Newport made just one change to the side that had beaten New Milton Town 1–0 the previous Saturday, with Jared Cousins coming in for his suspended namesake, Jared Wetherick. Newport kicked off towards the allotments end on a soft pitch in reasonable condition, on a blustery, rainy January afternoon.
Newport dominated the first half against Fawley, but without creating as many clear-cut chances as in the second half. The first of many good opportunities for Port fell to Jared Cousins in the 22nd minute, when he found himself clear on the edge of the area, wrong-footed the Fawley keeper, but shot past the post. However, Jordan BROWNE made no mistake in the 28th minute, when he latched on to a long clearance on the edge of the Fawley penalty area, then juggled the ball, before powerfully shooting the ball past the keeper from about twelve yards, to give Port a one-nil advantage.
Fawley came close to equalising in the second minute of injury time, when a powerful free kick from the edge of the area bounced of the Newport wall and on to Gary Streeter’s crossbar, but Port survived the scare to maintain their one goal advantage at half time.
Half time: Newport IW 1–0 Fawley AFC
The second half turned out to be one long tale of missed chances for Port. The first fell to Jordan Browne, who powered his way through the Fawley defence only to hit the ball past the post. Then, Joe Craig had a bizarre miss on the Fawley goal line, when the ball hit his back, but he was unable to react quickly enough to nudge the ball over the line. Jared Cousins, who appeared to have been injured, was then replaced by young Ben Snow, who soon found himself in the thick of the action, almost putting Jared Cousins through in the 60th minute. In the 62nd minute, Scott Sampson had a header cleared off the line. Snow again provided a Newport forward with a golden opportunity—this time, Jordan Browne—who had his header cleared off the line. Then, Ben Snow found himself clear, only to shoot over the crossbar. In the 73rd minute, Connor Kelly provided a good cross for Jordan Browne to hit the side netting.
Port nearly paid for their profligacy in front of goal when, in the 86th minute, a free kick on the edge of the home penalty area was headed just past the post, and then the post itself was hit in the 89th minute. The Oilers, however, failed to get an undeserved equaliser, and the home side ended a game they had dominated with a one–nil victory.
Port will now face a strong US Portsmouth side on Monday evening, followed by a run of three further home games, starting with Alton on Saturday.
Full time: Newport IW 1–0 Fawley AFC
Newport: Streeter, Hughes, Barron, Wright, McDonagh, Sampson, Kelly, Craig, Cousins (Snow 60), Browne, Taylor
Subs not used: Yates, Powell, Reynolds
Goal (Newport): Browne 28
Referee: Sean Phillips
Newport Man-of-the-match: Ryan Hughes