, Fleming 68 Verwood Town: Ormiston 53, Okumu 87
Newport: Streeter, Harmer, Lamb, Taylor (Mitchell), Barron, Powell, Wright, Triggs, Wetherick (Drew), Craig, Yates (Fleming)
Substitutes not used: Marchbank, Gwilliam
Referee: David Morey
Newport man of the match: Scott Barron