Weekend Preview

Newport travel to top of the table Amesbury Town on Saturday in what is the last in the sequence of matches against top four sides. Another tough game in store for Andy Sampson’s men although they will be buoyed by the win midweek in the Isle of Wight Gold Cup against Shanklin.
Amesbury Town showed both physical and mental strength in order to hold on their lead at St. George’s Park, two weeks ago and will be difficult to break down on their own pitch but the Port travel with that knowledge.

On Saturday morning Newport Youth Under 16’s will be playing at St. George’s Park in the Mid Solent League against AFC Bedhampton, kick off 10.00am.

Gold Cup Q/F: Newport 1 Shanklin 0

Port made two changes to the starting line-up that had faced Romsey Town the previous Saturday: Ryan Hughes took the place of Jacob Reynolds as right-back, and Jared Wetherick was given the nod over Jared Cousins as centre-forward. The game began with a presentation and guard of honour for Darren Powell, for setting a club record of 572 appearances, the trophy being presented by former record holder Jeff Austin. The home side (unusually) kicked off towards the allotments end on a relatively mild late winter evening.

Port started the game with plenty of possession, but lacking the cutting edge in the final third of the field. Midway through the half, Shanklin had a strong spell, forcing a succession of corners, after Gary Streeter had inadvertently handled the ball after a back pass, leading to an indirect free kick only a few yards from the Newport goal line.

Towards the end of the first period, Port had a number of chances they were unable to convert into goals. First, in the 29th minute, Jared Wetherick found himself free on the edge of the penalty area, turned, but shot at the Shanklin keeper. Then, in the 35th minute, Jordan Browne shot wide. The next chance fell to Mark Taylor in the 40th minute, who shot just over the crossbar. Finally, in the 45th minute, it was Jared Wetherick who shot over the crossbar from close range.

Half time: Newport IW 0–0 Shanklin

The second half continued in much the same manner as the first; Port had both territorial dominance and the lion’s share of the possession, but somehow lacked the means to break down a stubborn Shanklin defence. In the 47th minute, Jordan Browne found himself clear, but had his shot saved by the Shanklin keeper. In the 60th minute, Joe Craig skilfully juggled the ball, before forcing yet another fine save from Jack Powell in the Shanklin goal. In the 73rd minute, Mark Taylor forced a double save from the overworked Shanklin custodian, then hit the crossbar with a header from the resulting corner.

Andy Sampson then tried to change Port’s luck in front of the goal by juggling the Jareds: Cousins coming on for Wetherick. In the 81st minute, Jordan Browne had a powerful low shot parried for a corner by the formidable Jack Powell. The game now seemed certain to be settled by the lottery of penalties. However, as the game moved into injury time, Mark Taylor was fouled ten yards out from the Shanklin penalty area. Jordan BROWNE then sent a low, powerful strike to the keeper’s left, which he reached, but was unable to hold, prompting jubilant scenes from the Newport team and sending Port into the semi-final of the IW Gold Cup.

Final score: Newport IW 0–0 Shanklin

Newport: Streeter, Hughes (Reynolds), Lamb, Wright, McDonagh ©, Sampson, Kelly (Snow), Craig, Wetherick (Cousins), Browne, Taylor

Attendance: 189

Newport 1 Romsey Town 2

Port were almost up to full strength for the visit of high-flying, in-form Romsey Town, with Jared Wetherick and Mark Taylor both returning from their respective suspensions, and Connor Kelly available. The home side made two changes to the starting line-up that had lost against leaders Amesbury the previous Saturday: Mark Taylor replacing Scott Barron and Connor Kelly taking the place of Ben Snow on the wing. Newport kicked off playing towards the allotments end on a soft pitch on a mild, overcast, late winter Saturday.

