Newport travelled to the league leaders on a bright sunny afternoon, hoping to build on their away victory at Andover the previous Saturday. The suspended Jordan Browne was replaced up front by Liam Triggs, after Joe Craig was unavailable at the last minute and Mark Taylor came in for the also unavailable Ben Snow. Apart from ferries running late and heavy traffic in the New Forest, there was no repeat of the previous Saturdays transport issues.
Ringwood started like you would expect a top of the table side to do, urged on by a vocal crowd, they were quick out of the blocks and moving the ball forward at pace. Newport were caught out a little and an early goal was to come on 8 minutes. Ringwood moved the ball down the left side, got past Ryan Hughes and sent in a pinpoint cross for their centre forward to head past Gary Streeter. 1-0 and a bit of a wake up call.
Newport were sparked into action and Lewis Wright almost equalised straight away when he weaved his way into the box and prodded the ball goalwards only for it to be cleared off the line.
The small but noisy home crowd were to be silenced not long after.
A harmless high looping ball fell to Neo Lamb stood about 20 yards out, but only about 10 feet in from the touchline. No thoughts of controlling the ball, he simply hit it on the volley straight down the centre of the goal, over the flailing arms of the home keeper and dipping under the crossbar like a guided missile. 1-1 , 19 minutes played.
The home side were somewhat stunned and started to become irritated by the referee’s decisions and the captain and a defender were pulled aside for a talking to, but no sin bin.
Just past the half hour mark, a Newport through ball appeared to be covered by two Ringwood defenders but in confusion they left it to each other and Connor Kelly was able to nip around them and lift it over the keeper into the net. 2-1 to the Port. From the kick off Ringwood again appeared unsettled and gave the ball away in the centre circle, it was played to Mark Taylor who simply drilled it hard and low goalwards. It had wrong footed the home keeper who appeared to think it was going wide but as he he looked around he saw it trickle just inside the post to make it 3-1. 35 minutes played.
The referee continued to give free kicks to Newport, Liam Triggs playing as an emergency centre forward was shielding the ball so well and the home defence was becoming frustrated. Once more the referee called the captain and a home defender for a chat but again no sin bin.
Newport were able to keep things tight and safely reach half time.
Half Time: Ringwood Town 1 Newport 3
The second half kicked off with a livened up Ringwood going on the offensive and getting several shots on target but Gary Streeter appeared to have glue on his gloves, everything seemed to stick.
Five minutes into the second half Newport broke out of midfield, Ringwood were committed upfield, the ball was played wide left to Connor Kelly who then played an inch perfect ball into the onrushing Liam Triggs who side footed it past the keeper.4-1.
Newport were well in control and were having success on the break with the Ringwood pressing to try and get back in the game. Liam Triggs almost scored a second identical goal when he met a low Connor Kelly cross only for it to go wide of the post.
Ringwood did not give up and continued to try and get some hold back in the game and on 61 minutes scored from a free kick just outside the box that went over the wall and inside the post. 4-2.
Shortly afterwards Mark Taylor was yellow carded for a foul in the middle of the pitch, he continued to advise the referee he was wrong and was sent to the sin bin. Ringwood sensed an opportunity to get back into the game. Surely enough they did and on 68 minutes with some good build up they scored a third. The score now 4-3 the encouraged home support once more urged their team on.
Mark Taylor returned to the pitch with just under 15 minutes to play and the Port were able to continue their attacking stance, once again a superb Connor Kelly cross into the box saw an onrushing Liam Triggs put the ball just the wrong side of the post. Newport took off the tiring Jake Wright and replaced him with Jacob Reynolds slipping into midfield.
Ringwood continued to press forward in an effort to get something from the game and it was obvious there was another goal in the game. That goal did arrive with four minutes on the clock. A clever Taylor ball between defenders allowed Connor Kelly to beat the offside trap, he took the ball to the keepers right, giving an angle on his left foot to shoot into the empty net. 5-3 and effectively ending the game.
Full Time: Ringwood Town 3 Newport 5
Newport: Streeter, Hughes, Lamb, Barron, McDonough, Pearce, Kelly, L Wright, Triggs, J Wright (Reynolds), Taylor.
Referee: Martin Bloor
Newport Reserves lost their first league match 4-1 away to Seaview, Jayden Yates scoring for the Port. A tough match against a physical Seaview side but a good learning experience for our young team.