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4-1
26 August 2017 Venue Rodney Parade Attendance

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Reports

Match Report | Exiles score four in home return

26 August 2017

The Exiles made it back-to-back league wins with a 4-1 success over Chesterfield in the Homecoming Game at Rodney Parade.

The Spireites did take a lead into half-time, striker Chris O’Grady slotting home from inside the area after intelligent work through the middle.

But Frank Nouble scored a brilliant 13-minute second-half hat-trick to swing the game in County’s favour.

His first came on 55 minutes, with the best of the lot, rifling a 30-yard thunderbolt straight into the top corner.

Then two headers, first on 66 minutes and then 68 minutes, completed his hat-trick, both assisted by substitute Dan Butler.

Debutant Padraig Amond capped the win off with a late fourth, curling home after Nouble had done brilliantly to set it up.

The result means the Exiles remain unbeaten after four matches, taking the Exiles to 2nd place in the table.

Mike Flynn elected to make three changes to the side that were knocked out of the Carabao Cup against Leeds United on Tuesday. The changes were all tactical, as County kept to the 4-2-3-1 formation chosen in mid-week.

New signing Padraig Amond came straight into the team for his full debut, replacing Shawn McCoulsky up-front. Frank Nouble came in for another attacking substitution, Lamar Reynolds moving to the bench.

Goal-scorer from last weekend’s win at Coventry, Reece Cole, also came back into the team as Sean Rigg dropped to the bench.

Spireites manager Gary Caldwell kept with the side that beat Port Vale 2-0 last weekend. That meant they set-up in a 3-5-2 formation with veteran Chris O’Grady and free-scoring Kristian Dennis the front men. New loan signing from Wigan Athletic, Andrew Kellett, was named on the bench.

It wouldn’t take long for the Exiles to get accustomed to the new Rodney Parade pitch, David Pipe creating the first opening on four minutes with a cross that the goalkeeper dealt well with.

Frank Nouble and Ben White seemed comfortable down the County left hand-side, and Nouble almost created an opening on six minutes, but Jordan Sinnott dealt with the danger well.

Mark O’Brien fired a header straight at the away goalkeeper from a Mickey Demetriou long throw on eight minutes, before the Chesterfield fans saw their side create an opening opportunity.

Kristian Dennis, scorer of three goals already this term, created it but saw his 25-yard effort well held by Joe Day.

That brought up the first ten minutes of the game, County slightly edging the game in its preliminary stages, Nouble doing particularly well down the left.

Willmott had a decent chance blocked by Spireites skipper Ian Evatt on the quarter-hour, before Dennis wasted a good chance for the away side after being played in by Sinnott.

An injury to Chesterfield’s Bradley Barry caused a big delay to the game, who needed to be stretchered from the field with what looked like a serious looking ankle injury. Fellow defender Andrew Kellett came on for his Spireites debut in his place.

Exiles captain Joss Labadie launched a powerful header towards goal moments into the restart, only to see Tommy Lee in the away goal get a strong hand to it and tip it wide of the post.

Debutant Padraig Amond had his opening opportunity for the Exiles on 26 minutes, although he didn’t quite connect with the ball and kneed it wide.

Reece Cole forced a good save from Lee a minute later, as County were looking to press home an advantage after a livelier start.

Evatt had to be alert to deal with the County danger on the half-hour. After some intricate play in the middle, Joss Labadie waltzed past three defenders and into the area. After his shot was blocked, the ball fell perfectly for David Pipe to swing in an inviting delivery, only for Evatt to react superbly to stop an unmarked Amond from heading home.

Day had to be alert at the other end to stop Dennis intercepting a back-pass, before the away side did take the lead on 36 minutes.

It was the product of some exceptional one touch passing, Andrew Kellett starting off the move. His pass to Sinnott went straight out wide to Scott Wiseman on the left side. The full-back held off the challenge of Nouble before drilling a low cross into the area which the experienced Chris O’Grady slotted home.

Willmott looked for an instant response with a darting run, only to shoot narrowly wide through a crowded area.

Reece Cole almost found the equaliser on 41 minutes, but his 25-yard free-kick nestled onto the roof of the goal.

Amond came even closing to grabbing an equaliser and a debut goal, only to see his effort bounce back off the post after expertly controlling a Labadie pass.

Due to the injury to Barry early in the first-half, seven minutes were indicated at the end of the half.

And the visitors almost extended their lead right at the start of them. Sinnott, seemingly the architect of all the away sides good chances, hit the post, before Day held his corner moments later.

Nouble was a touch away from the equaliser at the other end, then Ben White unknowingly directed a cross at the goalkeeper in the fourth additional minute.

O’Brien fired a shot straight at Lee, in a chance which brought an end to the first-half proceedings.

In fairness to the away side, they weathered the strong County start, gradually grew into the game, and took the chance when it came.

The Exiles could be pleased with their bright start, creating several chances, Amond unlucky to see his shot cannon back off the post.

No changes were made by either side for the beginning of the second-half, Willmott the liveliest player at the start, drilling an inviting cross into the area that Evatt expertly cleared.

Nouble almost pressed home the advantage from a decent second-half start, but couldn’t connect to Willmott’s header back across the box.

Jordan Flores created the opening Chesterfield chance of the half on 51 minutes, only to see O’Brien block the attempt.

But it wouldn’t take much longer for County to get the equaliser as it came on 55 minutes.

Nouble was the man to get it, with an unbelievable strike, straight into the top corner from 30 yards.

O’Brien was forced off on the hour with an injury, Dan Butler coming on in his place, Sean Rigg also coming on for Cole.

And County almost took the lead on 63 minutes, Amond with the chance, heading over from a corner.

Nouble should have doubled his tally just a minute later, but couldn’t get anything on Amond’s header back across the area.

But he didn’t need another opportunity to get his second on 66 minutes. Butler did superbly well to pick out an unmarked Nouble in the area, who fired home a header from 12 yards.

And Nouble wasn’t done there, completing the hat-trick just two minutes later. It was another Butler-Nouble combination, this time the header coming from four yards.

Rigg wasted two big chances to extend the Exiles lead, before Dennis attempted to get one back for Chesterfield but curled over.

It had been coming for a long while but Amond finally capped off his Exiles debut with a goal, slotting home on 84 minutes after Nouble had worked so hard to set him up.

The game’s first yellow card came in the 89th minute, Louis Reed the receiver for lunging in on Matty Dolan. Shortly after, Rigg was booked for County.

Four additional minutes were awarded at the end of the game. But no further chances could be created as the Exiles ground out a deserved win after a fantastic second-half display.

 

County: Day, Pipe (Bennett 82’), O’Brien (Butler 60’), Demetriou, White, Willmott, Dolan, Labadie, Cole (Rigg 57’), Nouble, Amond

Subs not used: Bittner, Reynolds, McCoulsky, Quigley

 

Chesterfield: Lee; Barry (Kellett 17’), Flores, Wiseman, Evatt, Hird; Weir, Sinnott (McCourt 75’), Reed; Dennis, O’Grady.

Subs not used: Anyon, Maguire, Ugwu, Wakefield, Brewster

 

Referee: David Webb

Attendance: 4,332 (267 away)

Next up for County: Forest Green Rovers (away) 29th August 2017 – CheckaTrade Trophy

 

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