Day: 24 February 2020

Newport 2 Whitchurch Utd 0

The Port made 3 changes to the side that had won emphatically 7-0 at Folland Sports a fortnight previously: Harrison Yates replaced Liam Triggs at right back, Scott Sampson took the place of Spike Pearce in central defence and Jared Cousins came in for the suspended Mark Taylor on the right wing.

Newport kicked off attacking the GKN end on a soft pitch in mild but blustery late winter weather. The Port began on the front foot, attacking right from the off. The first chance fell to Jared Cousins, who missed a good chance on the goal line as early as the 4th minute after a cross from Connor Kelly.

The Port took the lead in the 7th minute, when the in form Joe Craig sent a powerful header from the middle of the penalty area flying past Konrad Szymaniak in the Whitchurch United goal after another incisive cross from Connor Kelly. Jordan Browne came close to adding a second in the 16th minute when he had a shot saved off the line by a Whitchurch defender, after which flying full back Ryan Hughes had his attempt blocked.

For the remainder of the first half the Jam Boys laboured in vain for an equaliser. In the 31st minute, Whitchurch centre forward, Lloyd Thompson, saw his effort narrowly miss the post. In the 34th minute, George Bishop had a strong shot blocked by Gary Streeter.. Finally, just before half time, Charlie Plumley sent a strong header just past the Newport post. A composed Newport defence soaked up the pressure to reach half time with a goal advantage over their North Hampshire visitors.

HT: Newport IW 2-0 Whitchurch United

The second half continued in much the same manner as the first, with the Jam Boys having plenty of possession and territorial advantage, but unable to provide a real threat to Gary Streeter in the Newport goal. The Port appeared far sharper up front, with Connor Kelly a constant thorn in the side of the Whitchurch defence and centre forward Jordan Browne showing some deft touches. In the 56th minute, Browne came close to scoring, after showing some skillful control in the Whitchurch penalty area, following which his flying kick was parried by Szymaniak in the Whitchurch goal.

The North Hampshire visitors came closest to scoring in the 57th minute, when a misplaced Scott Barron back header forced Gary Streeter into making an acrobatic save. In the 67th minute, Ryan Hughes saw a cross-shot touched onto the crossbar by Szymaniak, following which Scott Barron saw his header fly past the Whitchurch post from the resulting corner. The second goal for the Port came in the 75th minute from livewire winger, Connor Kelly. First, Kelly saw a powerful shot rebound off the Whitchurch crossbar. Then, he lobbed the ball over a flailing Szymaniak to give the home side a decisive two goal advantage.

Newport were content to see out the final 15 minutes, Andy Sampson brough on two substitutes, Jake Wright and Flyn McCabe who made yet another promising debut from a 16-year-old in Newport colours.

FT: Newport IW 2-0 Whitchurch United

Newport: Streeter, Hughes, H Yates, Reynolds (Wright), McDonough, Sampson, Kelly, Barron, Craig, Browne, Cousins (McCabe)

Scorers: Newport: Craig 7, Kelly 75

Attendance: 94