Category: Match Report

Newport 3 Fawley AFC 0

The Port made three changes to the starting line-up that beat Alton 3-0 in the FA Vase on Saturday. Gary Streeter was unable to play due to a dislocated finger sustained in the previous game and was replaced by Joe McCormack. With Newport playing two games a week, Andy Sampson decided to rotate his squad. Two players present in the FA Vase victory were therefore warming the bench in midweek—Alek Przepolewski and Josh Younie—replaced by Spike Pearce and Joe Craig.

The momentum gained from Newport’s win on Saturday carried through to the opening exchanges of Tuesday night’s game.  In the seventh minute, Connor Kelly made a good run and then put Jordan Browne through to a one-on-one situation with the Oiler’s keeper, Joe Combes. Jordan sent his shot flying over the crossbar, but the referee ruled that he had been impeded by Coombes and awarded a penalty to the home side.

The Fawley keeper dived the right way, blocking Connor’s shot. Linesman, Jamie Saltzer, raised his flag to indicate that Combes had come off his line before the ball was struck, but referee, Anthony Cross waved play on.

Newport continued to attack with a curling Connor Kelly cross meeting the head of Jordan Browne on the quarter hour mark, forcing a good save from Joe Coombes. Port pressure resulted in a number of corners for the home side with the best scoring chance falling to Scott Barron, who headed over the crossbar.

Fawley also had their opportunities to score, the best falling to centre forward, Ollie Bradley, who forced Joe McCormack into making a good save.

The Port took the lead five minutes before half time, when Joe Butcher put Joe CRAIG through, who then dummied the Fawley keeper, forcing him to the ground, before sending a low shot past the prostrate Coombes.

Half time: Newport 1-0 Fawley

Andy Sampson was forced to make a half-time substitution owing to the injured finger of Ryan Hughes. The attacking full back was replaced by the combative Jacob Reynolds.

The Oilers piled on the pressure seeking an equalizing goal, but, against the run of play, the impressive Joe CRAIG scored his second goal in the 54th minute after again being put through by Joe Butcher, making a deft turn and firing the ball past keeper Coombes.

In the 57th minute, Jacob Reynolds was booked for an aggressive challenge. The Oilers’ Harrison Fay hit the upright from the resulting free kick. Fawley had a further opportunity to pull a goal back in the 64th minute when they were awarded a free kick in a promising position on the very edge of the Port penalty area, but squandered their opportunity to pull a goal back. Fawley frustration was now beginning to show with one of their co-managers being booked for dissent.

The widening gaps opening in the Oiler’s defence provided opportunities for the Port to extend their lead. In the 75th minute, a run by the fast-improving Jake Wright saw him sail past a couple of defenders before blasting his shot just over the crossbar.

The Port finally put the game beyond the reach of the Oilers in the 78th minute, when a powerful strike from Joe Butcher cannoned off the visitor’s crossbar to be met by the head of Jordan BROWNE, who nodded the ball into the back of the net from a position a couple of yards from the goal line.

Full Time: Newport 3-0 Fawley

Newport: McCormack, Hughes (Reynolds 45), Lamb, Pearce, McDonough (capt), Barron, Kelly, Wright, Butcher (Younie 79), Browne, Craig (Taylor 69)

Attendance: 126

Referee: Anthony Cross

Newport now lie in 4th place in Wessex League One, with a game in hand on the two clubs immediately above—Folland Sports and Andover Town—and two games in hand on leaders, Laverstock & Ford

Newport 1 Alton 0

The Port made two changes to the starting line-up that had beaten Baffins Milton Rovers 4-3 in midweek. Experienced captain, Martin McDonough, returned in place of Spike Pearce in central defence, and Jake Wright took the place of Jacob Reynolds in midfield.

The momentum from the midweek win carried through to Saturday’s game, with the Port making most of the running in the first half and earning a series of free kicks around the edge of the Alton penalty area to the mounting anger of the Brewer’s bench. However, despite the promising positions from which their free kicks had been awarded, the Port were unable to take advantage of their opportunities, with first Alek Przepolewski shooting wide and then Connor Kelly hitting the wall.

In the 20th minute, the referee ruled that Joe Butcher had been upended by an Alton defender within the Alton penalty area. Connor KELLY rarely misses his spot kicks and efficiently dispatched the ball into the left-hand corner of the Alton goal to give the Port a 1-0 lead.

