Newport comfortably beat their Island rivals on Saturday (December 29) in front of a bumper Christmas holiday crowd of 264 – scoring twice as well as twice hitting the crossbar – in what had been hailed as the biggest league match at Beatrice Avenue for close on thirty years.
Newport had the first clear chance in the eleventh minute after burly striker Jared Wetherick had been bundled over just outside the penalty area, with former Vics striker, Jordan Browne, striking the crossbar from the resulting free kick.
Then, in the 38th minute, a Scott Sampson clearance found Liam TRIGGS clear of a flat-footed Vics defence, the Port midfielder shooting powerfully past the advancing Karl Steinbourne-Busse in the Vics goal to give the away side a 0–1 advantage.
Port did not have a monopoly of the first-half chances: their former player, Vics captain, Joe Butcher, shooting across the face of the goal in the 5th minute and just over the crossbar in the 27th.
Fortunately, what had been a predicted to be a fiery encounter, saw no sendings off. However, young Newport defender, Neo Lamb, was booked shortly before halftime for a ferocious, crunching, mistimed tackle.
Vics began the second half strongly but lacked that special something to bring about an equalizing goal. Their best chance came in the 55th minute, when a Jordan Chapman shot had McCormack, in the Newport goal, struggling.
In the 65th minute, Liam Triggs was brought down as he attempted to weave his way through the Vics defence. The excellent Conor Kelly then sent a magnificent, curling free-kick crashing against the Vics crossbar for the second time in the game.
Vics captain, Joe Butcher, was again in the thick of the action in the 55th minute, when he forced Port ‘keeper McCormack to stop his looping shot at full-stretch.
The game was wrapped up for Port in the 75th minute, when Mark TAYLOR placed a well-taken low shot past the Vics ‘keeper, to make the final score 0–2 to Port.
After the match, Newport manager, Andy Sampson, declared himself “pleased with the performance.” He added that, “you never know what will happen in derby games.” Sampson was particularly impressed with the performance of the sixteen-year-old fullbacks, Ryan Hughes and Neo Lamb.
For Vics, manager Steve Brougham said he was “disappointed to lose”, but that he would “take it on the chin”. He had “no complaints about the result”, but was pleased his side “didn’t throw the towel in”. He thought that what had made the difference between the two sides was the influence of some of the more experienced players in the Newport team, such as Scott Sampson, Martin McDonagh and Jared Wetherick.
The victory leaves Newport three points ahead of East Cowes Vics in the Wessex League One table. Port now lie in ninth position, and Vics are thirteenth.
In the Wessex Premier, the Island’s leading side, Cowes Sports ended the festive season with something of a hangover, losing 1–3 at Westwood Park to Baffins Milton Rovers, in front of a healthy home crowd of 138.
Rovers went a goal up after just three minutes through Rob Taw, and then went on to hit the post, but the Yachtsmen hung on to keep the score to 0–1 at half-time.
Gareth BRICKNELL then equalised for the home side early in the second half before Tommy Tierney and Tommy Leigh made the game safe for the visitors from Portsmouth, the goals coming in the 60th and 85th minutes.
After their defeat, Cowes Sports now lie in 18th position in the Premiership table.