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Kingstonian 0-1 Newport IoW

After Saturday's scoreless draw away at Leatherhead, Kingstonian played host to Newport I.O.W. in their first home fixture of the season. However, it was the away fans that were rewarded for turning out despite the persistent drizzle, as Newport won the game by a single goal. As a spectacle, the match was played at a high tempo for large periods, with both sides enjoying pockets of sustained pressure. However Newport possessed the one thing Kingstonian could not find, a goalscorer.

The evening began with a minute's silence in honour of lifelong K's fan George Puckett. Shortly afterwards Newport kicked off the game, with Kingstonian attacking towards the Athletics End. The first half-chance fell to Newport's Simon Pilcher, who sliced the ball so badly that his shot went out for a throw. K's managed to force the play to the other end of the pitch, where Tony Reid was tripped 10 yards out of the box. The free-kick was taken by Martyn Lee, who forced a good save out of Joe McCormack in the Newport goal, parrying the ball to his right for a K's corner, which was cleared with ease.

The early stages saw both sides battling for dominance in the middle of the park, but neither side was able to wrestle control. After 10 minutes Lee nearly found himself on a one-on-one with the keeper, but for the linesman's flag. The wet condition of the pitch meant that both teams found it difficult to keep possession for long enough to create a clear cut chance, with both sides relying on scraps and half-chances. Fraser Quirke, the Newport number nine and assistant manager forced a shot into the side-netting, with the goal well covered by Chuck Martini.

One of the best chances of the half fell to Scott Bennetts, looping a shot over McCormack, who was stranded off his line. Although the ball struck the crossbar and was cleared by the Newport defence, the movement breathed life into crowd. The fans sensed the first period of real sustained pressure by either side. Lee was again fouled on the edge of the box, but his free-kick hit the wall of defenders and went out for a corner, which was dealt with comfortably. Shortly afterwards Brahim Eloumani struck a tame shot out for a goalkick.

However this pressure soon wore off, and Newport were able to launch a quick counter, again finding the side-netting. The visitors were able to put some pressure on themselves, with Ashley Wright twice striking the hoardings just wide of Martini's goal. Unlike Kingstonian, Newport finally got their reward for this spell of play. On 37 minutes a well-worked move between Wright and Quirke saw one player skip past K's defence, to thread the ball through to the other. Quirke's first touch looked to have let him down as the ball seemed to run past, however he didn't give up and managed to squirm a shot low and under Martini's body. GOAL Kingstonian 0 - 1 Newport I.O.W.

Before the referee was able to blow for half-time, two Newport players managed to get into his book. First Philip Archbold was booked for a clumsy challenge on Bashiru Alimi, and then Fraser Quirke was booked for a late tackle.

The second half saw the introduction of Mazin Ahmad in place of Michael Brady. This change almost paid immediate dividends as Ahmad went on a mazy run past three Newport defenders before forcing a save out of McCormack. However, despite a further spell of pressure, Kingstonian were unable to make anything from a succession of free-kicks, corners, and a goalmouth scramble. Newport were able to soak it up and thread the ball upfield before releasing Wright into the box. Jon Holmes managed a well-timed tackle, sending the ball out for a corner, which was soon cleared.

Kingstonian made a couple of substitutions, on 63 minutes Kenny Ojukwa replaced Damien Panter, and on 71 minutes an injury to Tony Reid forced McDonald to put Richard Taylor upfront. Again a K's substitution nearly created a chance, as Taylor picked up the ball on the half-way line and threaded it wide to Martyn Lee, who put the ball into the box, only for the danger to be cleared.

As the game wore on, there was an urgency to Kingstonian's play which opened the game up even further. But neither team were able to take advantage of the situation, and the closing minutes of the game became a bit scrappy. Both sides hit some long balls, and play was characterised by a number of misplaced passes and poor ball control, hardly surprising given the conditions of the pitch. The final whistle signalled the end of a frantic but low quality period of play.

Yet again, Kingstonian can bemoan the lack of quality finishing. But for a goalscorer Kingstonian could have taken at least a point from the game. At the back, the K's again looked reasonably solid, and Lee and Alimi were a handful in midfield. Both sides enjoyed spells of pressure, the simple difference being that Newport were able to capitalise on a period of sustained play by scoring a goal. If we can find a goalscorer, the potential is there.

Mon 22nd Aug 2005
Kingsmeadow Stadium
Isthmian League Division One
Newport IoW1
1Chuck Martini
2Michael Brady12
3Brahim Eloumani
4Scott Corbett
5Julian Sills
6Stuart Reeks
7Scott Bennetts
8Bashiru Alimi
9Tony Reid14
10Damian Panter15
11Martyn Lee
12Mazin Ahmad2
14Richard Taylor9
15Kenny Ojukwa10
16Mark Rhodes
17Jon Ashwood
Match Report By
Darren Bell