This Saturday the Port are to play their home game 40 miles from the county town of the Isle of Wight in Verwood, Dorset.

The official reason the club has given for the switch (which was decided last week) was a potentially ‘waterlogged pitch’ at Smallbrook. With most pitch inspections taking place on the morning of the game itself, reversing the fixture a week in advance is a highly unusual move. The club has, however, generously offered free transport to up to 20 supporters willing to travel to the mainland to follow their team.

As to the game itself, Newport currently lies in 4th place in Wessex League 1 and are in excellent form having been unbeaten since 27th November. Newport trounced a strong Downton side 7-1 last Saturday. Their opponents, Verwood Town, are 9th and lost their last game 5-0 away to Romsey Town in midweek.

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Newport co-manager, Stewart Shepherd, said:

“We are hoping to carry on from where we left of after last Saturday’s game against Downton. Again, we will be having a full squad to select from apart from Neo Lamb who’s away for the weekend. Myself and Steve will be looking for the lads to put in the same work rate and effort with and without the ball as they did last Saturday; which I thought was the best I have seen from the squad this season. If they do this, we will give ourselves the best chance to come away with 3 points.”

In the only Wessex League game to be played on the Isle of Wight this Saturday, 17th-placed East Cowes Vics face 11th-placed New Milton Town at Beatrice Avenue. Last Saturday, Vics ended a miserable run of 5 successive defeats by drawing 0-0 away to Ringwood Town.

Vics manager Richie Woodburn said:

“New Milton are a good side with strength in depth. We saw that in the run New Milton had in the FA Vase. However, that run ended with their defeat at Brockenhurst last weekend, and we are hoping they are feeling hungover from their loss. We stopped the rot with a draw last week and hope to go one better this time.”

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In the Wessex Premier, 16th-placed Cowes Sports travel to Dorset to face 19th-placed Bournemouth.

Manager Max Draper said:

“We are most definitely heading into Saturday’s game in better spirits than previous weeks. We have had a good week’s training since a better performance against Alresford, which we were unlucky not to win. We can’t and won’t take anyone lightly in this league. League position is irrelevant and as results show in recent fixtures across the league, anything can happen. Bournemouth is a tough place to go, and they will be eager to give a good account of themselves.

“We go into the game a couple short again with work commitments and COVID still showing its unwanted face again. But we will take a squad that can win – if they perform to their best levels. However, as we know, it’s about taking the right mindset to the game and putting our plans into action.”

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Saturday sees 6 Isle of Wight Division 1 sides – Binstead, Bembridge, Brading, Oakfield, Ryde Saints and Shanklin – compete for a place in the quarter finals of the Isle of Wight Gold Cup, where they will be drawn against either one of the Wessex League sides or Division 1 champions Whitecroft & Barton. West Wight have already reached the last 8 of the competition after beating Sandown 1-2 last Saturday.

Please note that the Ryde derby between Saints and Oakfield will be taking place on the ‘waterlogged’ Smallbrook stadium pitch.

UPDATE SATURDAY – A number of games have been postponed…

Harwoods Dacia IOW Senior Cup 2nd Round
Ryde Saints v Oakfield
The Unison IOW Junior B Cup 1st Round
Yarmouth & Calbourne Reserves v AFC Wootton Reserves
Harwoods Renault Division 2
East Cowes Sports v High Park
Ventnor v Adgestone
Harwoods Renault Combination 2
Bembridge ‘A’ v Pan Community
Information correct as at 10:00 Saturday, 22nd January.

Wessex League fixtures for Saturday 22nd January 2022

Premier Division Bournemouth v Cowes Sports (15:00)

Division 1: East Cowes Vics v New Milton Town (15.00) Newport IoW v Verwood Town (14.00)

Isle of Wight fixtures for Saturday 22nd January 2022

All fixtures to kick-off at 14:00 unless otherwise shown

Harwoods Dacia Isle of Wight Senior Cup 2nd Round: Bembridge v Brading Town; Ryde Saints v Oakfield; Shanklin v Binstead & COB

The Andy Butler Sports Ground Specialist Isle of Wight Memorial Cup 2nd Round: Pan Community v East Cowes Vics Reserves

The Unison IOW Junior B Cup 1st Round: Carisbrooke United Reserves v East Cowes Sports Reserves; Yarmouth & Calbourne Reserves v AFC Wootton Reserves

Harwoods Renault IOW Saturday League Division 1: Cowes Sports Reserves v Whitecroft & Barton; Sandown & Lake v Niton Community; Vectis v West Wight; No Fixture: Northwood St Johns

Harwoods Renault IOW Saturday League Division 2: East Cowes Sports v High Park; Newchurch v AFC Wootton; Osborne Coburg v Newport Reserves; Seaview v Yarmouth & Calbourne; Ventnor v Adgestone; Wroxall v Carisbrooke United

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

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The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
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4 months ago

The people in charge of Newport (IW) FC are a complete joke.
Money money money, where has the money gone from the sale of there ground at st.georges.
They should have never left church litten. Maybe the f.a. should take a little look into there accounts ledgers from the past 40 years ? ( Smells a bit fishey to me ).

Wight Observer
Wight Observer
4 months ago

Newport are in a huge mess.
There are rumours starting about player unrest too
So sad

Norman Snapp
Norman Snapp
4 months ago

There’s been unexplained water getting to the Smallbrook pitch for about five weeks now and today outside the ground the water main bursts.Has it been leaking for some time ?

Last edited 4 months ago by Norman Snapp

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