Newport made just one change to the starting line-up that beat Bournemouth Poppies on Saturday, with Connor Kelly returning to take the place of Liam Triggs.
Before the game Charlie Urry received his award for ‘Player of the Season’, decided by a vote of the supporters on Saturday. The award was presented by interim manager, Derek Ohren.
‘The Port’ began kicking towards the Allotments End on a good pitch in mild but breezy weather.
Newport started the game with attacking intent when, in the fifth minute, Petersfield ‘keeper, Luke Eaton was forced to pull off a good save from Mark Taylor from outside the area. Then ‘the Rams’ began to apply some pressure, with the young Newport ‘keeper, Ryan Hall being forced to make a fine save from a free kick on the edge of the area in the 21st minute, and Ryan Llewelyn heading just over the bar a minute later.
Then came Newport’s opportunity to show some decisive finishing when, in the thirtieth minute, Connor Kelly sent a fine cross to the far post, to be met with a screaming header by Martin McDonough to give the home side a one-nil advantage.
Four minutes later, a Petersfield defender nearly scored a spectacular own goal, forcing his ‘keeper to make a spectacular one-handed save to his back-pass-come-lob—the referee awarding an indirect free kick, well inside the penalty area, to the Port, which was almost converted by Jared Wetherick. In the thirty-eighth minute, Connor Kelly almost created another goal for Neo Lamb, who shot into the side netting.
‘The Rams’ applied a great deal of pressure at the other end, which only served to showcase the talents of Ryan Hall, who made three good saves, against Essai in the 33rd and 36th minutes, and Billy Connor in the 44th minute.
HALF-TIME NEWPORT (IoW))1–0 PETERSFIELD UNITED
The second half was a good, open, entertaining game of football, with chances for both sides. The first clear chance fell to ‘the Rams’ when Billy Connor broke through, but he was only able to hit the side-netting.
In the 60th minute, Derek Ohren decided to throw on some fresh legs, with Aiden Radford coming on to replace Jack Turkington.
In the 62nd minute, Jared Wetherick had a golden opportunity to make the game save for ‘the Port’, but, unfortunately, found himself unable to connect with a Charlie Urry pass that ran across the face of the Petersfield goalmouth. The missed opportunity was punished by ‘the Rams’ four minutes later, when Billy CONNOR finally beat Hall with a strong shot, to equalise for ‘the Rams’, and make the score one-one. The game then went even more pear-shaped for the home side, when the impressive Will ESSAI gave ‘the Rams’ a one-two lead in the 75th minute, with a shot from the middle of the penalty area.
Derek Ohern then made a couple of substitutions in an attempt to save the game, with Lewis Wright coming on for Darren Powell, and Harrison Yates replacing Neo Lamb. When it appeared that ‘the Port’ might suffer the indignity of losing to the bottom side in the Wessex Premier, player of the season, Charlie Urry, came to the rescue. First, Mark Taylor, who had had an impressive game, was brought down by ‘the Rams’ substitute, Orepo, in the penalty area. Charlie URRY then blasted the spot kick directly at Luke Eaton, who dived to his left, to equalise the score at two-two in the 84th minute.
By now it was an end-to-end battle, with both sides going all out for the win. In the 88th minute, Ryan Hall spared Newport’s blushes with another great save, again to Essai. A minute later, Connor Kelly broke through with one of his incisive runs, but his shot was blocked by the ‘keeper’s legs.
FINAL SCORE NEWPORT (ioW))2–2 PETERSFIELD UNITED
Newport: Hall, Sampson, Turkington (Radford), Taylor, McDonough, Powell (Wright), Lamb (Yates), Charlesworth, Urry, Kelly, Wetherick
Referee: Nathan Cook