The Port maintain their bright start to the 2018/19 campaign by beating Petersfield Town 2–0 in the Wessex League 1 fixture, and remain unbeaten in all competitions after three games.
Newport fielded what is probably their strongest side, making three changes to the one that beat Amesbury in the FA Cup last Saturday. In defence, Scott Sampson returned in place of Alex Harmer; in midfield, George Holmes replaced Kyle Drew; and up front, Joe Craig took the place of Craig Castle. Two experienced players also made a welcome return to the subs bench: Liam Triggs and Gary Streeter. Fortunately, the fine display of youngster Ryan Hall in the Newport goal meant the services of the veteran goalkeeper were not required.
The Port began kicking off towards the allotments end on a good pitch in fine weather.
The Rams had the most opportunities in the early part of the game, forcing the Port’s keeper, Ryan Hall into a number of saves, first from Olly Kershaw in the sixth minute, then from Harry Giles in the seventh. Hall was put under further pressure in the twelfth minute, when made to drop the ball under aerial challenge, with a free kick surprisingly not awarded to the home side. At the other end, Jared Wetherick was again a formidable physical presence in the opposition’s penalty area, with chances coming his way in the thirteenth and thirtieth minutes. Joe Craig and George Holmes also had their opportunities; the latter shooting over the bar in the 35th minute, after a good display of control and skill.
The deadlock between the two sides was broken in the 40th minute by Jared Wetherick, scoring his third goal in three games. First Joe Craig made a fine run down the left, crossing the ball to be picked up by George Holmes on the far side of the penalty area. Holmes’ shot was parried but fell then fell to Wetherick, who blasted a poacher’s goal into the back of the net from about ten yards out. A minute later, the Port nearly added a second, when Mark Taylor appeared to have been fouled in the Petersfield area, but no penalty was awarded.
Half-time: Newport IoW 1–0 Petersfield Town
Petersfield came out onto the pitch in the second half determined to level the score, but the Port successfully weathered the storm, thanks in part to a fine display by, Ryan Hall in the Newport goal.
Petersfield made a couple of substitutions, with Will Essai and Gary Judd coming on early in the half, both causing problems for the Port defence: Essai shooting across the face of the goal in the 62nd minute, and a Judd header forcing another fine save from Hall in the 69th minute. Then, it was time for Newport defender Spike Pearce to make the game safe for the Port, rising high over the Petersfield defence to score a superb headed goal from a Lewis Wright corner in the 70th minute of the game.
Newport made a number of substitutions: Liam Triggs coming on for Lewis Wright, Kyle Drew replacing George Holmes, and Darren Powell taking the place of Martin McDonough. Andy Sampson’s decision to throw on Kyle Drew appeared to be another inspired move (following his successful substitutions of the previous Saturday) when the striker broke through in the 86th minute, only to be brought down in the penalty area. The referee, however, mysteriously decided not to award what appeared to be a clear penalty. Petersfield also had their chances, with Ryan Hall making a fine save to punch the ball over the bar in the 85th minute, and Spike Pearce clearing the off the line in the 90th minute, but the Rams were unable to score a consolation goal.
Final score: Newport IoW 2–0 Petersfield Town
Goals: Jared Wetherick 40, Spike Pearce 70
Newport: Hall, Charlesworth, Lamb, McDonough (82 Powell), Pearce, Sampson, Wright (73 Triggs), Holmes (76 Drew), Wetherick, Craig, Taylor
Referee: Anthony Cross
Newport Man of the match: Ryan Hall
On Tuesday, 21 August, the Port play away at Fleet Spurs in the Hampshire Senior Cup.
On Saturday, 25 August, Newport play away at Wimborne Town in the Preliminary Round of the FA Cup. Coach seats are still available for anyone wishing to make the journey.
Newport Reserves play at home on Wednesday 22nd August (7.30) against Sandown and Saturday 25 August (2.30) against West Wight
The next first team home game is the Wessex League 1 fixture against East Cowes Vics on Bank Holiday Monday, 27 August.