The Port win a penalty shootout to go through to the second qualifying round of the FA Vase after twice falling behind to visitors, Western League 1, Calne Town.
Newport had two significant players missing from their starting line-up: Spike Pearce and Jacob Reynolds (both suspended).
The Port put the visiting Lillywhites under considerable pressure right from the off, but somehow contrived to go into half time trailing by a single goal.
Newport assaults on the Calne goal began as early as the 3rd minute, when Joe Craig had a shot cleared off the line after being put through by Connor Kelly. In the 11th minute, Ryan Hughes, who made numerous incisive runs for the home side, found Jordan Browne in the middle of the penalty area, but the Newport forward failed to make good contact with the ball. Joe Craig and then Jordan Browne then had further attempts on goal thwarted by the formidable Calne keeper, Adam Clatworthy. In the 18th minute, Jordan Browne found himself played through, but dispatched the ball high over the crossbar.
In the 26th minute, completely against the run of play, the Lillywhites took the lead, when Lewis McCARRON showed considerable skill in lobbing the ball over a Port defender then blasting it past Gary Streeter from just inside the penalty area.
The Port had two clear opportunities to equalize before the halftime break. First, Jordan Browne was put through but blasted the ball at the keeper in a one-on-one chance to score. Then, Joe Butcher was put through by Jordan Browne, but with only the keeper to beat, had his effort saved by the in-form Clatworthy.
Half time: Newport 0-1 Calne Town
The second half continued in much the same manner as the first with the Port dominating the game and creating numerous attacking opportunities and the Lillywhites looking dangerous on the break.
In the 51st minute, centre forward, Joe Butcher was bundled over just outside the penalty area but sent the resulting free kick over the crossbar.
In the 62nd minute, Jake Wright was sent tumbling over in the penalty area, and Connor KELLY confidently converted the resulting spot kick.
The relief for the home support was short-lived, as substitute Jamie WALTERS restored the Lillywhites lead in the 77th minute after converting a rebound.
Matters could have taken a turn for the worse a minute later, when a shot from visiting centre forward, Stuart Windsor, glanced Gary Streeter’s crossbar.
However, the noisy visiting support were soon silenced by Joe CRAIG, who blasted the ball past Clatworthy in the 79th minute.
Andy Sampson then threw on the combative midfielder, Mark Taylor, in an attempt to win the game in the closing stages.
The Port had plenty of chances to avoid the lottery of penalties but were unable to finish off the spirited opposition. In the 85th minute, Ryan Hughes shot over the crossbar. One-minute-from-time, Scott Barron forced the agile Clatterford into making a superb one-handed save. Then, in injury time, substitute, Josh Younie shot over the crossbar.
Full time: Newport 2-2 Calne Town
In the penalty shootout, Gary Streeter stopped the second Calne penalty. The Port calmly converted all their spot kicks, with Neo Lamb placing the fifth and final penalty past the reach of Clatworthy, silencing the visiting supporters for the third and final time.
The Port now face Alton FC in the 2nd Qualifying Round at Beatrice Avenue on October 10.
Newport: Streeter, Hughes, Lamb, Przepolewski (Taylor 79), McDonough, Barron, Kelly, Wright, Butcher (Younie 67), Browne, Craig
Subs not used: Turner, McCormack
Referee: Derek Pratt
Photo by Broonpics Sports Photography