Scott Sampson taking control. Photos: Simon Dear

PORT’S LATE PUSH FOR PROMOTION GAINS MOMENTUM

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Photo: Simon Dear

Newport IW FC’s 9 games unbeaten run has now taken them to within 6 points of a promotion place in Wessex League One after a comprehensive 2-0 victory against Whitchurch United.

Port made 3 changes to the side that had won emphatically 7-0 at Folland Sports a fortnight previously: Harrison Yates replaced Liam Triggs at right-back, Scott Sampson took the place of Spike Pearce in central defence and Jared Cousins came in for the suspended Mark Taylor on the right wing.

The Island side began on the front foot, attacking right from the off. The first chance fell to Jared Cousins, who missed a sitter on the goal line as early as the 4th minute after a cross from Connor Kelly.

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The Port took the lead in the 7th minute, when the in form Joe Craig sent a powerful header from the middle of the penalty area flying past Konrad Szymaniak in the Whitchurch United goal after another incisive cross from Connor Kelly. Jordan Browne came close to adding a second in the 16th minute when he gad a shot saved off the line by a Whitchurch defender, after which flying full back Ryan Hughes had his attempt blocked.

For the remainder of the first half, the Jam Boys laboured in vain for an equaliser. A composed Newport defence soaked up the pressure to reach half time with a goal advantage over their North Hampshire visitors.

HT: Newport IW 2-0 Whitchurch United

The second half continued in much the same manner as the first, with the Jam Boys having plenty of possession and territorial advantage, but unable to provide a real threat to Gary Streeter in the Newport goal. The Port appeared far sharper up front, with Connor Kelly a constant thorn in the side of the Whitchurch defence and centre forward Jordan Browne showing some deft touches.

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In the 56th minute, Browne came close to scoring, after showing some skillful control in the Whitchurch penalty area, following which his flying kick was parried by Szymaniak in the Whitchurch goal. The North Hampshire visitors came closest to scoring in the 57th minute, when a misplaced Scott Barron back header forced Gary Streeter into making an acrobatic save.

In the 67th minute, Jacob Reynolds saw a shot-cum-cross fisted onto the crossbar by Szymaniak, following which Scott Barron saw his header fly past the Whitchurch post from the resulting corner.

The second goal for the Port came in the 75th minute from livewire winger, Connor Kelly. First, Kelly saw a powerful shot rebound off the Whitchurch crossbar. Then, he lobbed the ball over a flailing Szymaniak to give the home side a decisive two goal advantage.

Little of note happened in the final 15 minutes, other than the appearance of Flyn McCabe as substitute, yet another debut for a promising 16-year-old in Newport colours.

FT: Newport IW 2-0 Whitchurch United

Newport: Streeter, Hughes, H Yates, Reynolds (Wright), McDonough, Sampson, Kelly, Barron, Craig, Browne, Cousins (McCabe)

Newport’s win leaves them in 7th position in Wessex League One, having taken 23 points out of a possible 27 over their last 9 games.

On Tuesday 25th February, the Port face Fawley at Beatrice Avenue weather permitting. Kick-off is at 19:45. Victory for the Island side could take them to within 3 points of the promotion positions. A full match report will appear on Island Echo.

 

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