As in their previous two games against strong opposition, Port began the game very brightly indeed, with Jared Cousins having an effort tipped over the bar in the fifth minute, and Connor Kelly having a good chance saved by the keeper in the eighth. In the nineteenth minute, evergreen Veteran keeper, Gary Streeter, was forced into an acrobatic one-handed save, that sent him first clattering into the post and then finding himself entangled in the side netting. As a result, the game was held up for a couple of minutes while the netting was repaired.

Port continued to pile on the pressure. In the 35th minute, Mark Taylor stole the ball on the edge of the area, but was unable to take advantage of the opportunity. However, in the 38th minute, a Taylor pass found Joe CRAIG at the near post, who turned and placed the ball in the far corner of the Romsey Town goal. The home side finished the first half without any scares, having had the lions share of the possession and opportunities against probably the strongest side in Wessex League 1.

Half time: Newport IW 1–0 Romsey Town

Jared Wetherick came on for Jared Cousins in the second half. It had been thought that the absence of the experienced and well-built striker was responsible for Newport’s failure to convert chances into goals in recent games. Unfortunately, in what was a tale of two halves, although he had one good chance five minutes after coming on, Romsey dominated the possession, and the returning striker was left with little to do.

In the 65th minute, Gary Streeter was forced into a great one handed save that drew the applause of the crowd. Port held on to the lead until the 79th minute, when Craig BRYANT headed in for the visitors from five yards.

The formidable Romsey Town side were seemingly not content to return to the mainland with a single point. First, Will Wiseman shot just past the post for the visitors, then Geoff Dunn missed an open goal. Andy Sampson belatedly threw on a couple of pairs of fresh legs, with Ben Snow replacing Mark Taylor, and Ryan Hughes coming on for Jacob Reynolds. However, the substitutions proved to be too little, too late, as, in the 87th minute, Jack EDAM popped up to put the ball in the back of the net from five yards for Romsey Town.

Final score: Newport IW 1–2 Romsey Town

Newport IW: Streeter, Reynolds (Hughes 85), Lamb, Wright, McDonagh ©, Sampson, Kelly, Craig, Cousins (Wetherick 45), Browne, Taylor (Snow 85)

Referee: Krasimir Petrov

Attendance: 117

On Sunday Newport Youth Under 16’s reached the semi final of the Hampshire Sunday Cup. A tough 2-2 draw away to Andover New Street led to a penalty shoot out and the Port triumphed 5-4. They now face an away trip for the semi final to Winchester City on March 10th.

Newport 0 Amesbury Town 1

Port made two enforced changes to the side that had lost 2–3 away at US Portsmouth: Scott Sampson replacing the unavailable Connor Kelly, and young Ben Snow taking the place of the suspended Mark Taylor. Newport began the first half against the Wessex Premier 1 leaders on a soft pitch in a relatively good condition for late winter, on a mild but blustery day, playing towards the allotments end.

Newport began the game very strongly indeed, but, unfortunately, lacking the formidable presence of the suspended Jared Wetherick leading the line up front, found themselves unable to convert chances into goals. The first chance fell to Ben Snow as early as the first minute of the game, when the youngster found himself clear in the middle of the penalty area with only the goalkeeper to beat, but shot weakly at the Amesbury keeper. Four minutes later, Ben had his second clear chance, but again failed to convert. Then, in the seventh minute, it was the turn of Jared Cousins in front of the goal, who dexterously juggled the ball, but failed to connect strongly enough to score.
In the fifteenth minute, Joe Craig struck the ball powerfully at the Amesbury Town goal, only for the Amesbury Town keeper to palm the ball over the crossbar. However, the league leaders punished Port for their profligacy in front of goal, when Jordan MATTHEWS sent a powerful shot which appeared to take a deflection and flew past a despairing Gary Streeter in the 25th minute.

Jared Cousins had a chance to make up for his earlier miss in the 38th minute, but again, unfortunately hit the Amesbury keeper rather than the net. The game was becoming increasingly physical, with strong tackles by both sides coming in thick and fast. The Amesbury scorer, Matthews, was increasingly becoming involved in acrimonious exchanges with the Newport players, leading to his being substituted shortly before half time.

