Fawley slumped to a 1-0 defeat away to Newport IOW in a match with very little to write about, both sides failed to show much quality in a scrappy affair.
Ben Rankin made his debut up front with Zac Willis being out the squad, that otherwise is was the same starting 11 from last weeks team that beat Amesbury Town 2-0. Dane Sayce, Martin Buckthorpe and Ben Bolton all returned to the squad.
The match started with a slow tempo and was the same for the duration, Newport sitting very deep and allowing Fawley plenty of time on the ball at the back. Setup to win possession and break away quickly, something that worked to an extent, except they failed to make any of the breaks count. It should be noted that the windy conditions made it very difficult for both teams.
Pete Southwick pulled up injured around 20 minutes in, Ben Bolton replaced him. While Fawley had 10 men making the change, the only goal of the game came from sloppy play from The Oilers, although it probably was the only moment of the match with any quality also. A free kick from the Newport half punted up into the Fawley box was not dealt with, brought down excellently by their no10 Jordan Browne who made no mistake with his finish.
Ben Rankin came close twice to level the score, the first an error from their keeper Gary Streeter who miss-kicked a clearance straight into danger. Rankin shot first time, but Newport had enough bodies back to block the effort. Rankin then hit the bar with a deflected free kick from close range. The best chance came to Elliot Earl moments before the break, a cross from Pete Keating found Earl on the six yard line, he hit it first time, but couldn’t keep it down as it flew over the bar.
After the break the tempo slowed further. Newport now in no rush to resume any play with several throwings, corners, goal kicks taking an age. They sat deep and soaked up everything, looking dangerous on the break. Jon Page pulled off a couple of fine saves to keep Fawley in the game, Newport would have definitely felt the game should have been killed off.
In the final 10 minutes Fawley had two good chances to get something out of this game, the first from a set piece. Mike Macleod whipped in a decent free kick from a deep position, finding Reece Macey who headed the ball back across the goal line. Elliot Earl desperately lunged at the ball, but couldn’t reach it in time.
In the final moments, Fawley finally cut through the Newport stubborn defence. Some slick passing in the final third, Tom Munday played Ben Bolton in on goal from the left side, just the keeper to beat he fired it into the opposite corner, only to hit the post.
Unfortunately Fawley left the IOW with nothing to show for their efforts. A game of which both sides would have wanted to play much better, however Newport will be very happy with the victory. Six points and two clean sheets against The Oilers this season.
Next up Fawley host Verwood Town on Wednesday.