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Newport lift the Gold Cup in 2019 (Photo: Graham Brown)


Newport IW FC play in the Wessex Division 1 Play-Offs final; Shanklin in the Hampshire Trophy final; Pan in the Hampshire Vase final later today (Saturday).

Newport are just 90 minutes away from regaining their Wessex Premier League status. The County Town team will have to overcome Wiltshire opponents Laverstock & Ford at Smallbrook to achieve promotion.

Island Echo has spoken with some football experts on how they assessed the chances of the 2 sides today.

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Dean Rayner (son of legendary W&B manager Steve) was sent on a spying mission to watch Laverstock play Andover New Street in the 1st play-off semi-final by Newport co-manager Steve Brougham on Tuesday. Laverstock won 0-3. Dean said:

“I was very impressed with Laverstock. They are a very good team; they are also on an 11-match winning streak, and credit where credit is due, to a man they were far better than Andover New Street. Laverstock wanted it more and fully deserved it. It has the makings of an absolute cracking final this Saturday.”

Manager of Division 1 Champions Bemerton Heath Harlequins and former Newport player Shaun Hale says:

“Playoffs are always a bit of a lottery. Newport must use home advantage to their favour, and their match winning players need to step up to the big occasion. Laverstock will take some real stopping; I watched them absolutely blow Andover New Street away on Tuesday night, and it could have been more than 3-0. It could go either way, and it’ll come down to whoever wants it the most.”

East Cowes Vics manager Richard Woodburn has said:

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“Both sides are on a superb run of form. But after having played both sides recently, Newport were the stronger and more potent. Home advantage is key for me. Lavvy know how to play their pitch well, inflicting Newport’s last defeat, so all perfectly set!”

The match gets underway at 15:00.

Shanklin face Stoneham Reserves in the final of the Hampshire Trophy at 14:30.

Stoneham are an excellent side, having put paid to Hampshire Trophy holders Brading 3-5 in the semi-final.

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Shanklin manager Paul Haward says:

“Myself and the lads are looking forward to the final on Saturday. We had a good training session on Wednesday night, and we are ready for the game. We expect a very tough game, but feel we are in good form ourselves and hope to go 1 step further and lift the trophy this year.

“We are very aware of how good the opposition is. We had a few lads watch the game against Brading, so we have a bit of info on them.”

241337112 260178269260811 2675906434053640401 NPan Community face tricky opponents St Francis in the Hampshire Vase final – kick off at 11:30.

St Francis have already beaten W&B Reserves and Shanklin Reserves on their way to the final.

Pan coach Josh Davies says:

“With a fantastic opportunity to bag a treble of trophies, we are all looking forward to the final on Saturday. The lads have done the club proud already by reaching the first Hampshire Cup final in club history. With 2 trophies already secured (the league and Junior A) and with promotion back to Division 1, we couldn’t be happier with what they have achieved as a team.

“We have a great squad to choose from and with all players performing so well, it’s going to be a tough decision picking the starting 11. If we turn up and play the football we are capable of, I think we have a very good chance of lifting the cup. But as like all finals, you get no 2nd chances, so we need to be at our very best.”

Pan may face Pedro Miguel Cardoso Monteiro (aka ‘Pele’), who currently coaches the St Francis side. ‘Pele’, now 43 years old, has twice been transferred for a million pounds, first to Southampton, then West Bromwich Albion.

Island Echo spoke with Pele, who claimed he was now a “dinosaur in footballing terms” and that he would allow younger players to take his place on the pitch. The Portuguese player said he thought Pan would be a good side and that he was expecting a tough game, but that he didn’t want to make any predictions about the result.

Fixtures for Saturday 23rd April 2022

All Fixtures to Kick-Off at 14:00 unless otherwise shown

Wessex Division 1 Play Off Final
Newport IW v Laverstock & Ford (15:00)

HFA Saturday Trophy Final
AFC Stoneham Reserves v Shanklin (14:30)

HFA Saturday Vase Final
Pan Community v St Francis (11:30)

Hampshire Trophy and Vase finals to be played at Westleigh Park, home of Havant & Waterlooville FC

The 1st Irish Rifles Memorial Sponsored by Andy Butler Sports Ground Specialist Semi-Final
Cowes Sports Reserves v Brading Town

Harwoods Renault IOW Saturday League Division 1
Oakfield v Niton Community
West Wight v Sandown & Lake
No Fixture: Bembridge; Northwood St Johns; Vectis; Ryde Saints or Whitecroft & Barton Sports

Harwoods Renault IOW Saturday League Division 2
Carisbrooke United v AFC Wootton
East Cowes Vics Reserves v Adgestone
High Park v East Cowes Sports
Yarmouth & Calbourne v Ventnor
No Fixture: Newchurch: Newport Reserves; Osborne Coburg; Seaview; Wroxall:

Harwoods Renault IOW Saturday League Combination Division 1
Brading Town v Ryde Saints
Sandown & Lake v West Wight
Shanklin v Northwood St Johns
No Fixture: Bembridge: Binstead & COB; Oakfield: Osborne Coburg; Whitecroft & Barton Sports

Harwoods Renault IOW Saturday League Combination Division 2
All League Fixtures Have Been Played

Fixtures for Tuesday 26th April & Wednesday 27th April 2022

Evening fixtures to Kick-Off at 18:00 unless otherwise stated

Tuesday 26th April 2022

Harwoods Renault IOW Saturday League Division 1
Bembridge v Shanklin
Cowes Sports Reserves v Sandown & Lake
Oakfield v West Wight

Wednesday 27th April 2022

Harwoods DACIA Senior (Gold) Cup – Semi-Final
Cowes Sports v Whitecroft & Barton Sports – @ East Cowes Vics FC (19:30)

Harwoods Renault IOW Saturday League Division 2
Pan Community v Adgestone
Wroxall v High Park

Harwoods Renault IOW Saturday League Combination Division 1
Brading Town v Shanklin

Isle of Wight fixtures courtesy of IOW DFA

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