Wessex Premier League
Team Solent 4
(Tobi Adekunle x3, Jesse Waller-Lassen)
Newport IoW 0
My regular readers will know that in my first season of this blog, it has been a bit top heavy on Team Solent, after all, this is my 23rd trip to Test Park this season, not counting the few Team Solent away games I have been to.
Nearly a month has passed since my last visit to Test Park, coming in a BUCS (British Universities and Colleges League) fixture where the University of Bristol were crowned league champions with a 4-0 win over the Sparks.
Since then I have seen two Team Solent away games, the reserves at Romsey and the first team at Sholing in the Wessex League Cup semi final.
Solent play a lot of their midweek home games on a Monday, and with few teams having Monday as their midweek evening, it makes it an easy choice for a game to start the week.
At this end of the season, there are plenty of games that are pretty much just a formality, tonight being one of them. Solent may struggle to break into that top six with their last remaining games, whilst Newport look likely to finish in the mid table with two games remaining for the Isle of Wight side.
However, providing it wasn’t goalless, I was happy to be getting a game in after work had scuppered any attempts to go to a match at the weekend.
Tobi Adekunle’s treble gave Team Solent a thumping win over Newport as they edge closer to a top six finish. James Taylor’s students are seven points adrift of Horndean in sixth with four games remaining, two more than their Portsmouth counterparts.
The Sparks have a quick turnaround as they have another home game on Thursday where a win for top of the league Moneyfields could confirm them as champions.
It took just under two minutes for the game’s first goal when Silvano Obeng’s cross was only half cleared into the path of Adekunle who swung a first time shot into the centre of the goal.
The lead was doubled after six minutes, this time Tyrell Mitford providing the cross for Adekunle who stooped to fire his header in off the bar.
Solent nearly made it 3-0 when Mitford drove through the middle of the pitch before firing a shot just wide of the post.
Newport were forced into an early change when Jared Wetherick limped off with an injury and was replaced by Joseph Wangige.
Gary Streeter pulled off a great save to keep out Solent’s Ade Olumuyiwa who volleyed at goal from 12 yards after Obeng’s flick on from a corner.
Newport weren’t having much luck and resorted to wayward long distance shots, with Aiden Sainsbury firing straight into the hands of Lee Webber.
Taylor’s men nearly scored within 20 seconds of the restart, Mitford played a little chipped pass into captain Jemal Wiseman who had beaten the offside trap, however the midfielder curled his shot over the crossbar.
The visitors were claiming for a penalty shortly after when Webber smothered the ball away at the feet of Oliver West, however the referee let play go on with no foul given.
Shouts for another penalty were turned down when Connor Kelly got the better of Curtis Thorn on the left wing before firing a shot which was blocked by Pip Nolan and out for a corner, the Port shouting for handball.
There was a cluster of substitutions as Alex Harmer replaced Keelan Walsh for the away side and Solent made a double change, bringing on Jesse Waller-Lassen and Nathan Taylor.
The influential Waller-Lassen was involved in the third goal moments after coming on when he fed a little pass into Obeng who turned his marker before being dragged back, enough of a tug for the referee to point straight to the spot.
Adekunle was given the chance to complete his hat trick and he smashed the ball into the corner, Port ‘keeper Streeter getting a faint touch after guessing the right way.
Solent introduced Gio Landu to the game and he caused problems in attack for the remainder of the fixture, playing in Waller-Lassen who hit one straight at Streeter. Landu went close himself with a header from Wiseman’s cross but the effort just went wide.
The former Bradford City academy striker bustled his way into the box as he desperately tried to get his name on the score sheet but he could only fire low at Streeter from a tight angle.
With three minutes of normal time remaining, Waller-Lassen, who recently signed dual registration forms with Southern League side Salisbury, notched his 21st Solent goal this season when he ran from just inside Newport’s half before slamming the ball low into the corner.
2016/17 Games: 118
2016/17 Grounds: 63 (10)
Total Grounds Visited: 155 (41)