Newport County AFC have suffered their first defeat of the pre-season schedule following a 1-0 loss at National League South side Chippenham Town.
The only goal of the game came after 66 minutes and saw ex-Exile Jack Compton score against his former employers.
The attacker latched onto a clearance by George Rigg before bringing the ball under his spell, working the space to good effect before smashing an attempt in off the crossbar from 25 yards.
Mike Flynn elected to revert back to a starting side that more resembled the team from the Bristol City friendly on Wednesday afternoon.
There was a slight formation alteration from that game at Failand Training Ground, however, as the Exiles set up in a 3-4-1-2 system from the off with Padraig Amond and Jamille Matt leading the line.
Keanu Marsh-Brown started just behind the County front two, spearheading a midfield that also included Charlie Cooper and Matty Dolan.
Tyler Forbes and Dan Butler provided attacking threat from their wing-back positions, with the remaining outfield players composed of Mickey Demetriou, Mark O’Brien and Scot Bennett. Joe Day could be found between the sticks.
In a game of little chances from the first-half, it was Chippenham Town who started the brighter in the contest at Hardenhuish Park.
Alex Ferguson sent a looping header over Joe Day’s crossbar on 20 minutes when he perhaps could have done better, but it was a minute later that the home side fashioned their best chance.
It came after some clever work from two former County players, Jack Compton’s delivery into the area from a wide position finding Nat Jarvis in the area, although the striker’s first touch wasn’t great and forced him to hit the side netting from an acute angle.
County did grow into the game from there and Charlie Cooper’s deep free-kick from the far by-line swirled towards the far post but Will Puddy reacted quickly to just about tip it over the crossbar just before the half-hour mark.
From there, Keanu Marsh-Brown took centre-stage in proceedings and was unfortunate on two occasions to not find his name on the scoresheet before half-time.
Following a waltzing 40+ yard run from the centre-circle, his shot was eventually held well by Puddy, before he also narrowly missed the top corner with a half-volleyed attempt from 20 yards.
A free-kick from Matty Dolan did bring proceedings to a close for the first-half at Hardenhuish Park, the 25-yard attempt narrowly going over the top as both teams went in at the break level.
For the second-half, Flynn chose to rejuvenate his side and make 10 changes, with only Joe Day keeping his place.
Owen Taylor and Lewis Collins were again given a runout from Byron Anthony’s U18 academy, joined in the team by former youth products – and now first-teamers - Jay Foulston and Momodou Touray.
Fraser Franks, Andrew Crofts, Josh Sheehan and Robbie Willmott also took to the field for the second-half, alongside two trialists.
Josh Sheehan sent a free-kick narrowly over the top as County searched to press home the advantage built in the first-half, although the Chippenham defence were proving a tough nut to crack as the game passed the hour mark.
The bringing up of the 60-minute mark saw Day withdraw for Trialist 3, meaning the team for the final 30 minutes was completely different to the one that started proceedings in Wiltshire.
But for all the effort and determination from the County attack in trying to take a deserved lead, it was in-fact Chippenham who struck first after 66 minutes.
George Rigg’s long-balled clearance fell perfectly for Compton on the right-hand side, the ex-Exile cutting inside past Taylor and forcing the space before smashing an attempt in off the crossbar from 25 yards.
It could have been two for the home side shortly after as the goal seemed to spark some urgency and confidence into their attacks, although Josh Smile couldn’t make the home fans happy as his attempt narrowly drifted past the far post.
And just before the full-time whistle, they had another chance to extend their lead but found the trialist County goalkeeper in the way.
His stunning save from a close-range attempt from George Rigg brought the game to a close, County suffering their first defeat of the pre-season schedule following the narrow defeat at Hardenhuish Park.
Mike Flynn said: “It was a positive runout for us. They scored a good goal and it was a good workout for my players. Nice to get back to the physicality of things.
“Like I said before the game, it was all going to be positive. I’m not too bothered about the score to be honest, as-long as we try to do the right things because it shows the players are picking up the things that we are working on.”
Scot Bennett commented: “It was definitely a good runout for us today. It was one of the first ones for pre-season, so it was all about trying to find your feet, get the movement back into your legs and it was nice to get back out there and play.
“Chippenham were a decent outfit. They had some good players, some old Football League players so it was a good runout and a good test for the boys today.”
Newport County AFC first-half XI (3-4-1-2): Day, Forbes, Bennett, O’Brien, Demetriou, Butler, Cooper, Dolan, Marsh-Brown, Matt, Amond
Newport County AFC second-half XI: Day (Trialist 3 60’), Owen Taylor, Foulston, Franks, Trialist 1, Crofts, Trialist 2, Sheehan, Willmott, Collins, Touray
Chippenham Town (4-3-3): Will Puddy, George Rigg, Kieran Parselle, Josh Smile (Nick McCootie 85’), Will Richards (Trialist 1 89’), Curtis McDonald, Alex Ferguson (Jon Beeden 45’), Karnell Chambers (Lewis Ellington 60’), Nat Jarvis (Matt Smith 45’), Jack Compton (Billy Gleed 70’), James Guthrie (Harrison Lea 45’)