Newport got their league season off to a flying start on Saturday with a convincing 4-1 win against Romsey Town at a very wet Smallbrook.
Starting with the side that had featured in most of the pre-season friendlies – only Liam Harper was missing due to having to isolate – Newport took on a familiar attacking look.
The opening exchanges were relatively even, although the better of the chances went Newport’s way with Reynolds and Butcher going close. In the 19th minute Connor Kelly broke away with the ball and took it past the visitors keeper but a defender reacted in time to put the resulting shot behind for a corner. Amends were swiftly made from the corner kick as Jacob Reynolds was on hand to force the ball home and put the Port in front.
Newport continued on the front foot and were to double their lead within five minutes. A Newport move in the Romsey penalty area was thwarted but the referee had identified Aaron Burford had been held back in the process and awarded Newport a penalty. Connor Kelly stepped up to make it 2-0 despite a valiant effort by the Romsey keeper.
Reacting to this setback Romsey were then able to step up a gear and bring the fight back to Newport. A number of good chances went begging for the visitors before John Cole pulled one back with a fine shot.
In what was to be a see-saw final 10 minutes of the first half Newport were to extend their lead when Spike Pearce scored with an excellent volley from just inside the Romsey penalty area. The attacking threat of Newport was clear to see as the difference between the two teams.
Half Time: Newport 3 Romsey Town 1
The second half was to continue in much the same vein as the Port went on the attack from the kick off. The pace of Kelly and Butcher up front proving to be a real handful for the overworked Romsey defence. Chances were starting to line up for the home side but it took until the hour mark before Newport could extend their lead. Once again Connor Kelly broke down the right hand wing before crossing to Joe Butcher who took a touch and drove the ball past the exposed Romsey keeper.
Newport started to introduce their subs with Scott Barron, Ollie McArthur and Jared Wetherick all getting a run.It was to be Wetherick who had the best of the chances to score in the closing minutes with a pair of headers, one going narrowly wide and one hitting the crossbar.
Full Time: Newport 4 Romsey Town 1
Newport: Streeter , Younie , Lamb , Burford , McDonough , Pearce , Kelly , Reynolds (McArthur) , Browne (Wetherick) , Craig (Barron), Butcher .