Eight minutes later Gary Streeter preserved Newport’s lead by smartly saving a deflected shot that appeared destined for the back of his net. However, the first half ended with further frustration for Alton manager, Kevin Adair, when the home side were awarded yet another ‘soft’ free kick on the edge of the Alton area for a supposed infringement on Conner Kelly, which Neo Lamb hit wide of the goal.

Half-time: Newport 1-0 Alton

The second half began with Alton determined to make up the goal deficit but a combination of good goalkeeping, from both the regular and reserve keeper, and poor finishing from Alton ensured that Port advanced into the First Round Proper of the Vase.

In the 51st minute, Alton centre forward, Luke Perkins, wasted a good chance that was parried away by Gary Streeter. Three minutes later, the home keeper once again preserved the Port’s lead with a magnificent one-handed save.

It wasn’t all one-way traffic for the visitors, as in the 62nd minute, Neo Lamb put Joe Butcher through only for the Port centre forward to shoot wide.

Alton continued to attack relentlessly, but the Brewers profligacy in front of the goal continued to prevent them from equalizing. In the 67th minute, Alton’s Oli Graham somehow succeeded in shooting the ball over the crossbar from just two yards from the goal line, when it would have been far easier to have placed the ball in the back of the net.

Andy Sampson then decided to strengthen his side with a couple of substitutions: Joe Craig coming on in place of Jake Wright and Spike Pearce replacing Alek Przepolewski. More concerning was the enforced substitution of Gary Streeter, who had painfully dislocated a finger. However, substitute keeper, Joe McCormack, admirably coped with the pressure from the Brewers in the last quarter hour of the game.

Alton grew increasingly desperate in the closing stages, with their goalkeeper, Kieran Greene, joining the attack at set pieces. However, this left them increasingly exposed at the back.

The game ended with a series of missed chances for the Port, with Joe Butcher clipping the crossbar with a curling shot and Connor Kelly twice squandering excellent opportunities to add to his goal tally. There was also a degree of controversy with both Joe Craig and Connor Kelly mysteriously finding their way into the referee’s notebook without either having appeared to have been guilty of committing an offence.

The controversy continued after the final whistle when referee, Nathan Dunn, red-carded Alton manager, Kevin Adair.

Newport: Streeter (McCormack), Hughes, Lamb, Przepolewski (Pearce), Mc Donough (capt), Barron, Kelly, Wright (Craig), Butcher, Brown, Younie

Attendance: 111

Referee: Nathan Dunn

Newport reserves travelled to Blackfield & Langley but were beaten 2-1 following a late winner for the home side. Jared Cousins scored for the Port reserves who looked to be heading for a draw only to conced in injury time direct from a corner.

Newport 4 Baffins Milton Rovers 3

The Port made a couple of changes to the starting line-up that had won 5-2 at Ringwood on Saturday with Spike Pearce replacing Martin McDonough in central defence and Jacob Reynolds taking the place of Jake Wright in midfield.

Newport began the game with attacking intent with Joe Butcher sending a low cross across the face of the goal as early as the first minute, but no-one was there to take advantage of the opportunity.

The Port scored in just the fifth minute of the game when a superb cross by the ever-dangerous Connor Kelly was met by the flying head of Jacob REYNOLDS.

The home team came close to extending their lead two minutes later when Connor Kelly rounded the Baffins keeper but was unable to convert the chance from a tight angle.

The Port found themselves two-nil up in the 22nd minute when Jordan Browne put Joe BUTCHER through for the powerful forward to send a precision strike past the Baffins keeper.

Baffins pulled a goal back in the 24th minute after Scott Barron made a clumsy challenge in the Port penalty area, which was gratefully converted by Tommy SCUTT.

HT Newport 2-1 Baffins Milton Rovers

The visiting Wessex Premier League side began the second half full of attacking intent with a flying tackle by Spike Pearce preventing Baffins from equalizing early in the second half.

The start of the second half was marred by what appeared to have been a serious injury to one of the visiting players, Charlie Osborne.

Osborne’s replacement, Rudi Blankson, proved to be a very powerful forward, who was more than difficult for the Port defence to contain.

BLANKSON scored in the 54th minute, when he knocked in a shot that Gary Streeter had blocked but not held.

The game was then held up following a second serious injury to the Baffins player, Callum Dart.

Baffins then took the lead in the 72nd minute with a magnificent individual goal by the dangerous BLANKSON, who powered his way past two defenders before placing a low shot past Gary Streeter.

The Portsmouth side came close to extending their lead a few minutes later but a superb flying tackle by Spike Pearce rescued the Port for a second time.