Half-time: Newport IW 0–1 Amesbury Town

The second half proved to be a far different story to the first, with Amesbury Town showing the physical strength that has pushed them to the top of the table, and shutting down a young Newport side fielding five teenagers.

Amesbury could have added to their lead but for the heroic and acrobatic efforts of evergreen veteran Newport keeper, Gary Streeter, who saved Port in the 51st, 72nd and 84th minutes, and the fact that they missed an open goal in the 82nd minute.

The most memorable event in the second half from a Newport perspective, was the appearance of Darren Powell as substitute, the 572nd time he had played in a Newport shirt, an all-time club record.

Port could make little headway against a strong, well-drilled, top-of-the-table side and lost their second game in succession.

Final score: Newport IW 0–1 Amesbury Town

Port next play Romsey Town at St George’s Park on Saturday, February 16.

Newport: Streeter, Reynolds (Powell), Lamb, Barron, McDonagh©, Sampson, Craig, Cousins (H Yates), Browne, Snow (J Yates)

Referee: Anthony Cross

Newport MoM: Martin McDonagh

Attendance: 104

IOW Senior (Gold) Cup – UPDATED

The draw has been made for the Quarter Final of the IOW Gold Cup and we have been drawn at home to Shanklin.

The two clubs and the IOWDFA have now agreed the match will be played on Wednesday 20th February with a 7.30pm kick off at St. George’s Park.

Full draw is as follows;

Cowes Sports v Pan Sports
East Cowes Vics v Northwood St. Johns
Newport v Shanklin
Ventnor v W&B Sports

Alton match postponed

Todays match against Alton has been postponed due to Snow conditions.

St. George’s Park still has a light covering of snow and heavy snow in Hampshire yesterday would make difficult and potentially dangerous travelling conditions for Alton. The Wessex League allowed clubs to make an early decision on matches and a sensible decision was to call it off as early as possible to avoid any unnecessary travelling by the team or supporters.

Tonight: US Portsmouth v Newport

US Portsmouth beat Port in a feisty, close-fought contest by the odd goal of five.
Newport made one change to the side that had beaten Fawley 1–0 on Saturday, with Jacob Reynolds replacing the unavailable Scott Sampson.

Port dominated the first fifteen minutes, with Mark TAYLOR smashing the ball into the back of the net with a powerful low shot from fifteen yards after just five minutes.

Callum GLEN then equalized for US Portsmouth in their first serious attempt on Gary Streeter’s goal in the fifteenth minute, after threading his way past two defenders. Port continued to attack, with Mark Taylor shooting narrowly past the post in the 20th minute and having a header cleared off the line in the 32nd minute.
Then came the first of a number of controversial decisions by the referee, when US Portsmouth’s goalkeeper, Joe Hunt, intentionally handled the ball outside his penalty area, and was awarded a yellow rather than a red card. The home side’s reserve keeper had started to remove his tracksuit as most people in the ground expected a red card. In the 42nd minute, Newport captain Martin McDonagh committed a clear foul in the Newport penalty area, which was converted by Declan SEIDEN, to give the Portsmouth side a two-one half-time advantage.

Half time: US Portsmouth 2–1 Newport IW

The start of the second-half was delayed by an injury to one of the linesmen. Fortunately, a qualified referee happened to be in the sparse crowd and was able to take his place. Port began the delayed second-half brightly when a Jared Cousins cross found Joe CRAIG in the 50th minute, who converted from close range to level the score at 2–2.
The game then became increasingly physical, with some hard challenges being made from both sides and both teams losing their discipline. In the 69th minute, US Portsmouth’s Liam Kyle was sent off, apparently for an off the ball incident on Jacob Reynolds, who fell down injured at a free kick. In the 71st minute, the influential Mark Taylor, who had been yellow carded earlier in the game, was sent off for a foul, even though many observers thought no contact had been made on his opponent. Then, substitute Harry POTTER worked his magic for US Portsmouth in the 75th minute, to give US Portsmouth a 3–2 lead.

