Gold Cup Q/F: Newport 1 Shanklin 0

Port made two changes to the starting line-up that had faced Romsey Town the previous Saturday: Ryan Hughes took the place of Jacob Reynolds as right-back, and Jared Wetherick was given the nod over Jared Cousins as centre-forward. The game began with a presentation and guard of honour for Darren Powell, for setting a club record of 572 appearances, the trophy being presented by former record holder Jeff Austin. The home side (unusually) kicked off towards the allotments end on a relatively mild late winter evening.

Port started the game with plenty of possession, but lacking the cutting edge in the final third of the field. Midway through the half, Shanklin had a strong spell, forcing a succession of corners, after Gary Streeter had inadvertently handled the ball after a back pass, leading to an indirect free kick only a few yards from the Newport goal line.

Towards the end of the first period, Port had a number of chances they were unable to convert into goals. First, in the 29th minute, Jared Wetherick found himself free on the edge of the penalty area, turned, but shot at the Shanklin keeper. Then, in the 35th minute, Jordan Browne shot wide. The next chance fell to Mark Taylor in the 40th minute, who shot just over the crossbar. Finally, in the 45th minute, it was Jared Wetherick who shot over the crossbar from close range.

Half time: Newport IW 0–0 Shanklin

The second half continued in much the same manner as the first; Port had both territorial dominance and the lion’s share of the possession, but somehow lacked the means to break down a stubborn Shanklin defence. In the 47th minute, Jordan Browne found himself clear, but had his shot saved by the Shanklin keeper. In the 60th minute, Joe Craig skilfully juggled the ball, before forcing yet another fine save from Jack Powell in the Shanklin goal. In the 73rd minute, Mark Taylor forced a double save from the overworked Shanklin custodian, then hit the crossbar with a header from the resulting corner.

Andy Sampson then tried to change Port’s luck in front of the goal by juggling the Jareds: Cousins coming on for Wetherick. In the 81st minute, Jordan Browne had a powerful low shot parried for a corner by the formidable Jack Powell. The game now seemed certain to be settled by the lottery of penalties. However, as the game moved into injury time, Mark Taylor was fouled ten yards out from the Shanklin penalty area. Jordan BROWNE then sent a low, powerful strike to the keeper’s left, which he reached, but was unable to hold, prompting jubilant scenes from the Newport team and sending Port into the semi-final of the IW Gold Cup.

Final score: Newport IW 0–0 Shanklin

Newport: Streeter, Hughes (Reynolds), Lamb, Wright, McDonagh ©, Sampson, Kelly (Snow), Craig, Wetherick (Cousins), Browne, Taylor

Attendance: 189