Port slip up in the FA Vase

Port lose to Western League Bridgwater Town on a wet afternoon at Beatrice Avenue.

Newport began the game fielding a close to full strength side, which saw the return of the combative Mark Taylor at right back, the experienced captain, Martin McDonough, and a former player-of-the-season, striker Charlie Urry.

Port kicked off towards the GKN end in wet conditions on a soggy pitch dampened by a couple of days of continuous rain.

The men-in-yellow went behind after just four minutes, when Mark Taylor conceded a free kick on the edge of the area, which took a deflection before Bridgwater striker, Jake Brown, headed the ball past Gary Streeter from point blank range at the far post.

The North Somerset side nearly took a 2-0 lead in the 18th minute, when they were denied by veteran keeper Streeter. Port then started coming back into the game, with Joe Craig having a shot saved from the edge of the area in the 23rd minute, and a Connor Kelly free kick going narrowly over the bar on the half hour mark.

Then came an incident that probably put paid to Port’s chances of advancing further in the FA Vase, when Charlie Urry tangled with a Bridgwater player in the muddy conditions and was promptly given his marching orders by referee Mr Forrest whilst issuing a yellow card to the Bridgwater player, a decision which the majority of the crowd viewed as harsh.

HT Newport IW 0-1 Bridgwater Town

Port managed a few chances against a side one tier higher than themselves in the league pyramid, and appeared to cope well with being a player down. In the 55th minute, Joe Craig sent a shot narrowly past the post from the edge of the area. However, disaster struck Port for a second time in the 56th minute, when a weak back pass from Mark Taylor was intercepted by a Bridgwater player, who was then hauled down by Taylor’s  mistimed tackle in the middle of the penalty area. The spot kick was converted by Jake Llewellyn, to make the game safe for the visitors at 0-2.

Port continued to battle, with Liam Triggs shooting just over the bar in the 63rd minute. Some agile defending from Gary Streeter kept the North Somerset side at bay and prevented the scoreline from appearing worse.

A competitive game ended on a sour note when a Bridgwater player, Jack Taylor, made an untoward comment directed at the referee, leading to his being sin-binned. Taylor then appeared to vehemently protest this decision, resulting in his being red carded. However, there was insufficient time remaining for Port to take advantage of the visitors themselves being reduced to ten men, and Port’s run in this year’s FA Vase came to an abrupt halt.

Full time: Newport IW 0-2 Bridgwater Town

Newport: Streeter, Taylor, Lamb, Barron, McDonough (Cousins 73), Sampson, Kelly (Jake Wright 78), Triggs, Urry, Browne, Craig

Referee: Keiron Forrest

Attendance: 144