MATCH REPORT: FC Carl Zeiss Jena
Newport County AFC faced FC Carl Zeiss Jena on Saturday afternoon at a hot and humid Spytty Park, a single goal from Darren Jones was enough to seal a win for County.
The atmosphere was bouncing at Spytty Park as County and FC Carl Zeiss Jena fans enjoyed the glorious weather. County started the game well and it was Christian Jolley who had the first chance of the game, Robbie Willmott played the ball through and Jolley's shot went just over. Jolley then nearly assisted a FC Carl Zeiss Jena own goal as his cross was deflected off Grosch and just missed the target. Jolley was having a lively game as he skipped past two players to find himself free in the area, his shot was deflected wide for a corner on 21 minutes.
The corner gave FC Carl Zeiss Jena a chance to break away as Banaskiewicz's shot went narrowly wide. As County pressed further Robbie Willmott crossed into the far post and Aaron O'Connor connected well with a volley but couldn't keep it down. In unusual Welsh conditions the match referee took a cooling break on the half hour mark to give the players a chance to get plenty of water on board. The break was enough to push County on further as Sandell's free kick found Feely whose header flew past the post. FC Carl Zeiss Jena then had a free kick in a dangerous position just before the break but Banaskiewicz could only fire into the wall.
Just after the break Koczor was down well to save from close range after Zebroski found space in the area. Mark Byrne was next to get into the area as he fired a shot come cross across the face of goal but was a little too quick for Jolley who was running in at the far post. FC Carl Zeiss Jena had the next attempt as Wiezik found himself free in the area to head just over the bar. Just before the hour mark. Zebroski crossed the ball in to find Aaron O'Connor whose diving head hit the side netting.
As we reached the hour mark Lee Minshull made way with Yan Klukowski coming on to replace him. Just two minutes later Robbie Willmott was away only to be stopped dead in his tracks by a cynical challenge, Andy Sandell stepped up to cross the resulting free kick into the far post and it was Darren Jones who headed past Koczor to give County the lead. FC Carl Zeiss Jena started to push harder for an equaliser as Schmidt volleyed only for Pidgeley to watch the ball safely over the goal.
With twenty minutes remaining Christian Jolley hit his effort just over the bar following good build up play from County. Jolley was then replaced on 74 minutes as Rene Howe came on, and it was Howe who won the ball on the half way line and run into the box to pull the ball back to Aaron O'Connor whose attempt went just wide of the mark. O'Connor then had a quick fire double chance with his first effort blocked and the second attempt going just over the bar. Kyle Patten was next to come on for County as he replace Mike Flynn. The last chance of the game fell to Darren Jones whose header was cleared off the line by the Jena defence following the corner.
A 1-0 win for County and a clean sheet was confirmed as the referee blew the full time whistle. Manager Justin Edinburgh commented "we've come to a level now that we need to be at the start of the season, I was really pleased with the game and how it went and we came through it with no injuries. The whole back four was very solid and the front three are starting to click into gear. Adam Chapman was ill and he went down with sun stroke yesterday, but he should be fine for Tuesday."