Newport beat Oakfield in the Gold Cup quarter-final in their first match under new floodlights at Smallbrook Stadium on Tuesday (March 22).

Newport have ended their dispute with housemates Ryde Saints by finally installing powerful floodlights in their shared Smallbrook stadium. Before Christmas last year, Ryde Saints had given Newport notice to quit for failing to install the floodlights required in their tenancy agreement.

County Town Club has also started preparatory work for its new stadium at Whippingham Racecourse, clearing the hedge beside the main road from Newport to Ryde.

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Preparatory work on Newport’s new ground at Whippingham Racecourse

The Port ran out of comfortable winners against Island League Oakfield after a very shaky start to the game.

The game started with plenty of early pressure for Port with Jared Wetherick shooting over the crossbar from close range and then Jake Wright sending the ball into the face of goal. However, it was Oakfield who had to open the scoring with a quick break against the run of play when Ellis Lomas passed the ball to Robert Gee to score from 6 yards (0-1).

Port responded by sending a flurry of shots over Oakfield’s crossbar. In the 20th minute, Oakfield’s Nath Betts had the opportunity to put the Oakers 2 on the ball when he sent the ball just past the post. However, Josh Younie equalized for the Wessex League side in the 25th minute, sending a volley from the middle of the penalty area past goalkeeper Russell (1-1).

2 minutes later, the County Town club doubled their lead when Jared Wetherick lifted the ball over Russell from a tight angle (2-1). The Oakers then lost 3 in the last action of the 1st half on an unfortunate goal against his camp by Alfie Woodhouse (3-1).

Oakfield grew increasingly frustrated during the 1st half with Nath Betts, Harrison Taylor and Steve Gee all yellow cards. Shortly before halftime, Taylor was also convicted of dissent. Then, as the teams departed for half-time, Oakfield manager Robert Gee was sent off for a remark he made to referee Callum McFarlane.

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Jordan Browne scored 2 goals for Newport (Photo: Graham Brown)

Half-time: Newport 3-1 Oakfield

Port continued where they left off in the 1st half, when Connor Kelly received a long ball, which he fired past the Oakfield keeper from the middle of the penalty area (4-1) .

In the 54th minute, Newport captain Martin McDonough appeared to handle the ball in the penalty area but was not penalized. Port continued to attack with Russell making superb saves to deny shots from Jacob Reynolds, Neo Lamb and Joe Butcher.

The match ended with a flurry of goals for the County Town side. First, substitute Liam Harper scored from the middle of the penalty area in the 79th minute (5-1). 5 minutes later, Joe Butcher put his name on the score sheet (6-1). Then Jordan Browne – who had come on for the last 10 minutes – scored twice, the first with a low shot (7-1) then a header (8-1).

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Full-time: Newport IOW 8-1 Oakfield

Newport IOW: McCormack, Younie, Lamb, Hancott, McDonough, Burford, Kelly, Reynolds, Wetherick, Wright, Butcher Subs: Craig, Streeter (gk), Harper, Pearce, Browne

Oakfield: Russell, Ward, A. Woodhouse, Warrington, Taylor, Strickland, Betts, S. Gee, Barrow, R. Gee, Lomas Subs: T. Woodhouse, Dallimer, Venn

After the game, Oakfield manager Gary Gee said:

“I thought we started well tonight and I frustrated Newport from the start. We scored a very good goal. We knew we had to work hard because Newport would have most of the ball. and I thought we kept our form well in the 1st half, but their class and physical condition dominated us, especially in the last 20 minutes of the game.

Newport will now face East Cowes Vics in the Isle of Wight Senior (Gold) Cup semi-final.

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