Bemerton Heath Harlequins 2 Newport 1

Newport went down to promotion chasing Bemerton by two goals to one after taking an early first half lead.

Andy Sampson’s squad was missing several regulars due to work committments and injuries including captain Martin McDonough, Scott Sampson, Spike Pearce and Mark Taylor. Harrison Yates was brought in at centre back alongside Scott Barron. Lewis and Jake Wright both returned in midfield. Reserve team keeper Alex Ram was on the bench because veteran keeper Gary Streeter had been having back problems during the week.

Newport got off to a flyer and took the lead on 6 minutes when Connor Kelly ran at the Harlequins defence and nobody could stop him putting the ball in the back of the net. The lead was only to last a mere 7 minutes when Bemerton equalised with a free header from a corner.

In an even game Newport went close to regaining the lead when a Jacob Reynolds header went narrowly the wrong side of the post. Jordan Browne produced a shot from the edge of the box which fired narrowly over the Bemerton cross bar. Both sides had chances but neither were able to break the deadlock before half time.

HT: Bemerton Heath Harlequins 1 Newport 1

Newport made a substitution at half time when keeper Gary Streeter was forced off with his back problem and Alex Ram came on to make his first team debut.

Newport had an early chance when a Jordan Browne shot brought a good save out of Bemerton keeper Paddy Creese low down to his left.

On 57 minutes the referee gave Bemerton a free kick on the edge of the Newport area but then changed his decision to a penalty after consulting an assistant.

The league top scorer Justin Bennett took the penalty but young keeper Alex Ram brought off a good save to keep the scores level.

The match continued to be on a knife edge until the 65th minute when a long distance effort from Bemerton just beat Alex Ram to put the Witshire side 2-1 ahead.

On 80 minutes Andy Sampson brought off defender Harrison Yates and brought on striker Zac Sullivan in an effort to get something from the game.

Newport threw everything at it but couldn’t find the net. Bemerton did get the ball in the net again on 90 minutes but the effort was wiped out for offside.

FT: Bemerton Heath Harlequins 2 Newport 1

Newport: Streeter (Ram), Hughes, Lamb, Yates (Sullivan), Barron, Reynolds, Kelly, L Wright, Cousins, Browne, J Wright.

Referee: Mr Jacob Wright