PETERSFIELD Town crashed to a comprehensive defeat against Newport (IoW) at Love Lane on Saturday in their first Wessex Division One home game of the season.
Newport, now decamped from East Cowes to Smallbrook, had won their opening game 4-1 against Romsey while Petersfield were looking for their first points having lost 3-2 at Totton & Eling.
The Island side started like an express train as a lovely passing move with Joe Craig, Joe Butcher and Connor Kelly all involved produced a chance for Jacob Reynolds that had to be beaten out by Rams keeper Tim Jackson in the opening minute of the game, with Kelly driving an effort wide.
Newport continued their good start and eventually took the lead. Aaron Burford put in a fine cross from the right to the back stick, where Reynolds sent a firm far-post header across the keeper. Jackson then did well to block a Kelly shot with his legs as the visitors continued to press.
Not much was seen of the Rams in offensive areas until a low Jake Bourton cross to the near post went to Bailey Newbury, but Spike Pearce defended tightly to block his effort and concede a corner.
The hot weather meant there was a drinks break in each half, and that seemed to help the Rams.
Now refreshed and perhaps with a few advisory words received too, the hosts equalised soon afterwards when Ryan Kennedy’s pass found Newbury, who won a challenge with a defender and neatly placed the ball past Newport keeper Gary Streeter.
The Rams weren’t level for long, though, as Jordan Browne found Reynolds and his low ball into the box received a first-time touch from close range by Craig.
Petersfield almost equalised just before half time, but Newbury’s low cross into the box just evaded Rudy Andrew-Knott in the middle.
Newport started the second half well and scored within two minutes as a pinpoint Butcher cross was headed in from close range by Browne.
The visitors soon threatened again, but Burford drove his effort over the crossbar.
The Rams then got a foothold in the game and created a few good opportunities.
In one of their moves Rich Carter found Andrew-Knott, who laid the ball on to Newbury, but his angled shot went past the far post. Carter’s long-range free kick then tested Streeter, but the Newport goalkeeper was up to the task.
Marvin Orepo came off the bench for Petersfield and he injected some more energy into their play down the left-hand side of the pitch. Newport continued to threaten though and Browne’s shot was deflected wide by a home defender before Kelly fired wide late on.
There was still time for a fourth Newport goal in stoppage time when Kelly sprinted clear of the home defensive line and his shot came off the inside of the post and fell to Craig, who was left with the freedom of Love Lane to finish.
Newport were worthy winners as Petersfield paid the price for starting both halves poorly. The Rams did show promise at times, though, and Orepo won the sponsors’ player-of-the-match award.
Match report by Gary Day