Newport slipped to their second defeat of the year, away to Petersfield Town in a match that the home side dominated for most of the second half.
Newport’s line up saw Spike Pearce come in for Ryan Hughes at right back following the teenager’s hand injury picked up in midweek against Fawley, Alek Przepolewski and Josh Younie returning to midfield and on the bench Liam Triggs and Jake Younie making their first appearances of the season.
Petersfield were looking for their first point at home in the league this season and stuck to the same side that got a draw midweek at Alton.
Newport got off to a flying start after only 6 minutes when Petersfield’s Jordan Sullivan conceded an own goal whilst trying to defend a cross. The defender dived to head the ball out for a corner only to send it powerfully past his keeper into the net.
Newport’s lead was not to last for long – 3 minutes in fact – when the tricky Bailey Newbury shot across goal and found the corner of the net.
The match then continued at a frantic pace with a lot of endeavour from both sides but neither really creating a good scoring opportunity.
On 39 minutes the match was to turn in favour of the hosts following an off the ball incident. Home player Harry Nightingale caught Newport’s Martin McDonough late with a tackle. The Port’s captain reacted by trying to head butt the Petersfield player in the back. The result was a yellow card for Nightingale and a red for McDonough.
Newport were forced to rearrange on the field but carried on with the same remaining players and saw time out to half time without any major problems.
HT: Petersfield Town 1 Newport 1
Newport had clearly come up with a game plan at half time and started off with the same line up, clearly wanting to save their substitutions for the inevitable tired legs that would follow in the later stages. The game now was all about Petersfield and would they be able to find a winner.
Most of the play now was through high balls. Petersfield getting wide and firing balls into the Newport box and the Port hitting long balls to Jordan Browne either to hold up or chase down. Neither side were getting much joy and the game became somewhat scrappy as both defences were coping with what was thrown at them. At the back for Newport, they coped well with the aerial attack with Joe McCormack, Scott Barron and Alek Prez winning everything in the air. Similarly, most Newport attacks broke down and another wave of Petersfield attacks would follow. Both sided started to eat into their substitutions, Jacob Reynolds came on for Newport to replace Josh Younie. Spike Pearce picked up a yellow card and was quickly replaced by Jake Younie and finally Liam Triggs came on for Joe Butcher.
As full time edged nearer it looked as though Newport might just get something out of the game but a final twist was to come in the 4th minute of injury time. Another aerial attack for Petersfield looked to have proven fruitless but this time the ball fell to Ryan Kennedy on the edge of the box, who drove it through a crowded area into the back of the net.
There was little time on the clock, enough for one more Newport attack but the full-time whistle blew to a massive cheer from the home supporters. The first home points of the season and probably the relief of breaking down the stubborn Newport defence as much as anything lifting the home team and supporters.
FT: Petersfield Town 2 Newport 1
Newport: McCormack, Pearce ( Jake Younie), Lamb, Prezpolewski, McDonough, Barron, Kelly, Wright, Butcher (Triggs), Browne, Josh Younie (Reynolds).
Referee:Mr A. Rush-Fear
Attendance: 145 (20 Newport)