Newport 2 Hythe & Dibden 1

Newport made three changes to the side that had lost 2-1 away to Bemerton the previous Saturday, all experienced players returning to take the place of teenagers. In defence, captain Martin McDonough took the place of Harrison Yates; in midfield, Liam Triggs came in for Lewis Wright and George Colson replaced the younger Wright brother, Jake.

The Port began kicking off towards the GKN end on a pitch that had stood up well to recent downpours.

Newport put league leaders, Hythe & Dibden, under pressure right from the kick off. In their first attack, Jared Cousins was bundled over just outside the visitors penalty area. Jordan Browne then stepped up to take the free kick, which ricocheted off the Hythe & Dibden wall back to Browne, who then smashed the ball into the top left corner of the visitors’ net to give the Port a 1-0 advantage in only the second minute of the game.

The home side continued to put the mainland visitors under pressure with Connor Kelly shooting wide in the 4th minute and Jordan Browne shooting across the face of the goal in the 15th minute.

However, disaster struck in the 16th minute when, against the run of play, Rhys Crooks equalised for the visitors from close range.

Newport continued to press and harass the league leaders. In the 18th minute, flying winger, Connor Kelly, rounded the Hythe & Dibden keeper, only to have his shot blocked by a defender. Kelly then had a further shot saved by the keeper in the 23rd minute. Jared Cousins was put through in the 27th minute, but lacked the finishing touch. Finally, Liam Triggs had a strong shot blocked by a defender in the 42nd minute.

HT: Newport 1-1 Hythe & Dibden

While the home side were very much in the ascendancy in the first half in terms of chances, Hythe & Dibden showed their quality after the break, putting their hosts under considerable pressure but without being able to administer the coup de gras. Port had veteran keeper, Gary Streeter to thank for preserving their lead by making a couple of fine saves in the 50th and 53rd minutes of the game. Then, in the 62nd minute, Scott Barron, prevented the league leaders from taking the lead by clearing off the line.

The Port, however, had luck on their side, scoring in the 66th minute against the run of play, when Hythe & Dibden keeper, Josh Cotton, scooped the ball onto the head of his defender, Kelvin Lichowe, to watch in horror as the ball rolled into the back of his own net to give the home side a 2-1 advantage.

Liam Triggs nearly increased Port’s advantage in the 69th minute, when he skilfully weaved his way through the visiting team’s defence, only to have his shot blocked by their keeper.

Hythe and Dibden then laboured in vain to find an equaliser, but profligate finishing and an in form Gary Streeter put paid to their chances of returning across the Solent with a point. After a nervy last quarter of an hour, followed by eight minutes of injury time, the referee finally blew his whistle, to allow Port to take the scalp of the former league leaders and hopefully reinvigorate their season with a memorable win.

FT: Newport IW 2-1 Hythe & Dibden

Newport: Streeter, Hughes, Lamb, Reynolds (J Wright), McDonough, Barron, Kelly (Taylor), Triggs, Cousins (Craig), Colson.

Subs not used: Yates, Gearing

Attendance 90

Referee: Mr M Bloor