A HARD fought battle saw Downton come out on top in the race for sixth spot as they beat Newport from the Isle of Wight 1-0.

Despite not much free flowing football being played downton still looked more of a threat going forward.

The return of Diego Romero was a huge plus for the Robins as his trickery and pace was too good for the islanders.

It was some clever link up play by the left sided pair Dan Telfer and Romero which led to the Robins opener.

Some neat overlapping play saw Telfer whip in a nice ball for Romero to crash home a header beating the Newport stopper at the far post. Downton should and could have gone two up almost straight after with the Newport goalkeeper pulled into action to deny Matt Steer and TJ Moseley.

Downton did not find the passing play they are used to and the game was end to end with direct football.

Both sides adapted to this and it played into the hands of the two Downton central defenders Ben Smith and Charlie Burden who were consistent all game.

Tireless work by Harry Crisp and Craig Tyson broke most of the Newport attacks up, but again it was Romero whose trickery gave the visitors a constant headache.

On 35 minutes, Romero skipped by two players and on the third was harshly sent into the air by the oncoming defender, most would have seen a straight red but the man in the middle waived play on.

This almost gave the opposition the license to chop him down every time he went by them which enraged the Downton bench and supporters.

Downton had a good start to the second half as they kept the pressure on the visitors.

James Clarke was pressing well and went close with a sublime strike early on.

Steer and Moseley found room to link up well and Moseley's pace was to much to handle but could not find the target on several occasions.

The Robins found themselves under waves of pressure midway through and William Betts was called into action with some fierce shots but the Downton stopper made it look easy and settled things down nicely. Downton had a job to do and see out the game keeping compact and introduction of Louis Rendall and Nathan Stott helped the Robins to see the game out for a well deserved three points and completed the double over Newport.

Manager Ben Smith said: "Two clean sheets against two very good sides in one week would please any manager.

"Today was more of a battle and we won it comfortably. To see the players that normally just want to play ball getting stuck in was a sign of a good side that wants to win and not get beat.

"We have two very tough games left and hopefully the desire will be there to do the same again."

This starts with a home game against Hythe and Dibden.