Newport then proved to higher division opposition that they are not to be underestimated. First, substitute Jake Wright shot just over the crossbar in the 82nd minute.

Then, Scott BARRON got his head to a curling cross by Alec Przepolewski to equalize for the Port.

Finally, in the fourth minute of injury time, substitute, Jared Cousins, was spectacularly upended in the Baffins penalty area and Connor KELLY coolly converted the resulting spot kick to deliver the coup de gras to the Port’s Premier Division opponents.

Newport now face Bashley in the third round of the Wessex League Cup.

Newport: Streeter, Hughes, Lamb, Przepolewski, Pearce, Barron, Kelly, Reynolds (Wright), Butcher (Cousins), Browne (capt), Younie (Craig)

Referee: A Wright

Attendance: 127

Ringwood Town 2 Newport 5

Newport travelled to Ringwood on a very wet Saturday afternoon, keen to continue with their fast paced attacking football and were not to be disappointed in the end.

The Ringwood pitch was in excellent condition with a good grass covering ensuring the game went ahead.

Newport fielded one change to the side that overcame East Cowes Vics on Tuesday, Joe Craig making way for Joe Butcher to return to the starting line up.

Newport pressed from the start, Josh Younie and Connor Kelly having early efforts not quite hitting the target. Ringwood had a couple of early chances from out wide as the ball skidded across the Newport goalmouth and when a corner flashed across the face of goal.

On 20 minutes the Port thought they had taken the lead when Jordan Browne’s diving header found the back of the net only for the assistant to raise his flag for what must have been a marginal offside.

The first goal was coming and on 27 minutes it was Jordan Browne who was to claim it. A big appeal went up for a penalty as the ball appeared to hit a defenders arm but play continued and the Port’s centre forward stole the ball and sidefooted it into the net.

The Port were on the rise now and only an excellent save by the home keeper stopped Browne adding to his total by palming over a header bound for the top corner. It was now wave after wave of Newport attack but the stubborn Ringwood defence were just managing to keep Newport at bay. A second Newport goal came just before half time, Joe Butcher receiving the ball on the edge of the box ran through and drove the ball into the net off the inside of the post.

HT: Ringwood Town 0 Newport 2

Newport continued the second half where they had left off and were attacking Ringwood at will. On 50 minutes it was 3-0 following an Alec Przepolewski free kick that crashed against the post, Scott Barron was there to knock in the rebound. Five minutes later the game appeared to be all but over as Joe Butcher received the ball on the edge of the box and drove it past the Ringwood keeper. Shortly after Joe Butcher was denied his hat trick with a good save by the under pressure home goalie.

Ryan Hughes took a knock to his back and was replaced by Spike Pearce.

As the game moved up to and past the 70 minute mark Ringwood Town had two chances which striker Ryan Hamm managed to put both away with aplomb. Suddenly at 4-2 Ringwood were back in the game when they had looked to be beaten and out. Andy Sampson took off Jake Wright and replaced him with Jacob Reynolds to give a more defensive formation.

Newport settled their nerves and started creating chances again Connor Kelly going close and Scott Barron bringing another good save out of the keeper. Finally in the 83rd minute Connor Kelly received the ball on the left hand edge of the box, cut in and drilled the ball across the keeper and into the back of the net. At 5-2 that was to be the end of the Ringwood revival as Newport saw time out to the final whistle.

Newport: Streeter, Hughes (Pearce), Lamb , Prezpolewski ,McDonough ,Barron , Kelly , Wright (Reynolds) ,Butcher , Browne , Younie.

Newport Reserves were also on the mainland travelling toTidworth to play Salisbury Development in the John Stimson Memorial Shield.

In a close game that was 0-0 at halftime their Premier League opponents proved stronger in the second half coming out 2-0 winners.

East Cowes Vics 0 Newport 3

Newport fielded an unchanged side to the one that had beaten Verwood Town 5-3 on Saturday.

Newport’s first good chance came in the 14th minute, when Jake Wright was unlucky to see his curling effort from the left of the penalty area skim off the Vics crossbar.

In the 26th minute, Jordan Browne had a powerful shot deflected for a corner by Vics skipper, Ryan Gregory.

This provoked a further flurry of attacks from the ‘away’ side, with Connor Kelly putting in some pinpoint crosses that deserved better finishing.

On the half hour mark, a Connor Kelly cross found Scott Barron unmarked in the middle of the penalty area, but the youngster somehow contrived to head wide when it appeared easier to score.

