So near, yet so far as Wembley dream is ended

Action from Newport IOW v Brighouse Town
Action from Newport IOW v Brighouse Town

Two quick second half goals condemned Brighouse to a heartbreaking defeat as their FA Vase adventure ended on the Isle of Wight.

Town created the first chance after four minutes when Ernest Boafo broke down the left flank before crossing to the back post where James Hurtley was denied by Newport keeper Gary Streeter.

Newport broke down Town’s left on six minutes, Jon Mckie crossing to the far post where Ian Seabrook set up Giancarlo Giancovitch but the midfielders overhead kick went safely into Tom Taylor’s hands.

Ryan Hall then had a shot blocked by centre half Oliver Fleming before Town got away with a major scare when a cross from Darren Powell fell for Giancovitch but Nick Jaggar was on hand to clear the ball for a corner.

Town took the game by the scruff of the neck and should have taken the lead on 15 minutes when Tom Matthews went round Streeter only to lose his footing on the heavy pitch and his shot went wide. However, eight minutes later, strike partner Ernest Boafo made no such mistake, Hall and Danny Naidole combining to find ther striker at the back post and he calmly finished from six yards.

On 31 minutes Hurtley broke down a Newport attack to send Nadiole through on goal, but the linesman’s flag denied Town a second. Five minutes later further pressure resulted in another corner but Hall clipped his shot narrowly over the bar.

Streeter was on hand again as the overworked home keeper forced another Matthew’s shot for a corner. Two minutes before the interval Newport survived another scare but Matthews had his goal-bound effort blocked by Fleming.

The second half started much like the first half with Town dominating possession and the territory. This domination looked like leading to a further goal but Nadiole was wide of the mark.

Newport responded by Giancovitch heading over before another great run by Hall found Nadiole free in the box but the winger couldn’t finish when one-on-one with Streeter.

Matthews twice failed to hit the target before Streeter pulled off a game changing save, when he tipped Nadiole’s effort round the post.

The home side made changes with Ian Seabrook and Jon Mckie being replaced by Mark Augustus and Ross Gregory and the tie changed.

A cross from the left was deflected into the path of Augustus who crossed from the byline into the crowded six yard box and Ian McInness bundled the ball over the line for an equaliser.

Town were visibly shaken, but there was a further sting in the tail when, two minutes later, Ross Gregory cut in from the right and crossed for McInness to finish coolly and give Newport the lead.

Luke Gibson replaced Mitchell and Town pushed Newport onto the back foot for the last 15 minutes. The Newport goal lived a charmed life, as Matthews’ shot was blocked for a corner while Sutcliffe shot narrowly wide.

Town almost scored at the start of added time when Hall’s shot deflected up and over Streeter, but the big stopper quickly moved his feet to tip the ball onto the bar and over before Matthews eluded three defenders but pulled his shot wide with Streeter wrong-footed.

By Darren Laydock

FA Vase Fourth Round

Newport (IOW) 2

Brighouse Town 1