MATCH REPORT: Evesham Away
Newport County started their pre-season schedule with a 4-2 win over Evesham United on Tuesday night. Evesham taking the early lead through Lance Smith before first half goals from trialist Mark Byrne and Rene Howe gave County the lead. Just before the break Evesham's Smith leveled the scores going into the half time. After the break County to the game to their hosts with Yan Klukowski 15 minutes into his debut, a further goal from Chris Zebroski with ten minutes left sealed the win and the Carl Lewis Memorial Trophy.
The game started at a fast pace and it was Evesham's number 10 Lance Smith who headed in from close range with just six minutes on the clock. County responded quickly with Danny Crow and Shaun Jeffers coming close to leveling the score just a minute later. As County started to press to get an equalizer Jeffers again went close following a superb through ball from Rene Howe, only to see his effort saved by Kevin Sawyer in the Evesham goal.
Ashley Edenborough was close to extending Evesham's lead following a cross from the right hand side only to see his header go over the bar and safely behind for a goal kick. Just minutes later it was the turn of Howe to head just over the bar as County kept pressing for an equalizer. Lenny Pidgeley denied Kevin Slack what looked a certain goal with a well stopped shot from close range. Still County pressed for an equalizer and in the 32nd minute it came. Following good build up play the ball found its way to Mark Byrne inside the penalty area who slotted home to give County the goal they deserved.
County weren't settling for just an equalizer however as a superb through ball from Howe found Lee Minshull in the area before Kevin Sawyer saved and the Evesham defence managed to clear the ball to safety. It was then over to Christian Jolly who managed to find space on the edge of the Evesham box before sending his just inches past Sawyer's left hand post. It was however Jolley who supplied Rene Howe with his opportunity to get on the score sheet who applied the finish which saw County take the lead on 40 minute mark. Newport were only in front for three minutes after a superb free kick from 25 yards saw Lance Smith get his second goal of the game and the equalizer to send the sides in level at the break.
The second half began with a number of changes to the team which saw 9 players being added into the mix along with first half substitute Lee Minshull. A quiet opening quarter to the second half soon came to life as Yan Klukowski on his debut powered home a half volley to give County the lead on the hour mark. Newport began to put the game to Evesham and trialist Jack Simmons and Chris Zebroski went close to extending County's lead. As the pressure mounted Andy Sandell seen his shot saved by Evesham's number one who also held onto a Adam Chapman shot on the 75th minute.
Jack Simmons pounced on a misplaced clearance by Sawyer, however the keeper had recovered in time to stop Simmons shot. In the 80th minute Lee Minshull's deflected header whistled just past the post, however it was the resulting corner that caused chaos at the back for Evesham, a goal mouth scramble that eventually fell to the feet of Chris Zebroski who slotted the ball into the back of the Evesham net. Late on Aaron O'Connor rounded the keeper only to see his shot blocked on the line and cleared to safety.
A good win for Justin Edinburgh's men who said after the game "these games are all about fitness, touch and working your way back into the game so that when you come to your first ninety minutes you're ready to hit the ground. I think you look at general play in terms of the things we started working on in training triggered movements that set things off tonight."