County impress against Burton
High-flying Burton were the guests to Rodney Parade on Bank Holiday Monday, with the visitors still hopeful of achieving automatic promotion at the end of the season.
County were boosted by the news prior to kick-off that they were now mathematically safe from relegation from the Football League, with the players now looking to impress manager Justin Edinburgh to force themselves into his plans for next season.
Newport started the match brightly with skipper Mike Flynn having a volley from just outside the area go narrowly wide of the Burton goal.
Left-back Andy Sandell opened the scoring in the 5th minute, with a superb driven effort from thirty-five yards out that rocketed into the bottom corner of the net leaving Lyness in the Burton goal with no chance.
The goal spurred County to make more advances on the Burton goal, with a fortunate opportunity falling to Chris Zebroski six-yards out but his shot was blocked by the visitors defence.
On the half-hour mark Burton started to create more chances of their own and they were awarded a penalty after Darcy Blake was deemed to have fouled Dominic Knowles in the County area. Striker Michael
Symes took the penalty and calmly side-footed the ball into the bottom corner to equalise.
County nearly re-took the lead immediately as a Robbie Willmott corner was headed by Andy Sandell into the path of Chris Zebroski whose volley was cleared off the line by the visitors defence.
After the break Newport enjoyed a spell of dominance and created a handful of good chances to take the lead. Midfielder Lee Minshull was played through one-on-one with the Burton ‘keeper but his effort on goal took a deflection off a defender and looped over the crossbar. From the corner that followed defender Kevin Feely had a towering header that rattled the post.
County didn’t let-up in their quest to regain the lead as Christian Jolley made a weaving run down the left wing and played a ball across the box the eventually found Robbie Willmott at the far post, who forced the Burton ‘keeper Lyness into a good save.
Burton introduced Alex MacDonald into the game and he almost scored against the run of play, after his long-range effort thumped the post after beating Lenny Pidgeley in the County goal.
There was a late chance for County to snatch all three points in the 88th minute as a whipped cross from Robbie Willmott found Shaun Jeffers, who’s header from six-yards out was straight at the Burton ‘keeper.
The game ended with 1-1, which dented Burton’s hopes of automatic promotion but ensured County will finish in a respectable mid-table position come May.
County: Pidgeley, Porter, Minshull (Jeffers 74), Zebroski, Willmott, Sandell, Blake, Flynn (O'Connor 57), Jackson, Feely, Jolley (Chapman 67)
Subs: McLoughlin, Hughes, Chapman, O'Connor, Jeffers, Holloway
Ref: B Malone