Newport – without a game since 18th December – were able to put out a full squad for the visit of Downton on Saturday: a side that had beaten them 2-0 in the corresponding fixture earlier in the season.

The Port caused problems for the visiting side right from the very start of the game. Their first goal came in the 5th minute after Joe Butcher played a perfect ball in for Connor, who burst through the defence and slotted home (1-0). 4 minutes later, a Josh Younie free kick just outside the penalty area saw Joe Craig add a 2nd byfollowing up the initial goal attempt from close range(2-0).

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Downton then stepped up a gear, pulling a goal back from a Sam Howe free kick (2-1) that bobbled past Port keeper Joe McCormack then pushing relentlessly for an equaliser. Newport looked momentarily rocked after their positive start.

The balance of the game then turned yet again, with Newport back on top and pushing to put the game beyond Downton’s reach. First, Joe Craig saw a shot on goal covered well by the keeper, then a Joe Butcherstrike went just wide of goal before Joe Craig again forced another good save. Connor Kelly saw a powerfulshot deflected over the crossbar before some good link up play between him and Josh Younie put him through for his 2nd goal: a great strike from the tightest of angles from the right of goal on 34 minutes (3-1).

HT: Newport IoW 3-1 Downton


The Island side started the 2nd half in much the same manner as they had started the 1st, with Joe Craig forcing a low save from the Robins keeper, who at this stage was all that was keeping Downton in this game. Then, on 59minutes, Connor Kelly took off down the right and crossed neatly for Jordan to bury the ball in the back of the net (4-1).

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At the other end of the pitch, Newport stood resolute: Liam Triggs, Aaron Burford, Ryan Hughes, and Joe Hancock were all outstanding, with Spike Pearce looking as solid as a rock, effortlessly intercepting ball after ball. With less than 10 minutes to go, substitute Jake Wright played through the sweetest of balls to Connor Kelly for him to bag his hat-trick (5-1). Spike Pearce headed in a Connor Kelly corner 2 minutes later (6-1). The Port’s 7th came with the final kick of the game when Jake Wright set up Jordan Browne for the centre forward to seal an emphatic victory by knockingthe ball over the prostrate Robins keeper (7-1).

FT: Newport IoW 7-1 Downton

Newport IoW: McCormack, Hughes, Hancott, Burford (McDonough (65)), Pearce, Triggs, Kelly, Younie, Browne (c), Craig (Wright (75)), Butcher (Harper (78))Subs not used: Lamb, Reynolds

Video by Robert Lunn

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After the game, Newport co-manager Stewart Shepherd said:

“This was the best team performance I’ve seen this year with a great work rate, considering we haven’t played for a month. It wasn’t that Downton were poor – we were really up for it.”

Newport’s win leaves them in 4th place in Wessex League 1 with 50 points from 22 games. 4 points behind leaders Bemerton but with a game in hand. The Port are currently the leading scorers in the division with a total of 78 goals.

The Port’s off-field troubles appear far from resolved with their next “home” game being played at Verwood, Dorset, on 22nd January. Island Echo will attempt to keep supporters informed of times and venues of future Newport fixtures in our Friday football previews.

Report compiled with kind assistance of Jenny Holmes


Wessex Premier: Cowes Sports 1-1 Alresford Town

In the Yachtsmen’s last game against Shaftesbury on 3rd January, Cowes Sports lost 0-1 to Shaftesbury despite Connor Furmidge and John McKie both hitting the woodwork in a strong 2nd half performance.

This Saturday, the Yachtsmen somehow contrived to hit the woodwork on 5 occasions (John McKie X2, Gareth Bricknell X2 and Jake Watson) yet only managed to draw against mid-table Alresford Town at Westwood Park.

Alresford took the lead in the 60th minute against the run of play with a James Parker-Trott goal that the home bench claimed should have been ruled offside. The Yachtsmen then equalized in the 78th minute through a John McKie penalty after Jimmy Mumford had been brought down in the penalty area.

Cowes Sports: Hatt, White, Malcolmson, Cranwell. Watson, Flux, Mumford, Bricknell. Furmidge, McKie, Nash Subs: Coode, Fillips, Sexton, Conway, Ricketts

After the game, manager Max Draper said:

“The game was great end-to-end stuff. Our keeper Ed Hatt did excellently. But we could have gone further with all the chances we had.”

The draw leaves Cowes Sports in 16th place in the Wessex Premier with 26 points from 24 games.


Wessex League 1: Ringwood Town 0-0 East Cowes Vics

The game between Ringwood Town and East Cowes Vics finished as a goalless stalemate despite plenty of chances falling to both sides’ profligate strikers.

Vics manager Richie Woodburn said:

“This was the most exciting and nerve-wracking 0-0 draw I’ve ever watched. The officials let the game flow. We could just as easily have won or lost 10-0. I’m lost for words.

“Both keepers had great games, and both sets of strikers poor ones. For our side, Harrison Yates, Conor Lyon, Jordan Chapman, and Brandon Hayward all had gilt-edged chances. Toby Snow could have had a hat trick when he came on in the 60th minute.”

The most remarkable miss of the game was by Ringwood Town’s No 11 Harrison Fay who – with the Ringwood bench already celebrating their side taking the lead – somehow contrived to kick the ball wide of a completely empty goal from close to the penalty spot after a miskick from Vics keeper Alex Ram.

The draw leaves Vics just above the relegation places in 17th place in Wessex League 1 with 18 points from 23 games.

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