US Portsmouth beat Port in a feisty, close-fought contest by the odd goal of five.
Newport made one change to the side that had beaten Fawley 1–0 on Saturday, with Jacob Reynolds replacing the unavailable Scott Sampson.
Port dominated the first fifteen minutes, with Mark TAYLOR smashing the ball into the back of the net with a powerful low shot from fifteen yards after just five minutes.
Callum GLEN then equalized for US Portsmouth in their first serious attempt on Gary Streeter’s goal in the fifteenth minute, after threading his way past two defenders. Port continued to attack, with Mark Taylor shooting narrowly past the post in the 20th minute and having a header cleared off the line in the 32nd minute.
Then came the first of a number of controversial decisions by the referee, when US Portsmouth’s goalkeeper, Joe Hunt, intentionally handled the ball outside his penalty area, and was awarded a yellow rather than a red card. The home side’s reserve keeper had started to remove his tracksuit as most people in the ground expected a red card. In the 42nd minute, Newport captain Martin McDonagh committed a clear foul in the Newport penalty area, which was converted by Declan SEIDEN, to give the Portsmouth side a two-one half-time advantage.
Half time: US Portsmouth 2–1 Newport IW
The start of the second-half was delayed by an injury to one of the linesmen. Fortunately, a qualified referee happened to be in the sparse crowd and was able to take his place. Port began the delayed second-half brightly when a Jared Cousins cross found Joe CRAIG in the 50th minute, who converted from close range to level the score at 2–2.
The game then became increasingly physical, with some hard challenges being made from both sides and both teams losing their discipline. In the 69th minute, US Portsmouth’s Liam Kyle was sent off, apparently for an off the ball incident on Jacob Reynolds, who fell down injured at a free kick. In the 71st minute, the influential Mark Taylor, who had been yellow carded earlier in the game, was sent off for a foul, even though many observers thought no contact had been made on his opponent. Then, substitute Harry POTTER worked his magic for US Portsmouth in the 75th minute, to give US Portsmouth a 3–2 lead.
Connor Kelly had a shot nudged just past the post in the 89th minute, but US Portsmouth survived the scare, and Port returned to the Island empty-handed in a game in which they had been worth at least a point.
Final score: US Portsmouth 3–2 Newport IW
Goals: US Portsmouth: Glen 15, Seiden 42, Potter 75 Newport IW: Taylor 5, Craig 50
Newport IW: Streeter, Hughes, Reynolds (Yates 65), Wright, McDonagh (Powell 80), Barron, Kelly, Craig, Cousins (Snow 60), Browne, Taylor
Referee: Daniel Batchelor