Against the run of play, Vics could have gone in front on 31 minutes, when a long, high ball to the back post was brilliantly headed back across goal, only for the unmarked Jordan Chapman to blast the ball wide.

Jake Wright was then presented with a second opportunity to put himself on the scoresheet when his head made contact with an inch-perfect Connor Kelly cross, but he directed his header down into the turf and up over the crossbar.

Half time: East Cowes Vics 0-0 Newport IW

The second half began with a rare scoring opportunity for Vics when a Ryan Gregory header drifted just over the crossbar.

It took until the 66th minute for the Port to convert their numerous chances into goals when a superb Joe Craig pass found the excellent Connor Kelly in the penalty area, who made no mistake as he direct the ball with pinpoint accuracy past Steinborne-Busse into the far corner of the goal.

The Port doubled their lead in the 81st minute when a Mark Taylor corner was met by the head of Scott Barron from where it flew past a huddle of defenders and landed in the back of the goal.

Newport added a third two minutes from time, when an excellent through ball by Connor Kelly found the feet of Joe Butcher for the former Vics stalwart to send a low shot past Steinborne-Busse to complete the comprehensive victory for the ‘away’ side.

Full time: East Cowes Vics 0-3 Newport IW

Newport: Streeter, Hughes, Lamb, Przespolewski (Reynolds 80), McDonough (c), Barron, Kelly, Wright (Taylor 70), Younie (Butcher 69), Browne, Craig.

Subs not used: McCormack, Pearce 

Attendance: 300

Report: Warren Whitmore

Newport 5 Verwood Town 3

Newport 5-3 Verwood Town

The Port win an entertaining and high scoring game against opposition which, despite conceding five goals, never gave up.

Two weeks ago, Newport travelled to Dorset and, despite twice taking the lead, only managed to come away with a 2-2 draw. Five goals, however, proved too great a target for the Potters to match, although, to their credit, they made a game attempt to do so.

The Port made one change to starting line-up that had faced Calne Town in the FA Vase a week previously, with Josh Younie starting in place of Joe Butcher. Spike Pearce and Jacob Reynolds both returned from their respective suspensions and were named as substitutes.

The home side began the game strongly when Joe Craig sent a beautiful through ball to Josh YOUNIE, who dispatched a low shot past Verwood keeper, Tom Rose, from the right side of the penalty area after just six minutes.

However, the pattern of the previous fixture in Dorset was to continue on the Isle of Wight, with Verwood matching the Port goal-for-goal. Just four minutes later, largely against the run-of-play, an unmarked Matt VINING converted a low cross from five yards.

The Port were to restore their lead in the 14th minute when an Alek PRZEPOLEWSKI free kick on the edge of the Potter’s penalty area took a wicked deflection that wrong-footed Verwood keeper, Tom Rose.

Incredibly, the Potters continued to match the Port’s efforts and, sure enough, three minutes later, the Dorset side were themselves awarded a free kick on the edge of the Newport penalty area, in which a Diop EVANS strike took a deflection off the wall and past a despairing Gary Streeter.

The Port nearly took the lead in the 28th minute when Connor Kelly had a goal disallowed. However, there was no mistake when, in the 34th minute, Jordan BROWNE converted a cross from Connor Kelly from five yards out.

The Port then went into half time with a two-goal advantage when Connor KELLY pounced on a Jordan Browne rebound to head home from a couple of yards in front of the goal line.

Half-time: Newport 4-2 Verwood Town

The second half continued in much the same manner as the first: an open, entertaining game dominated by the home side in which the visitors always looked dangerous and capable of scoring themselves.

The Potters got back into the game in the 61st minute after an uncharacteristic blunder by Gary Streeter, who failed to hold a cross, leaving Harry ELSOM to divert the ball into the back of the net from the far post.

Three minutes later, Matt Vining forced a good save from Gary Streeter which, were it not for the veteran keeper’s agility, would have put the Potters on level terms.

The Port then had an opportunity to restore their two-goal advantage in the 73rd minute when Jordan Browne shot over the crossbar from ten yards.

It was Joe CRAIG who finally put the game beyond the reach of the visitors in the 84th minute with a five-yard strike after some good work in the build up from Jordan Browne.

