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3-2
21 August 2018 Venue Rodney Parade Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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REPORT| Matt strikes at the death to secure victory over Notts County

21 August 2018

Jamille Matt struck the most dramatic of injury time winners to ensure Newport County AFC made it two from two at Rodney Parade with a 3-2 victory over Notts County.

Despite an encouraging start from the Exiles, Notts County struck first against the run of play when finding the target after 12 minutes.

Enzio Boldewijn did remarkably well to skip past the challenge of Dan Butler on the left and burst into a dangerous position, crossing into the area for Kane Hemmings to stab home after beating Scot Bennett and Fraser Franks to the delivery.

Franks may have felt frustrated at not picking up his man in the area but he certainly made up for it, heading home from a Matty Dolan corner to level proceedings on 24 minutes.

And the Exiles completely turned the game on its head within two minutes of the equaliser, Padraig Amond seizing the initiative after a wayward Richard Duffy pass, setting up Mark Harris to finish in off the post for his second in two games.

There was a distinct lack of opportunities following County taking the lead, but it only takes a second for a moment of class and Notts County profited with just three minutes remaining.

A cross-field pass went all the way over the County defence into the path of substitute Kristian Dennis at the far post, the striker taking one touch to steady himself before poking a shot through Joe Day and levelling the scores.

That goal may have disheartened other sides but there was still time for County to find a dramatic equaliser when substitute Matt struck with mere seconds remaining.   

A looping cross into the area found Amond at the far post, the Irishman again using his power in the area to head back across goal for Matt to get the faintest of touches and send Rodney Parade into rapture.

The result sees County rise to 8th position after matchday four of the League Two calendar, ahead of welcoming Grimsby Town to Rodney Parade on Saturday.

Mike Flynn elected to make just the two changes to the side that battled resiliently to a draw at early league leaders Exeter City on Saturday.

David Pipe was only fit enough to make the bench after being forced off with a leg injury at St James Park last time out, Tyler Forbes coming in for a like-for-like change that saw the Exiles again implement a 3-5-2 system at Rodney Parade.

Andrew Crofts again sat out proceedings with a toe injury, so Mickey Demetriou continued as captain, whilst the other change for County saw Mark Harris rewarded for his late heroics at Exeter when replacing Jamille Matt.

Notts County manager Kevin Nolan decided to put a lot of faith in his team that suffered a surprise 4-0 defeat at home to Yeovil Town when making just the one change.

After only starting his first game of the campaign during that Friday night defeat, Kristian Dennis wasn’t risked from the off twice in a week and had his place in the side taken by veteran Jon Stead.

The Magpies elected to set-up in a 4-4-2 formation for the game in South Wales whilst trying to secure their first victory of the 2018/19 campaign in all competitions.  

In a similar vein to every game so far this season, the Exiles again started the brightest at Rodney Parade when controlling the early stages of the contest.

On six minutes, a sublime piece of football almost got the Exiles in on goal, but after Fraser Franks looped a long ball in-behind for Padraig Amond, the linesman’s flag went up immediately even if the Irishman had got the shot away and Ross Fitzsimons saved well.

Despite that bright spark, it was in-fact Notts County who broke the deadlock when finding the net after 12 minutes against the run of play.  

Enzio Boldewijn – arguably the Magpies best player so far this season in-spite of a poor start for the team – did remarkably well to skip past Dan Butler out-wide, and when Franks and Scot Bennett were caught napping at the back, Kane Hemmings broke in-front of them to stab home.

It was somewhat of a redemption for Hemmings after he missed a sitter and cost his side a result at Cambridge 10 days ago, and he also missed a penalty on Friday in the defeat to Yeovil Town.

That goal was the start of a decent spell in possession for the visitors, but they never realistically had any further chances to extend the advantage as the Exiles defence solidified themselves and prevented anything else getting through.

And County made the visitors pay for not extending their lead whilst in the ascendency as they turned the game completely on its head in a thrilling period of 120 seconds from the 24th minute.

Having conceded all four goals last time out from crosses, Notts County again failed to deal with a looping corner-kick from Matty Dolan and Fraser Franks beat his marker to head home via a slight deflection from the defender on the goal-line.

County’s second goal didn’t quite come from a cross, but it certainly came from another defensive mistake by the visitors, Richard Duffy playing a wayward pass back that Amond intercepted, setting up Harris in the area who finished ruthlessly again off the post to put County in-front

That was Harris’ second goal in three days and highlighted why he was restored into the starting side for the game, and his link-up with Amond was causing a whole host of problems throughout the entirety of the first-half.   

But the visitors seemed to smarten up to the obvious threat of Amond and Harris in behind following the goals – and no further chances could be created by either side before the half-time whistle.

Apart from that one lapse in concentration, the County defence were coping remarkably well to any incoming threat and Franks in particular deserved his goal after a superb start to the season individually.

Going forward, all the players in attacking problems were causing havoc to the Notts County defence, but it was Amond and Harris who particularly stood out when using their pace to get in-behind.

Harris had his reward for a scintillating first 45 minutes and Amond almost got his own within two minutes of the restart, but Fitzsimons somehow got something on it after Amond had diverted a Dolan free-kick back the other way.

Other than that early opening after the restart, the game was certainly turning into much more of a midfield battle at Rodney Parade and both teams were struggling to break down the respective defences.

But it only takes one moment of brilliance to force a chance and County created one after 74 minutes.

Tyler Forbes and Matty Dolan combined well down the right-hand side to set the former through into the area, but after the cutback fell to Amond, Fitzsimons again denied the Irishman who could feel mightily unlucky to not have found the net.

Chances were certainly few and far between for both sides at Rodney Parade but when Notts County managed to create themselves another opening, they equalised with three minutes remaining.

Boldewijn was again at it with a looping delivery, this one going from a wide position straight to the back stick for an awaiting Kristian Dennis, the Magpies substitute taking one touch to compose himself before firing through Joe Day for the equaliser.

A goal at such a decisive time may have affected other sides but that wasn’t the case for County as they found a way to get a late winner when scoring with only seconds remaining.

Amond again played an integral part in the goal, heading back across the area following a deep cross for substitute Jamille Matt to flick home and give County a more than deserved three points.

 

Newport County AFC (3-5-2): Day, Butler, Franks, Demetriou (C), Bennett, Forbes, Dolan (Cooper 83’), Bakinson, Sheehan (Marsh-Brown 70’), Harris (Matt 88’), Amond

Subs not used: Townsend, Pipe, O’Brien, Semenyo

 

Notts County (4-4-2): Fitzsimons, Hewitt, Duffy, Brisley, Jones (Kellett 86’), Boldewijn, Vaughan (Crawford 61’), Husin, Thomas, Stead (Dennis 74’), Hemmings

Subs not used: Culverwell, Bird, Alessandra, Kellett, Hawkridge

 

Referee: Alan Young

Attendance: 2,935 (185 AWAY)

Next up for County: Grimsby Town (25th August 2018) HOME

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