Photo by Peter Westhorpe


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Photo by Graham Brown

Newport IW FC ran riot in Saturday’s game against a weak New Milton side – and could have achieved a double-digit score.

Newport fielded an unchanged side to the one that had managed an impressive 3-1 victory away to New Milton Town the previous Saturday. Winger Connor Kelly put in a particularly impressive performance, running the New Milton defence ragged and scoring a second-half hat trick.

The first chance fell to New Milton in the first minute of the game, when, after some sloppy defending, Gary Streeter was forced to block a close-range effort with his feet. However, having been called into action right at the very start of the game, the veteran goalkeeper was a spectator for the rest of the half.

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Port broke the deadlock as early as the 4th minute when Ryan Hughes went on a twisting run, put the ball through to Jordan Browne, who then managed to squeeze it past the New Milton keeper give the home side a 1-0 advantage.

The rest of the half was the Connor Kelly show, as the in-form winger appeared to have a hand in every goal and scoring opportunity. In the 10th minute, Kelly had a good effort fisted over the
New Milton crossbar. In the 14th minute, Kelly crossed the ball across the New Milton goal line, but Jordan Browne was unable to reach the ball to score a tap in. In the 16th minute, Kelly once
again burst into the New Milton penalty area, but had his shot blocked by New Milton keeper, Rob Beck.

In the 18th minute, Newport were forced to make an early substitution, when Joe Craig replaced Jared Cousins, who had taken a knock on an old injury and was forced off.

Photo by Peter Westhorpe

The Port doubled their lead in the 26th minute, when Connor Kelly rounded the New Milton keeper, but was unable to control the ball sufficiently to score himself. The ball eventually fell to Lewis Wright, who gathered a rebound on the edge of the box, then curled the ball around the keeper and into the back of the net.

There was no let-up for the hard-pressed New Milton defence. In the 37th minute, substitute Joe Craig dribbled through a packed penalty area and drove the ball past Rob Beck in the New Milton goal, to make the score 3-0 to the Port. Then, in the 40th minute, Newport wing-back, Ryan Hughes, went on a mazy run before dispatching the ball across the box, just missing the outstretched leg of Connor Kelly.

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Finally, just before half-time, Newport were to go 4-0 up, when Scott Sampson got on the end of a loose ball in the box and headed a looping header over the keeper and into the net.

HT: Newport 4-0 New Milton Town

Within 2 minutes of the restart, Newport had increased their lead, when who other than Connor Kelly picked up the ball on the halfway line, raced past the New Milton players, and shot straight past Rob Beck in the New Milton goal to make the score 5-0.

New Milton then made a rare foray into the Newport half and almost pulled a goal back when a free-kick from Sam White caught Gary Streeter off his line, but the crossbar came to his rescue.

In the 61st minute, Connor Kelly played Jacob Reynolds on with an exquisite backheel, but Reynolds failed to make the most of the opportunity. The electric pace of Connor Kelly continued to cause problems for the New Milton defence, when.a low drilled cross just missed the outstretched boot of Jordan Browne.

In the 66th minute, Connor Kelly picked up an interception by Jacob Reynolds just outside the New Milton penalty area, ran through and rounded the goalkeeper to shoot into an empty net to
make the score 6-0 to the Port.

There then followed a bizarre substitution for New Milton, when their manager, the rotund figure of 46-year-old Nigel Green, came on for the injured Joe Turner. The introduction of himself onto
the field of play proved to be a masterstroke for the New Milton manager, as just a minute later the away side pulled a goal back when Joe Petty shot through a crowded goalmouth to make the score 6-1 and reduce the New Milton deficit to a mere 5 goals.

Photo by Graham Brown

However, hopes of a New Milton comeback proved in vain, as the Port continues to harry the beleaguered New Milton defence. In the 76th minute, Joe Craig brought off a good save from the New Milton keeper. In the 78th minute, Jordan Browne dispossessed a New Milton Town defender on the edge of the away side’s area but then had his shot blocked by the overworked Joe Beck. Then, Joe Craig lobbed over the crossbar in the 80th minute, and Neo Lamb had a strong shot saved by the busy away team’s keeper in the 81st.

Connor Kelly was bizarrely yellow carded for time-wasting in the 84th minute, which only encouraged him to complete his hat-trick a minute later. Kelly made a powerful run, taking him past a defender and the keeper to tap in from close range and give the Port an emphatic 7-1 victory.

FT: Newport 7-1 New Milton Town
Newport: Streeter, Hughes, Lamb, Reynolds (Taylor 67), McDonough, Sampson, Kelly, Pearce, Cousins (Craig 18), Browne, L Wright (J Wright 62). Unused subs: Ram, H Yates.

After the match, Newport manager, Andy Sampson, understandably expressed his pleasure with his side’s performance. He said:

“We played well and took our chances. Our work rate was superb. However, we mustn’t get complacent, and we have to keep our feet on the ground. There are no easy games, and our next opponents, Romsey Town, are a good side, who might create chances against us.”

Newport’s 3rd successive victory leaves them in 8th position in Wessex League One, 10 points behind the promotion places, but with games in hand. On Saturday, 18th January, the Port face
Romsey Town at Beatrice Avenue, kick-off 15:00.

The other Island Wessex League One team, third-from-bottom East Cowes Vics, lost Saturday’s game against 6th placed Bemerton Heath Harlequins 5-1 at Moon Park in Salisbury. Jimmi Burton was the Vics scorer. This Saturday, 18th January, Vics travel across the Solent to play second-from-bottom Totton & Eling, in a ‘must-win’, 6 pointer scenario.

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