Full time: Newport 5-3 Verwood Town

Newport: Streeter, Hughes, Lamb, Przepolewski (Pearce 80), McDonough, Barron, Kelly, Wright (Taylor 74), Younie (Butcher 68), Browne, Craig

Attendance: 116

Referee: Jordan McRitchie


Newport Reserves drew 2-2 with Fawley Reserves at Cowes Enterprise College. Having gone behind 2-0 in the first half, the second string once again showed great determination to fight back with two goals from substitute Keir Ramage. Former Newport striker Danny Gibbons played against the Port but could not get on the scoresheet.

Newport A team found the going tough away to Seaview where they went down 7-0. Most players are in their teens and this is their first season of mens football. They are learning all the while and we have seen how our reserves have improved once they become accustomed to adult football.

Newport 2 Calne Town 2 (Penalties 5-3)

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

Attendance: 151

Photo by Broonpics Sports Photography

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.


Newport 0 Andover New Street 2

Newport lose to a well-organized Andover New Street side in their first Wessex League One fixture of the 2020/21 campaign.

The Port had come into the game having been unbeaten in their five pre-season fixtures. Up until Saturday, they were unbeaten in all their 2020 matches.
The Port put out a strong side for their opening game, including the returning Joe Butcher, who was in the starting line up and other new signings, George Turner and Alek Przespolewski, who were on the substitutes bench. Spike Pearce and Liam Triggs were both unavailable.

The Street started brightly, putting the home side under pressure with a series of high balls, forcing a succession of corners. The visitors were unlucky not to have taken the lead when the ball cannoned off Gary Streeter’s crossbar in the opening exchanges. The Andover team were to take the lead in the 15th minute, when their striker Ally McCracken shot into the Port goal from five yards out, after the ball had spilled from Gary Streeter’s grasp.

The Port also had their chances, but failed to convert any of them, the closest hitting the bar. Their best chance came shortly before the break, when flying full back, Ryan Hughes, broke through after beating a Street defender, but had his shot blocked by Sean O’Brien in the Andover goal.

HT Newport IW 0-1 Andover New Street

The visiting side once again began the half brightly, with Oliver Yates and Shane Lock both shooting wide. Then the Port came back into the game, having their best spell of the match. Connor Kelly shot just past the post, Jordan Browne had a shot stopped by the Andover keeper from a few yards out and then shooting wide from a promising position. Gary Streeter then kept the Port in the game with a good save from a strike by Shane Lock.
The shape of the game completely changed in the 60th minute, when Andover midfielder, Lex Dockree, made a lunging challenge on Jacob Reynolds. There then followed a round of MMA as the pair tussled on the ground finally rising to their feet to square up to each other. After extensive consultations with the linesman, both players were awarded red cards by referee, Lee Nowacki.

The Port went further behind through a 64th minute goal by Shane Lock and were lucky not to be trailing by three goals when an Andover free kick cannoned off Gary Streeter’s crossbar a few minutes later.

Andy Sampson threw on his substitutes in the 75th minute, with Jake Wright, George Turner and Jared Cousins replacing Joe Butcher, Joe Craig and Neo Lamb. Although all three subs put in bright cameo performances, they were unable to change the shape of the game. With three minutes of the game remaining, Jordan Browne came closest to scoring for the Port, but had his effort blocked by the legs of Sean O’Brien in the Street goal.

The Port will be disappointed not to have got on the scoresheet but Sean O’Brien in the New Street goal had an excellent game.

FT: Newport IW 0-2 Andover New Street

Newport: Streeter, Hughes, Lamb (Wright), Reynolds, McDonough (captain), Barron, Kelly, Craig (Turner), Butcher (Cousins), Browne, Taylor

Referee: Lee Nowacki

Attendance: 137

Shanklin Friendlies

Newport sent two sides over to Shanklin on Saturday in the last friendlies before the respective league seasons take off.

The Port’s first team took the lead in their match on 27 minutes when Joe Butcher curled the ball over the keeper into the top corner to score his first goal since returning to the club.

Both teams were intent in attacking and Shanklin had their share of the attempts on goal. Neither team were able finish off any more chances in the half and the Port took a 1-0 lead into the half time break.

Shanklin came out on the attack in the second half and from a corner former Newport player Kyle Drew connected sweetly with the ball and volleyed through the crowded penalty area to score.

Both sides had their share of attempts to win the game but the match fizzled out to a 1-1 draw.

Newport reserves proved to be too strong for their opponents and ran out 4-0 winners with teenage striker Flynn McCabe getting a hat trick and Ollie MacArthur scoring direct from a corner.

All in all a pleasant afternoon in the sunshine, a decent pitch and welcoming facilities and hosts.