MATCH REPORT: West Ham Development
Newport County AFC traveled to the Little Heath Sports Ground on Saturday afternoon to face a West Ham Development side in the final first team pre-season game before the big kick off on Saturday 9th August. A first half goal from Yan Klukowski followed up by two second half goals from Chris Zebroski and Rene Howe sealed a comfortable win for County.
The game started at a fast pace as Maiga's shot from distance was well saved by Lenny Pidgeley. Just moments later Christian Jolley volleyed inside the area with the ball ending up over the crossbar. Ten minutes into the game Robbie Willmott's free kick was on target but well saved by St.Louis-Hamilton in the Hammers goal. Joe Parker was next to have an effort on target as his first time shot was well saved.
On 28 minutes County took the lead when a fantastic cross from Andrew Hughes' found Joe Parker at the far post, Parker then managed to head the ball back across goal to Mike Flynn who in turn set up Yan Klukowski with his header, Klukowski then finished from close range to complete the hat trick of headers.
Maiga then found his way into the box with five minutes left of the half his shot tested Pidgeley at his front post but the shot was comfortably saved by the County stopper. West Ham's Gordon had the final chance of the half but his effort was high and wide of the target.
Into the Second half and 10 changes for County with only Andrew Hughes' remaining from the starting XI. Just after the hour mark Rene Howe worked his way into the box and found himself on the byline, his pass managed to fine Chris Zebroski in the area whose effort ended up over the crossbar. Just two minutes later and Zebroski got his goal as he turned in the area to finish well and double the lead for county on 64 minutes. County started to click into gear and Rene Howe found himself through one on one with the goalkeeper only to finish calmly into the bottom right hand corner to make it 3-0 to County.
With five minutes left Aaron O'Connor turned on the edge of the box and struck it well, only for the West Ham keeper to save well. Lee Minshull was next to come close as his header from a corner was deflected onto the post and away.
As the referee blew time on pre-season County came away with another win and clean sheet to complete pre-season undefeated. County Manager Justin Edinburgh commented after the game "we've played some good stuff and worked very very well in terms of fitness and pressing and the goals were good today. All in all as well as pre-season we leave with no injuries which is a big plus and we go into the start of the season with near enough a full squad to choose from, so I think all in all pre-season has been excellent, but we all know the acid test is next Saturday when we kick off against Wycombe, then we'll know were we're at really."