The Isle of Wight derby at Beatrice Avenue produced the result most had predicted with Newport – the only Isle of Wight Wessex League side to have won in 2022 ­– cruising to victory.

Both sides had a key player absent for the encounter. Vics were without leading scorer Jimmi Burton – who was injured – and the Port were missing influential winger Connor Kelly through Covid-19. Vics drafted in former W&B player Freddie Knowles as a replacement for their absent centre forward.

In the first action of note, in the 7th minute Vics keeper Alex Ram made a Gordon Banks-style save to keep out a Pele-style header from Joe Craig. The opening 15 minutes were, however, fairly even. Then the Port hit 5 goals in 30 minutes to kill the game as a contest by the time the half time whistle blew.

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Aaron Burford struck the first blow for the Port from a corner in the 17th minute, rising above the Vics defence to head the ball past keeper Ram (1-0). 3 minutes later, the port doubled their lead through a Jordan Browne strike to the top right corner of the goal (2-0). In the 33rd minute, an Aaron Burford cross found Jordan Browne in the penalty area, who touched the ball to Joe Craig, for Joe to send a powerful strike past Ram (3-0).

The Port now appeared to be scoring at will. In the 36th minute, a great move around Vic’s penalty area finally fell at the feet of Aaron Burford, who dispatched a low shot across the goal and into the corner of the net (4-0). Right on half time, Newport made it 5 when Joe Craig received the ball from a corner and passed to Jake Wright, who drilled the ball into the bottom corner of the goal (5-0).

HT: Newport IoW 5-0 East Cowes Vics

Many in the crowd were now expecting the Port to hit double figures in the 2nd half. However, to their credit, Vics returned to the field rejuvenated and with fighting spirit. In the 51st minute, an accurate ball across the Newport penalty area from Liam Newbold picked out Vics striker Toby Snow, who coolly finished from 5 yards (5-1).

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Vics were now looking a different and stronger side and had a very good spell of possession. Toby Snow appeared to have scored again in the 75th minute, but had his goal disallowed for offside.

The game then took a bizarre turn in the 78th minute when Newport captain Martin McDonough made a reckless and needless 2-footed lunge at teenage striker Toby Snow. McDonough –despite vociferously proclaiming his innocence – was dismissed with a straight red.

Newport captain Martin McDonough

10-man Newport then had the final word in the game in the 80th minute when Joe Butcher had his initial shot saved by Ram before knocking in the rebound from a tight angle (6-1).

FT: Newport IoW 6-1 East Cowes Vics

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Newport IoW: McCormack, Hughes, Younie, Burford (Reynolds), McDonough, Pearce, Hancott, Wright (Harper), Browne, Craig (Lamb), Butcher Subs not used: Streeter, Sampson
East Cowes Vics: Ram, Newbold (Marsek), Yates, White, Gregory, Hayward, Chapman, Catania, Knowles, Lyon, Snow Subs: K Woodford, B Woodford, Turner Sherrin

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

“It was a game of 2 halves. Obviously, we had the better of the 1st half, but to their credit Vics came out of the traps and gave a good account of themselves in the 2nd.

Vics manager Richie Woodburn said:

“I think my team must be on summertime. They only turned up an hour after the match had begun.”

The Port’s victory leaves them in 2nd place in Wessex League 1 with 56 points from 24 games, 2 points behind leaders Bemerton but with a game in hand. The county town team have maximum points from their 3 games in 2022, having scored 19 goals at an average of over 6 goals a game.

Vics are in 17th place (just 1 place above the drop zone) with 18 points from 25 games. This Saturday, Vics are scheduled to play Infinity, the side 1 place below them in the table. However, the fixture is unlikely to be fulfilled as groundless Infinity have fallen out with their landlords Hythe & Dibden and have no venue in which to play.

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