UP THE Port, indeed. Up the table they went this season.

Newport Football Club have a huge game tomorrow (Saturday), as they plot their promotion to the Wessex Premier Division ­— to compete with the likes of Cowes Sports next season.

It's been a season fraught with problems off the pitch, for co-managers Steve Brougham and Stewart Shepherd, but on the green, the side have looked more and more assured with each passing week.

"There were times when we thought we might not even be a club," said Steve.

"At the start of the season, I think we were a week away from folding.

"Even during the season, we had to get the lights re-done by March 31, and there were times when we thought: we're not going to achieve this.

"But the players have kept their focus, and the new ground is something to look forward to in the future."

Preliminary work at the site of Newport's new home at Racecourse started back in February.

The club has used Beatrice Avenue in East Cowes, and Smallbrook Stadium in Ryde, as temporary homes since leaving St George's Stadium in 2019.

Newport welcome Whitchurch United to Smallbrook at the weekend ­— their final league game of the season.

If they win, they secure a home leg fixture for the semi-final on Wednesday.

"We need to win on Saturday to get a home-tie on Wednesday, which is what we're after," said Steve.

"This is the crunch end of the season, and our goal is promotion.

"We have a good group of players, and they're getting more experienced every season.

"We have young side with a smattering of experience, and they've all worked hard.

"We had a really good start, which helped build momentum.

"The squad has been great. Football's a team game, and I wouldn't want to pick one player.

"In spells, everyone has played well. What we have got is players comfortable playing in several positions.

"When we've had competition for places, we've done well. We haven't got the biggest of squads.

"The team spirit has helped us massively. They're all mates, as well as team mates.

"We also have so many people behind the scenes ­— volunteers­ and hardcore supporters ­— who do all the little jobs people don't see.

"The person who has kept the club going the most is our chairman, Pete Westhorpe. Without someone like him, we would have been in trouble."

Steve and Stewart took over from former manager, Andy Sampson, back in November, 2020.

"We get on really well, and we've had a really good working relationship this year," said Steve.

"It's a two-man job. You need someone to bounce ideas off of.

"We have a good little team off the field as well.

"But we've not achieved anything yet. The goal is promotion.

"I do believe this team is good enough to go up, and to stay up."