Connor Kelly had a shot nudged just past the post in the 89th minute, but US Portsmouth survived the scare, and Port returned to the Island empty-handed in a game in which they had been worth at least a point.

Final score: US Portsmouth 3–2 Newport IW

Goals: US Portsmouth: Glen 15, Seiden 42, Potter 75 Newport IW: Taylor 5, Craig 50

Newport IW: Streeter, Hughes, Reynolds (Yates 65), Wright, McDonagh (Powell 80), Barron, Kelly, Craig, Cousins (Snow 60), Browne, Taylor

Referee: Daniel Batchelor

Newport 1 Fawley AFC 0

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

Attendance: 115

Newport 1 New Milton 0

Newport made two changes to their starting line-up from the team that drew 1–1 against Verwood Town the previous Saturday. Scott Barron replaced the injured Neo Lamb as right back, and last Saturday’s man-of-the match, Joe Craig, came in for the injured Liam Triggs in midfield.

Newport kicked off towards the allotments end on a soft pitch in mild but overcast conditions. The first half began as a very open and engaging contest with chances for both teams, which neither side were able to convert. The first chance came in the 7th minute to New Milton Town, when Scott Sampson uncharacteristically gave the ball away to former Port player Aidan Radford, who shot past Gary Streeter’s right post. The Linnets had a further chance in the 22nd minute, which was cleared off the Newport goal line. However, the lion’s share of chances fell to the home side, who could easily have gone into the half-time break with a two or three goal advantage.

Joe Craig had the first of many chances which he failed to convert in the 9th minute. Jared Wetherick had a curling shot fisted over the crossbar in the 14th minute and almost scored with a header from the resulting corner. A minute later, Joe Craig had another of his efforts cleared off the line. Then it was Mark Taylor’s turn to fail to score, with a deflected shot in the 18th minute, and shooting past the right post in 23rd. Jordan Browne then came close to scoring in the 24th minute, with a shot deflected past the post, followed by Joe Craig nearly putting Port into the lead with a header from the resulting corner. Port’s final chance of the first half fell to Connor Kelly, who shot at the keeper after being put through by Mark Taylor.

The first half ended on an unpleasant and controversial note, when Jared Wetherick made a sliding tackle on an opponent, leading to his sending off. The Newport centre forward connected with the ball and did not appear to have made the challenge with malicious intent; however, the the Linnet’s player was unfortunately injured in the challenge and had to be carried off the pitch.

Half-time: Newport IW 0–0 New Milton Town

Perhaps as a result of the injury and the sending off, the second half was not as enthralling and engaging a spectacle as the first, with far fewer chances. However, ten-man Port finally scored in the sixty-first minute when, after a goal mouth scramble, Joe Craig back-flicked the ball to Jordan BROWNE, who then smashed the ball into the Linnet’s net from ten yards.

The crowd feared Port might be reduced to nine men after Mark Taylor (who had already been yellow carded) clashed with the opposing keeper, and was given a prolonged talking to by the referee. However, he had to leave the field with a cut mouth, rather than a red card, to be replaced by Harrison Yates. Despite their one-man advantage, the Linnets offered very little threat up front in the second half, and Port saw out the game comfortably to win 1–0.

Unfortunately, in the closing minutes of the game, Gary Streeter appeared to have injured himself jumping to meet a cross, and required attention on the pitch after the final whistle. After the game we could establish that Gary received a bang to the head as he jumped for the ball and was left with nothing more than a headache.

Final score: Newport IW 1–0 New Milton Town

Newport: Streeter, Hughes, Barron, Wright, McDonagh, Sampson, Kelly (Cousins), Craig (Snow), Wetherick, Browne, Taylor (Yates)

Sub not used: Jacob Reynolds

Referee: Robert Walczak

Newport man-of-the-match: Jordan Browne

Attendance: 118

All photos courtesy of Broonpics sports photography.