ALRESFORD TOWN 3–0 NEWPORT (IoW)
‘The Port’ slump to a three-nil defeat in their first Wessex League game of 2018.
Newport travelled to North Hampshire having played only one game since drawing two all away at Lymington on 23 December (the 0–1 FA Vase defeat to Bradford Town) all other games having been called off due to the atrocious weather.
Alresford Town, lying fifth in the Wessex League Premier, have, by contrast, managed an almost full programme in January, and came into the game on the back of a 4–3 home win against Baffins Milton Rovers, on 27 January.
The island side made four changes to the side that lost on 13 January, with the two Liams, Newbold and Triggs, replacing Scott Sampson and Darren Powell in midfield, and the welcome return of top scorer, Charle Urry, and veteran, Tom McInes, who replaced Josh Younie and Lewis Wright up front.
The match was played in driving rain on a heavy pitch, which had been cut up during Saturday’s game against Baffins.
Lacking match fitness, ‘the Port’ took around a quarter of an hour to get into their stride, by which time they were already facing the uphill task of a two goal deficit. The first blow came as early as the third minute, when Manuel Yeboah crossed across Gary Streeter’s goal, for Sam Burt to slot home from five yards, and give ‘the Magpies’ an early one-nil lead. David Omperon then added a second for Alresford in the sixteenth minute, with a long, floating lob from thirty yards out, which may have left the Newport keeper unsighted because of the floodlights.
After going two-nil down, Newport found their rhythm, and began to create a serious threat to the Alresford goal. In the seventeenth minute, Conor Kelly came close, but Charlie Urry was unable to take advantage of the rebound. In the nineteenth minute, Jack Turkington managed a powerful shot from outside the area, which the Alresford ‘keeper found difficult to control. However, ‘the Magpies’ safely preserved their two–nil lead until half-time.
Half-time: Alreford Town 2–0 Newport IoW
The second half began relatively quietly, with neither side dominating. Newport, however, gradually increased the pressure on the home side, with their best chance coming in the 63rd minute from a Charlie Urry header, which was parried by ‘the Magpies’’ keeper, but unfortunately Liam Triggs was unable to dispatch the rebound. Charlie was, by now, becoming a thorn in the Alresford defence, again coming close in the 68th minute. However, ‘the Port’ had by now began to lose either their composure or their balance in the tricky conditions, with Aiden Sainsbury and then Liam Newbold both being booked for rash challenges.
Newport manager, Mike Kelly, then attempted to change the pattern of the game by employing his substitutes, with first Lewis Wright (51m), then Aurele Beya (74m) and finally George Holmes (79m), coming on to the field of play, but neither the giant Belgian, nor the fresh young legs, were able to make much impression on the home defence. Meanwhile, ‘the Port’ going forward had left themselves exposed at the back, with Gary Streeter making a fine save to block Crossley Cema in the 86th minute. A late goal by Magpies’ substitute Adam Cripps in the ninetieth minute was to ensure ‘the Port’ returned to the island pointless.
Full time: Alreford Town 3–0 Newport IoW
Newport next play away at Sholing on Saturday, 3 February, providing the pitch is in a suitable condition.
Newport: Streeter, Turkington (Wright 51), Quigley, Sainsbury, Pearce, Newbold, McInes, Triggs, Urry, Kelly, Taylor