WILL IT be Good Friday for Newport or for East Cowes Vics when they meet in the most important Island derby clash in years? 

After six long footballing months, the Isle of Wight's Wessex sides have reached the business end of the season.

It should be a bumper bank holiday crowd — possibly more than the 324 who came to watch the Boxing Day clash, which saw Port 2-0 winners.

For Newport, anything but a win is vital to their hopes of automatic promotion, as champions, or face another tough play-off.

It is essentially a two-horse race for that coveted spot top spot with Andover New Street, in the box seat, eight points clear of third-placed Newport.

New Milton are second, two points clear of Port, but they have played three more games.

If Port win and Andover Town can beat New Street, or even draw with them, in their own derby on Saturday, the title will be in Newport's hands.

Andover Town destroyed East Cowes Vics 7-1 on Tuesday evening.

For Vics, they need just a point to secure Wessex football next season — but they could stay up anyway if Amesbury Town fail to beat Downton on Saturday.

Vics boss Alex Smith said of the derby: "I'm really excited. I'm aware we need a point to get over the line and playing on a bumpy pitch could be a leveller, so I see it as a good opportunity to get a result.

"It will be difficult, but if we can be as hard to beat as I know we can be, we can do it, 100 per cent. We've come a long way in a short time." 

Newport manager Steve Brougham is no stranger to a derby clash.

"Derbies are alway tight affairs. Vics have done really well lately, so I'm expecting a tough game," he said.

"It's all about taking your chances in these games, being ruthless. It should be tough, but if we can take our chances, we'll be alright."

Port striker Joe Butcher will be out for the game, but another danger man, Connor Kelly, and Scott Barron return to the squad after injury.

For Vics, they will miss in-form striker Sam Cant, with new signing Aidan Radford and 16-year-olds Lewis Parsons and Charlie Hart, who made their debuts against Andover Town, in the running to play.

Kick-off tomorrow at 3pm.