The day started badly as in the morning we lost two players to illness and injury meaning a bare twelve made the journey to Downton. Scott Barron was a welcome returner in defence but the absences meant that several players had to play out of position. Mark Taylor slotted in at right back to cover the ill Ryan Hughes, Neo Lamb moved to centre half to cover the absent Spike Pearce who had pulled a back muscle.
Newport started well gaining a corner in the first minute but the home side were able to clear the attack.
There followed a period when both sides nervously weighed each other up and consequently both teams made mistakes as they tried to settle into a rhythm. Newport were having success out wide and a Connor Kelly cross was just headed over by Liam Triggs. On 20 minutes Downton themselves went on the attack and only a desperate challenge blocked a shot and deflected the ball out for a corner kick. The resulting corner turned into a goalmouth scramble and eventually Downton put the ball in the net to take the lead.
From the restart Newport went on the attack and the home keeper was forced to block a Connor Kelly shot when through on goal. On 28 minutes Newport got the ball into the Downton penalty area, Jake Wright dribbled towards goal but had his legs taken from under him. The referee blew for a foul but it was against Jake Wright and he was yellow carded for a supposed dive. That wasn’t the opinion of most people in the ground including the Downton supporters around me. Ollie McArthur was then booked for a strong challenge.
Newport continued to press and try and get back in the game and in a goalmouth scramble a Downton defender was forced to clear the ball off his own goal line. The final action of the first half enraged the home fans. Downton broke from the half way line and were three attackers on three defenders only for the referee to blow for half time mid move.
HT: Downton 1 Newport 0
During the half time break several Downton supporters commiserated with Newport fans that the dive incident should have been a penalty, however it was cold comfort to the travelling fans.
Downton started the second half stronger and doubled their lead on 55 minutes when an attacker was given too much space to get his shot off and although Gary Streeter got a hand to it he couldn’t keep the ball out, 2-0.
Newport were struggling and several players had picked up injuries, with only one substitute it was a case of who was going to come off. In the end it was Mark Taylor who needed to come off first and was replaced by Reece Wren.
The Newport players battled on were creating chances but still were not able to break down the Downton defence. A Connor Kelly shot crashed against the bar and Jordan Browne reacted first but headed the ball wide of the goal.
By now the Port had players struggling all over the pitch and on 88 minutes Downton broke away to score a third and on 90 minutes Newport gave the ball away in midfield and Downton were able to drive through and add a fourth.
The Port finished the game with one injured player substituted and four others continuing but struggling. A couple will have a week off due to suspensions but will be back in time for the FA Vase game.
Full Time: Downton 4 Newport 0
Newport: Streeter,Taylor (Wren), Timbrell, McArthur, Barron, Lamb, Kelly, Triggs, Craig, Browne, J Wright.