Newport crashed out of the FA Cup at the preliminary round stage against Southern Premier League side, Wimborne Town.
A youthful Newport side, unbeaten in all competitive games so far this season, travelled to Wimborne in Dorset, hoping to cause an upset against a side three leagues above them in the non-league pyramid. Given the fact that ‘the Magpies’ had been knocked out of the FA Cup five times in the previous six seasons by Wessex League clubs, the Port had some reason to be optimistic about their prospects of reaching the First Qualifying Round, Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be.
Newport began the match kicking uphill on Wimborne’s sloping pitch, on a fine late summer afternoon.
The game began in the worst possible fashion for the islanders, when, after just forty seconds, a masterclass in passing by the home side led to an incisive finish by Wimborne Town marksman, Toby Holmes, his hundredth goal in one hundred full appearances for the club. The Port, however, managed to keep their composure against higher league opponents over the rest of the first half, and even managed to create a few chances for themselves: in the eleventh minute, first Neo Lamb blasted the ball at the Wimborne keeper, then Martin McDonough put a long shot over the crossbar; in the 23rd minute Jared Wetherick shot the ball wide. The Magpies, however, had a hatful of chances themselves, with Luke Burbidge, Jordan Lee and Jack Lovell all breaking through the Port defence, but without adding to the home side’s lead. Then, in the 44th minute, it appeared Wimborne would be going into half-time with a two-goal advantage, after Mark Taylor tussled with Jack Lovell in the penalty area, with Lovell going down in what appeared to be a soft penalty, earning Taylor a yellow card. Lovell took the spot kick himself, hitting the ball low to the right of Ryan Hall in the Newport goal, an effort easily saved by the young keeper.
Half-time: Wimborne Town 1–0 Newport IW
The Port kept the deficit to just one goal for the first hour of the game, before Wimborne—and in particular their prolific striker, Toby Holmes showed their quality by scoring a further five goals in just over fifteen minutes. Meanwhile, at the other end, Jared Wetherick showed his quality with a fine volley in the 53rd minute, saved low-down by the Wimborne keeper.
The Magpies’s and Toby Holmes’s second goal came in the 59th minute, when the in-form striker ended a fine run by dribbling the ball past Ryan Hall and slotting the ball into the net. (2–0) Holmes then scored his hat-trick in the 66th minute with a flying header. (3–0) At this point, Andy Sampson attempted to change the course of the game by throwing on his substitutes: Louie Fleming, Kyle Drew and Craig Castle coming on for Neo Lamb, George Holmes and Joe Craig. However, the flood of goals for the Dorset side could not be stopped. Not content with a hat-trick, in the 74th minute, Holmes added a fourth to his tally by tapping the ball into the net from a Luke Burbidge cross. (4–0) Toby Holmes then created rather than scored a goal, when he set up Luke Burbidge to fire the ball into the Newport net in the 75th minute. (5–0). Finally, in the 77th minute, substitute Lee Francis scored a sixth for the home side, with a low shot from outside the area. (6–0). Matters could have been worse for the Port in the closing stages, but for some goalkeeping heroics from Ryan Hall, saving two further attempts by Lee Francis, in the 80th and 86th minutes.
FT: Wimborne Town 6–0 Newport IoW
Goals: (Wimborne) Holmes 4 (1,59, 66, 74), Burbidge (75), Francis (77)
Newport: Hall, Harmer, Lamb (Fleming 67), Wright, Pearce, McDonough, Craig (Castle 67), Triggs, Wetherick, Holmes (Drew 67), Taylor
Referee: Brian White