Wembley dream over for The Port



In a massively disappointing game, the island team found themselves unable to overcome the ten-man Toolstation Western League outfit, going down to a tap in goal in the eightieth minute.

Newport came into the match after a three week break imposed by the weather, missing a number of key players: Liam Newbold and Jared Wetherick in defence, and Liam Triggs in midfield. However, by far the biggest loss for the team was the in-form centre-forward, suspended Charlie Urry, who had scored eight times in the previous eight games. Ultimately, it was the lack of firepower up front that prevented the home team from advancing to the final sixteen.

Newport began the game kicking towards the allotment end, with a sizeable contingent of noisy but good-natured ‘Bobcats’ fans in the Shide end. The opening half hour was fairly even. Bradford Town came closest to scoring early on, with the ever-dependable Gary Streeter pulling off an agile one handed save to a diving header in the tenth minute of the game. At the other end, the replacement centre-forward, Josh Younie, Connor Kelly and Mark Taylor all had chances, which they were unfortunately unable to convert into goals.

‘The Port’s’ lack of regular first team players worsened in the nineteenth minute, when experienced midfielder Darren Powell was forced to leave the pitch with a possible hamstring injury, to be replaced by Jack Turkington.

The most dramatic incident of the game was to come in the 27th minute of the game, when the Bradford keeper, Charlie Phillips, appeared to deliberately handle the ball outside the area. As the last man in defence, preventing a clear goalscoring opportunity, the referee had little alternative but to send him from the field of play.

There then followed a five minute delay while Bradford reorganised themselves, ‘the Bobcat’s’ manager, Danny Greaves, coming on as goalkeeper to substitute their No 11, in what appeared to be a desperate situation for the away side. This situation, however, was not as bad as it appeared, as the versatile Mr Greaves is a former professional goalkeeper, who had previously played with Bristol Rovers.

Newport, unfortunately, were unable to take advantage of their extra man, and the first half ended goalless.

Half-time: Newport IoW 0–0 Bradford Town

Again, after the break, Newport appeared unable to make their extra man count, the best chance falling to Bradford in the 57th minute, when Gary Streeter again came to the rescue of the home side, fisting a free kick over the crossbar.

Desperately needing to break the deadlock, the formidable Aurele Beya came on to replace Lewis Wright in the 62nd minute. Surely, the the strength and physical presence of the 6’4’’ ‘Bear’ would be enough to beat the Bradford defence.

Alas, it wasn’t to be. In the eightieth minute, Mark Wall tapped in a soft goal from five yards out, to break Newport spirits.

Bradford saw out the remaining ten minutes of the game feigning injury and taking the ball to the corner flag. Although Scott Sampson narrowly missed connecting with a dangerous cross in injury time, in truth Newport offered little threat towards the end of the game.

If only Charlie Urry hadn’t been suspended …

Full time: Newport IoW 0–1 Bradford Town

Newport IoW

1 Gary Streeter
2 Jack Turkington
3 Will Quigley (78min George Holmes)
4 Aiden Sainsbury
5 Spike Pearce
6 Scott Sampson
7 Darren Powell (19min Jacob Reynolds)
8 Mark Taylor
9 Josh Younie
10 Connor Kelly
11 Lewis Wright (62min Aurele Beya)

Newport Man of the Match: Gary Streeter

Attendance: 249