RYAN Kennedy scored a dramatic 93rd-minute winner as Petersfield Town beat Newport (IoW) 2-1 at Love Lane last Saturday, writes Michael Christou.
Newport took the lead with an own goal after only five minutes. Jordan Sullivan attempted to clear a Spike Pearce cross but the ball flew off his head and into the top corner via the fingertips of Petersfield keeper Matt Petts.
Four minutes later Sullivan threaded a perfect through ball to Bailey Newbury who let it run across him before curling a shot into the far corner from the edge of the box.
Unmarked Kennedy then stormed into the six-yard box to meet a good cross but put a difficult volley over the bar.
In the 39th minute Petersfield’s Harry Nightingale caught Newport captain Martin McDonough with a late tackle. Referee Alex Rush-Fear booked Nightingale and sent off McDonough for retaliating with an attempted head butt in the back.
Early in the second half Newbury saw a shot deflected just wide and put a free header from six yards over the bar, before substitutes Matt Lowe and Marvin Orepo added extra desire and pace to the attack for the last 20 minutes.
Orepo charged through the middle and slotted the ball in to Newbury who was one-on-one on the edge of the box but flicked it wide.
In the third minute of stoppage time a deep cross was only cleared to the edge of the box and Kennedy smashed it home to send the Petersfield supporters wild.
Another late goal earned Petersfield a point in a 1-1 draw at Alton the previous Tuesday.
In an entertaining opening, Petts palmed away a powerful effort from a narrow angle, Alton keeper Justin Courtnage made a reaction save, and Newbury’s cross from the right flicked off a defender and was scrambled away by Courtnage.
But in the 12th minute Will Essai gave the ball away and Luke Perkins took a few touches before hitting a shot from 20 yards which sailed over Petts into the roof of the net.
Left-winger Harry Nightingale ran inside a defender and saw his stinging effort pushed away, then Newbury thundered a shot against the bar from a narrow angle.
In the second half Newbury won an aerial duel in the box to set himself up for a low shot which was saved by Courtnage’s outstretched boot. He then used clever flicks to beat three men but his attempted chip did not have enough power to get over the keeper.
Petts made a low save with his feet to keep the Rams in the game, and Alton’s manager was sent off as the Brewers’ frustration grew.
A cynical foul on Charlie Merritt set up an equaliser in the 87th minute.
The free kick was in a good position and Nightingale’s pinpoint cross was flicked in at the near post by Harry Tremlett to take a point back to Love Lane.