Newport goalkeeper Cameron Farley tries to punch the ball away with, from left, Harry Ovnik with Darren Powell behind and Steve Russell defending. Picture by Robin Crossley.
FOOTBALLNewport 2, Christchurch 1
NEWPORT’S revival in the Sydenhams Wessex League Premier Division continued on Saturday with a win over third-placed Christ-church at St George’s Park.
The Port’s home ground has become somewhat of a fortress of late and this edgy and, at times, scrappy match was just the same, as Newport shut down Christchurch’s attacking prowess with good defending and great goalkeeping.
And after the visitors had scuppered a number of chances — striker Ben Osborne the most guilty of the team — Newport made them pay with two goals that kept them in 12th with a solid 53 points.
The game was threatening to be a bit of a bore draw as Newport spoiled Christ-church’s attacks but at the same time failed to provide slick counter-attacking play.
But the breakthrough came just three minutes from half time when, after a period of good pressure, Newport took the lead, when Darren POWELL glanced in a header from close range after a corner.
In the second half, Christchurch should have been level but Osborne’s Torres-style miss left them ruing another wasted opportunity and Newport almost made them pay straight away when on the counter, they earned a free kick. Iain Seabrook’s delightful curling effort hit the crossbar.
There were plenty of celebrations though shortly after when, thanks to a foolish error by the Christchurch goalkeeper, the net was left empty for Mark Augustus to cross to Kyle LEVRIER, who headed in from a yard out.
Christchurch began to throw everything at Newport in an effort to claw back their lead and the Islanders had Cameron Farley to thank for some great saves.
He was let down once by his teammates, as Mark Smith was allowed to run straight past the Newport back line and volley home to make it 2-1, and although Christchurch were all over the hosts in the final minutes to find an equaliser, Newport deservedly held on.
Newport: Farley, Gregory, Oatley, Butt, Ovnik, Russell, Powell, Seabrook, McInnes, Augustus, Levrier. Subs: Stay, Wetherick, Tigwell, Malin, Ricketts.
Bemerton Heath Harlequins 3, Newport 0
Newport’s fine form was curtailed on Monday night with defeat at second-placed Bemerton Heath Harlequins on Monday night.
The match, which was delayed because of an accident on the M27, was always going to be a tough one but with confidence high after a string of good victories, Newport went into the game strongly.
They held Harlequins for 55 minutes before conceding and then, with 15 minutes left, Bemerton doubled their advantage against the run of play. With their heads dropped Newport conceded again before the final whistle to give Harlequins a flattering result.
Newport: Streeter, Tigwell, Russell, Seabrook, Gregory, Butt, Oatley, Powell, Malin, McInnes, Levrier.