Match Report -

Match Report - , by Roger Allen

Whitchurch United v Newport IoW 10/11/18

Whitchurch United 0 Newport IoW 1

DESPITE the heavy rain which fell before kick off the pitch at Longmeadow was in excellent condition and happily there was little further rain during the ensuing ninety minutes as the north of the County seemed to certainly fare better than Southampton on the meteorological front. On the afternoon though the Islanders will have had little concern with the weather, being happier at the end with three points despite losing their goalkeeper at the halfway mark. Both sides kept the game in midfield in the opening stages though the visitors were a little fortunate when keeper Gary Streeter dallied on the ball and escaped with a goal kick before his side scored with the first real attack of the game after just nine minutes. A clearance down the right found Jared Cousins in acres of space, the cross was low and accurate and the ball turned in to the net from the edge of the six yard area by Liam TRIGGS.

It was nearly two as a shot from Joe Craig skimmed the far post and after the home side’s Corey Cherrett was too high after a determined run, Lewis Wright at the other end saw a free kick acrobatically tipped over the bar by home keeper Josh Cotton. The keeper then clung on to another Cousin’s cross after a neat move down the right and the Islander’s speed on the break was evident all afternoon. The home side came back with Streeter denying Aaron Randall with a challenge on the edge of his area and then saving a Cherrett shot low to his left before Newport fashioned two more chances as the half drew to a close. Craig fired over – a miss in reality – before a corner was cleared off the line with Cotton fumbling the follow up before clawing the ball back from the line. The reaction of the Newport players suggested it had crossed the line but there was no response from the assistant referee so just one goal separated the sides at the break. HT 0-1

Newport keeper Gary Streeter had suffered an injury some ten minutes before half time, continuing in obvious discomfort, but did not come out for the second half with Lewis Wright – not the tallest member of the side – donning the jersey. The first Newport attack after the re-start was halted by the offside flag, fortunately perhaps for the home side as Cotton looked to have handled the ball outside his area, but Whitchurch began to have more of the possession with two corners in quick succession bringing little reward. Gray then showed superb control in bringing down a through ball only to pull his shot across the face of the goal and past the far post.

Wright at the other end occasionally showed some eccentric handling but saved well from Gray and did even better in blocking the follow up and was backed throughout the half by his defence, whilst the pace and ability of Craig and Louie Fleming to carry and retain the ball more than helped to frustrate the home side whose attacks too often petered out on the edge of the penalty area. Craig could and perhaps should have made the game safe when he outpaced the defence and avoided Cotton’s desperate challenge only to lift the ball over the bar and the home side came closest to an equaliser when a Nick Yeomans effort from some thirty yards struck the corner of post and bar but the half, and game, finished with Cotton leaving his area again to deny the speedy Craig.

Whitchurch may feel that in terms of possession they deserved something from the game but the yellow shirted visitors always looked the more dangerous up front, while the home side failed to apply any real pressure on the substitute goalkeeper. The journey back to the Island in probably fairly awful weather was no doubt made a little more palatable by the result and the three points. FT 0-1 (John Gorman)