Verwood 2 Newport 2

Newport travelled to Verwood with a bare 13 players owing to suspensions and a number of players being unavailable. Jacob Reynolds and Spike Pearce were suspended and also Mark Taylor, Jared Cousins, Scott Sampson were unavailable. In came Alex Przepolewski, Jake Wright, George Turner and Olly McArthur.

The Port had asked for a 2.30pm kick off due to the ferries currently running a temporary timetable with a two hour gap beween 6pm and 8pm. Unfortunately the outgoing ferry landed 30 minutes behind schedule and with a busy journey through the New Forest a short 20 minute warm up time before the revised kick off was all that was available.

The opening stages of the game were quite even but showed two teams who were not yet firing on all cylinders. There was plenty of intent but the final product was not there. Newport had to rearrange their formation to cover for the missing Jacob Reynolds with Neo Lamb moving in to a midfield role and George Turner picking up the left back role.

20 minutes into the match everything came to a standstill. The referee, Declan Skehan had felt a pull in his hamstring and despite treatment he was unable to continue allowing Assistant Stephanie Villiers to move up and take the whistle. A volunteer came from the home supporters to take up the flag for Verwood.

The chance to have a further team talk seemed to settle Newport and on 30 minutes they were to take the lead. Joe Butcher down the left had caused Verwood some problems whilst Connor Kelly had started to have some success down the right hand side and had won a corner. From the resulting kick Scott Barron came through late at the far post to head home.

This also seemed to give Verwood some focus and 6 minutes later they created a good chance in the box but it was crashed against the bar and over. Both teams then started play some decent football but effectively cancelled each other out. A fairly innocent collision left Newport captain Martin McDonough with a dead leg. There were concerns whether the experienced campaigner would be able to continue but following treatment he tried to carry on and get through to half time. It looked as though Newport would head in to the break with a single goal lead but on 44 minutes Verwood got the equaliser they had been seeking. Diop Evans creating his own space inside the box and firing home well.

Half Time : Verwood Town 1 Newport 1

Buoyed by their late first half equaliser Verwood came out for the second half on the front foot and placed Newport under a period of sustained pressure. Despite half time treatment Martin McDonough still looked in discomfort but with no central defender on the bench it looked as though he had no choice but to continue. Newport started to get themselves back into the game as Verwood pressed forward they left gaps at the back and Connor Kelly had a great chance to score on 52 minutes but couldnt keep his shot down. Verwood didnt seem to heed the warning and just seven minutes later Connor Kelly was to get a second chance in front of goal, this time there was no mistake sidefooting comfortably past the keeper.

Newport were on the up, Alex Prez was having a fine game in midfield and Martin McDonough appeared to be recovered. Verwood however were forced into chasing the game and made a couple of substitutions to freshen things up. They also picked up a couple of bookings as players went in for challenges that perhaps they shouldnt have. For a quarter of an hour both teams slipped back into creating great chances but neither could apply the finishing touch.

Andy Sampson brought on Joe Craig for Jake Wright to add more strength to midfield. This was shortly followed by Olly McArthur coming on for Neo Lamb in midfield. With almost 90 minutes on the clock a great chance went begging for Verwood as the ball was played across the front of an empty Newport goalmouth but the incoming striker was inches away from getting on to the end of it.

As the game moved into injury time it looked as though Newport were going to come away with all three points but once again there was a sting in the tail. With 92 minutes on the clock Verwood gained a corner in what would probably be their last chance. The ball was played to the back post and Harvey Elson headed back across everyone into the net to make it 2-2.

There was time for Newport to kick off, a couple of tackles and the referee blew for full time.

FT: Verwood Town 2 Newport 2.

Newport: Streeter, Hughes,Lamb (McArthur),Przepolewski, McDonough, Barron,Kelly, Wright (Craig),Butcher, Browne, Turner.