Early sending off gives Newport advantage
WESTON-S-MARE 1 NEWPORT COUNTY 4 - WESTON were the victims of a refereeing decision that influenced the outcome of the game against the league champions.
NEWPORT COUNTY 4
WESTON were the victims of a refereeing decision that influenced the outcome of the game against the league champions.
With barely two minutes on the clock, Plympton referee Adam Bromley showed a red card to Weston skipper Mike Green for a rash challenge as last man in defence on Newport's Dave Gilroy and the game was over as a contest.
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Speaking after the game, Weston chairman Paul Bliss commented: "The downside of the game was the sending off of Mike in the second minute which spoilt the game for the home supporters.
"The upside for me was the way the rest of the team battled away and I was delighted with the display of the youngsters we were forced to play, Dayle Grubb, Jake Mawford and Jake Harris. Over the years only a handful of local-born players have made the grade with the senior squad, but today with the Academy system in place there are several promising youngsters who in a couple of seasons time will be holding down places in Weston's first team."
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After the sending off, Newport dominated the midfield, but the home defence with Craig Rand and Clayton Fortune, along with Callum Hart and Tom Evans outstanding, kept the visitors out until the 23rd minute until Charlie Henry scored his 10th goal of the season with a superb 25-yard free kick and Gilroy added the second on 32 minutes when put through by Henry's precision pass. Earlier, Craig Reid had the ball in the Weston net, but was ruled offside.
As Weston tried to come back, there was no support for Darren Mullings' cross and minutes later, Jermaine Clarke forced Newport keeper Glyn Thompson to save with his legs. Mawford might have won a penalty when his effort was handled by Newport skipper Chris Todd, but Mr Bromley was not impressed.
For the second half, Weston swapped Mawford for Harris, but Newport struck again on 48 minutes when Paul Cocklin bundled in Danny Rose's corner.
Harris was causing problems to the Newport defence and it was appropriate he pulled a goal back on 54 minutes from close range. However, Reid completed Newport's tally on 71 minutes with a shot on the turn from 15 yards.
As the 10 men began to tire, Newport kept on pressing and Weston keeper Kevin Sawyer pulled off magnificent saves to deny substitutes Takumi Axa and Kerry Morgan, along with Rose and Reid.
Harris was named man of the match by the sponsors for his goal and all-action display.
TWO goals in the last three minutes by Jermaine Clarke gave Weston three vital Blue Square South points against bottom side Weymouth for their first win since mid-November, their first away win of the season and their first league double.
But the win may not be enough to save them from relegation, as they have a tough final four games: away to Hampton and Richmond, Havant and Waterlooville and Bishop's Stortford and home to Welling United. Unfortunately, they need to win them all to avoid the dreaded drop.
Weston made a bright start against the relegated home side, Danny Burnell going close in the first minute and Clarke going close minutes later with a header.
As the home side came into the game, Shene Evans clipped Kevin Sawyer's crossbar, but a minute later Craig Rand had the ball in the Weymouth net from Ben Cleverley's free kick, but was denied by a close offside call.
Grubb replaced Hart, who picked up a knock and on the stroke of half time, Tom Parrinello was taken to hospital for treatment after a strong challenge. Ford took over for the second half.
Early in the second half, Clayton Fortune tested home keeper Michael Neish and Clarke went close from Evans' throw. The home side took the lead on 62 minutes when from skipper Simon Radcliffe's cross, Tom Richardson beat Sawyer from six yards.
Weston came close on 69 minutes when Grubb, on a strong run, cut in from the left, and his 20-yard effort came back off the home crossbar.
Two minutes from time Cleverley's corner was not cleared and Clarke used his height to head in the equaliser and into injury time, from another Cleverley corner, Clarke obliged again with another header. Then, Grubb rounded keeper Neish, but his shot into the empty net was blocked by Radcliffe.
As the final whistle blew, a spectator came on to the field and attacked Weston skipper Mike Green. When the Weston players tried to separate the pair, the Weymouth players joined in and when order was restored, Fareham referee David Trevleaven waved a red card at the unfortunate Clarke, who was not involved in the fracas.
If that decision is not overturned, Clarke will miss the games against Welling and Bishop's Stortford, adding to manager Andy Gurney's woes.
ON Saturday, Weston are at Hampton and Richmond and on Tuesday evening travel to Havant and Waterlooville in a re-arranged fixture.