NEWPORT go into the much-anticipated Bank Holiday Monday derby against East Cowes Vics as favourites — riding high in Division 1 of the Wessex Premier.

But Vics manager Richie Woodburn may have something to say about that as his hungry young side continue to show the green shoots of progress.

As has been the case in recent seasons, since Port’s relegation from the Premier, this fixture has created huge interest and attracted record attendances for the division as their rivalry intensifies — especially now they have parted company from last season’s groundshare at Beatrice Avenue.

Newport, who have enjoyed bragging rights in recent times, go confidently into today’s (Saturday) fixture at Downton with a 100 per cent win record from their first four games and 18 goals scored, following a pre-season goal fest. 

Isle of Wight County Press: Action from the last time Vics and Newport met. FILEAction from the last time Vics and Newport met. FILE

Vics had a tough start to the season and have been extremely unlucky not to have many more points on the board than they have, after some rousing performances — 3-3 against Andover, 4-4 at Fawley and 1-1 against Ringwood Town — all games they could have won had some controversial refereeing decisions gone their way.

Newport co-manager, Steve Brougham, said: “Our start to the season has been really good — Stewart (Shepherd) and I couldn’t have wished for better.

“The team is doing well, but it’s essential we keep it going and not let things slip. 

“I am not going to add much more in fear of jinxing things, as football has an awful habit of biting you.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Isle of Wight County Press: Action from the last time Vics and Newport met. FILEAction from the last time Vics and Newport met. FILE

“Downton will not be an easy game, nor Vics on Monday. We are very respectful of the opposition we play.

“The Vics game will be a good one. Derbies are never easy. But if we can play the way I know we can play, we’ll go very close to winning both of them.” 

While Newport hammered Cove 5-1 on the road in the Hampshire Senior Cup in midweek, Woodburn enjoyed seeing his side earn their first win of the season, again against Fawley, on penalties in the same competition.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Isle of Wight County Press:

“We have new players, three of them aged 16 in the first team, and we’re playing with a new system, but I’m pleased with the progress made,” Woodburn said.

“We have Fleet Spurs at home today. They are struggling, so it’s a real six-pointer already for us. A win could well see our season take off and we will go into the Newport game with confidence.

“We’re getting closer to Newport and all the pressure will be on them to win. We’re not expected to beat them.

Isle of Wight County Press:

“Newport are flying at the moment, but there will be a big crowd, it’s a derby and anything can happen.”

Kick off at Beatrice Avenue against Newport is 3pm.