Jags kick-off 2019 with a resounding away win...
…and remain firmly among the title challengers
Having played 5 games less than league leaders Gallacticos, the Jags were eager to kick off the new year. Visiting Padbury for the first time, the Jags played out their opening 2019 fixture on a very bumpy ground that rather limited the quality of football.
Nevertheless, the enthusiastic Jags opened strongly and it was only an unkind bounce of the ball that stopped the boys securing an early lead. There were several further good chances, but Padbury resistance continued throughout the first quarter, with their goalkeeper making a number of fine saves. Indeed, as the Jags pressed further forward, gaps emerged at the back. Some quick opposition breaks into this space led to a few dangerous moments, with both Charlie D and Seo doing great work to clear off the line.
However, the deadlock was finally broken when Alex confidently slotted home to give the Jags a well deserved opening goal. Newport then grew ever more dominant and by half-time had moved into a 0-5 lead.
With an injury to the Padbury keeper in the final minutes of the first half, Jags management very sportingly offered a goalkeeper, which was warmly acknowledged and appreciated by the home supporters. So, Tom (now recovered from a pre-Christmas injury) lined up for the opposition.
A busy second half saw the Jags run out comfortable 1-8 winners. The boys were rarely tested at the back, while maintaining frequent assaults on the Padbury goal. Newport’s “keeper-on-loan” did exceptionally well to hold his team-mates at bay and certainly prevented the Jags’ getting into double figures.
Following the long Christmas break, a very creditable first performance by the boys - with lively running from Henry, notable hat-tricks for Leo and Alex while, after twice coming close, Billy took advantage of a more attacking role to get himself among the scorers too.
Tom took man-of-match, with his impressive performance between the sticks (for both sides), while Luca put in another really solid defensive display and also received the Player of the Month award.