Newport travelled to Andover on a wild and windy Saturday, were beseiged by transport problems but doggedly dug out the important first win of the season.
Holidays, work and family committments caused availability problems but the Port were still able to name a strong starting line up that included six teenagers.
Jake Wright (16) getting his first competitive start alongside his brother Lewis (18) in midfield (Cue headlines about the Wright Brothers making Newport fly, it will happen at some point)
The journey was made to Andover in five cars however exhaust problems in one and overheating in another meant that after much seat changing only four cars completed the trip and one is still in Newbury receiving attention.
Newport kicked off with the wind behind them and started well, quick passing and clever inter play put Andover on the backfoot from the get go although not really troubling the home keeper.
Jordan Browne was ordered to leave the pitch as he had blood on his shirt, then the linesman made him change his shorts, then he wanted the new shirt changed and another pair of shorts. By now poor Jordan was left on the touchline whilst coach Stewart Shepherd ran to the dressing room to bring another shirt and shorts. After 4 minutes Jordan could return to the game.
Andover had been working hard to get into the game and this they eventually did however some wayward shooting provided few problems for Gary Streeter. The home side kept at it however and almost took the lead on 19 minutes,threading the ball through the Newport defence finding only Gary Streeter in their way, the forward chipped the ball over the keeper only to see it hit the post and bounce away to safety.
Newport on the other hand went on the attack and on 23 minutes the ball fell to Connor Kelly who struck it crisply into the net from just outside the penalty area, to put the Port in front.
Andover came back on the attack and shot from close to the byeline, hitting the outside of the post and away for a goal kick, although Gary Streeter had it covered.
The remainder of the half belonged to Andover but they were forced to shoot from distance and Gary Streeter had everything covered.
Half Time: Andover Town 0 Newport 1
Andover started the second half well but again a resolute Newport defence kept them at arms length and although the home side had many shots they were mostly wide of the mark.
In an effort to tighten up midfield, Andy Sampson brought on Jacob Reynolds for Ben Snow and pushed Jake Wright forward on the left hand side, later on swapping with Connor Kelly to go wide right.
Newport had now set out their stall to defend their lead, Lewis Wright having a tigerish game in midfield received a yellow card for a series of fouls.
On 81 minutes, Lewis Wright himself seemed to be fouled but the referee gave the decision the other way. Newport captain Martin McDonough questioned the decision and was immediately sent to the sin bin. With only 9 minutes left on the clock there was no way the captain was going to be allowed back into the game.
Newport then had to defend for their lives as Andover pushed everyone forward, bodies were on the line and a fantastic double save from veteran keeper Gary Streeter kept the away sheet well and truly clean.
As the game moved into injury time, Jordan Browne committed a foul in the centre circle and appeared to injure himself in the process. The referee asked him if he required treatment and he said yes. The physio started to walk on to the pitch for about 10 yards but the player changed his mind and said he could see the time out. The physio left the field and then the referee ordered Browne to leave the field even though he had received no treatment. As he was walking off Browne said something to the referee for which he received a straight red card.
Newport were now down to nine men for the remainder of the game. Andover took the free kick which Gary Streeter dealt with harmlessly cleared the ball and the referee blew for full time.
An eventful day, but back to back clean sheets and an excellent team performance to gain our first league win of the season.
Full Time: Andover Town 0 Newport 1
Newport: Streeter, Hughes, Lamb, Barron, McDonough, Pearce, Kelly, Lewis Wright, Snow (Reynolds), Browne, Jake Wright.
Referee: S Hunt
Newport reserves played their final friendly before their league campaign kicks off beating Whitecroft and Barton reserves 2-0 with goals from Harrison Yates and Jayden Yates.