Romsey 4 Newport 0

Newport travelled to Romsey with a youthful line up that only included experienced campaigners Gary Streeter, Darren Powell and Mark Taylor. The unavailability of Scott Sampson, Spike Pearce and the injured Martin McDonough meant that no experienced centre half was available so Darren Powell dropped into the back four. No Jared Wetherick or Joe Craig up front meant that Kyle Drew came into the centre forward role and no Liam Triggs allowed Lewis Wright to return from injury in midfield.

The Port started brightly and had the first meaningful attack of the game, Louie Fleming getting away from his marker and delivering the ball into the box. Kyle Drew and Mark Taylor both had attempts on goal but were crowded out and the ball eventually went for a goal kick.

Romsey started to gain control of the ball and for the next 15 minutes were camped around the Newport goal. Gary Streeter had a busy period saving a near post header and tipping over a curling strike that was heading for the top corner. The pressure eventually told and Pearce Farren put Romsey ahead on 20 minutes with a back post header from a corner.
Play quickly returned to the Newport penalty area and 3 minutes later following an almighty goalmouth scramble in which The Port had at least two opportunities to clear their lines, Tom Cotillard eventually put the ball in the back of the net to go two ahead.

Skipper Gary Streeter let his team know what he thought and the Port went straight up the end and a foul in the box on Mark Taylor brought the Port a penalty. Lewis Wright stepped up to take the spot kick and although well hit just inside the post, Romsey’s 16 year old keeper Charlie Philpott got down to push it away and the ball was cleared. This was probably the turning point of the game, the Port started to give the ball away too much and although working hard they allowed Romsey to get the upper hand again. If they could have gone in at half time 2-1 down with the wind at their backs in the second half they would have been in with a shout. This wasn’t to be as on 42 mins Tom Cotillard shot from the edge of the box to score.

Half Time: Romsey Town 3 Newport 0

The second half was very much of the same with Gary Streeter the busier of the keepers. On 66 minutes Newport brought on Alex Harmer for the tiring Harrison Yates, the youngster having played two games in 4 days.

On 70 minutes Romsey scored a 4th goal with another Pearce Farren header from a free kick.

Romsey then made a triple substitution and Newport made two substitutions with Ryan Marchbank coming on for Louie Fleming and Mitchell Ricketts coming on for Mark Taylor.

On 86 minutes Josh Gwilliam was booked for an innocuous challenge.

The final minutes still left time for Gary Streeter to make a fine save low down and for George Holmes to have a shot which the young Romsey keeper did well to save with his feet.

Newport MOM was probably Gary Streeter but Lewis Wright made an encouraging return from injury and although his penalty was saved he did well for the full 90 minutes.

Full Time Romsey 4 Newport 0

The Port have had a tough run of games over the last three weeks. It looks like the league will split into three breakaway groups, top 6 , bottom 4 leaving a middle 9. Romsey , US Portsmouth and Hythe & Dibden all look as though they will be in the top 6 along with Amesbury, Stoneham and Verwood. The top 6 are all fielding much more experienced players who have been together a while, physical teams, mostly paying good wages. Against these sides and the higher league teams we have played, our younger players have found it hard but have given everything considering the numbers of teenagers we have fielded in any one team. Realistically it looks like we will finish in the middle group of 9 and we should aim to be as high as possible in that group.

Newport: Streeter, Gwilliam, Lamb, Barron, Powell, Wright, Yates (Harmer), Taylor (Ricketts), Drew, Holmes, Fleming (Marchbank).

Referee: Lewis Ward