Newport travelled to high flying AFC Stoneham on Tuesday night and were beaten by the odd goal in seven.
Kicking down the slope in the first half Newport were the first to test the opposition keeper who made a good save low down but then Stoneham went up the other end and brought two excellent stops out of Gary Streeter.
Both sides were trying to play fast free flowing football which was good to watch. Newport were however the first to draw blood. A Lewis Wright free kick from 20 yards was superbly delivered to the head of Jordan BROWNE who had a free header to plant in the net.
This obviously spurred on Stoneham to push on up and Streeter had to react magnificently to scoop a deflection out of the air and over the bar. Newport were forced to defend for a spell but were still looking to get the ball forward and when they got in the Stoneham half they always looked dangerous. On 26 minutes the Port incredibly went two goals ahead when a defence splitting ball from Joe Craig was inch perfect for Jordan Browne to tuck past the keeper and score.
At this point most teams would have been stunned to go two goals down at home but Stoneham were relentlessly pushing forward and two goals in two minutes brought the scores level, Chris Manning scoring on 36 minutes and on 37 minutes Merl Wright’s intended cross hitting the back post and going in.
HT: AFC Stoneham 2 Newport 2
Clearly strong words at half time in both dressing rooms for different reasons, it was clear the game still had a lot to offer.
Stoneham came out the blocks the quicker and almost from the restart they were ahead Eduard Jimenez scoring at the back post whilst the Newport defence hadn’t switched on.
There followed a strong period of Stoneham pressure as they hit the crossbar twice and eventually scored a fourth on 53 minutes. A breaking striker passed the ball across the front of the penalty area to Jo Sutherden who looked offside, however the linesman said he was behind the ball at the time of the pass.
Shortly before the goal Ben Snow came on for Connor Kelly and after the goal Jacob Reynolds came on for Martin McDonough.
Within 10 minutes of coming on Ben Snow had broken through the Stoneham defence and slotted the ball past the keeper to make it 4-3.
Darren Powell came on for Jared Cousins who had run relentlessly for 70 minutes.
Stoneham were then forced on to the backfoot as midfield became a battleground, Stoneham picking up two quick bookings and finally Jared Wetherick receiving a red card after a sliding tackle. It was not clear whether the red card was for the tackle or something off the ball.
FT: AFC Stoneham 4 Newport 3
Newport: Streeter (YC), Hughes, Lamb, Wetherick (RC), McDonough (YC)(Reynolds), Barron, Kelly (Snow), Wright (YC), Cousins Powell, Browne, Craig.