MATCH REPORT: Weston-Super-Mare 0-2 Newport County
County traveled to Weston-Super-Mare on Tuesday night for their third pre-season ahead of the Sky Bet League 2 season. There were plenty of chances during the first half for County, but they were unable to find the breakthrough before the half time whistle. Two second half goals from Aaron O'Connor and Christian Jolley gave County the lead they deserved.
The first chance of the game went to the Seagulls as Joe McClennan headed over from close range just eight minutes into the game. Robbie Willmott provided the first chance of the evening for County when his corner nearly deceived everyone, the ball was heading in direct from the corner before Clayton Fortune cleared off the line. Andy Sandell struck a shot from the edge of the box only to see it blocked by the Seagulls defence. On sixteen minutes Aaron O'Connor played the ball through to Robbie Willmott who delivered a pin point cross to Rene Howe who's effort went just over.
Syd Camper went close for the hosts with his header that was comfortably saved by Pidgeley. The chances kept coming for County as the half went on and they certainly kept getting closer, Robbie Willmott's cross into Byrne who saw his first time shot blocked. Robbie Willmott was involved again just after the half hour mark as his free kick found Aaron O'Connor who's header crashed against the cross bar. The pressure was building on the Seagulls goal as County grew more and more into the game.
Kevin Feely managed to flick on a corner that found O'Connor who's shot caused panic in Weston's defence until the ball safely found it's way into the hands of Luke Purnell. It was then the turn of Andy Sandell and Aaron O'Connor to link up as Sandell set up O'Connor who's shot was just off target, just seconds later it was O'Connor who set up Sandell who ran onto O'Connors cross only to see the ball whistle past the post.
Jake Mawford had a shot from range that Lenny Pidgeley done well to save as we entered the final stages of the first half. County then managed to break away with Yan Klukowski and Rene Howe running through on goal, with Yan's shot going narrowly wide. The final action of the half was a double chance as Feely saw his header cleared off the line while Robbie Willmott's follow up was well saved. As the referee brought the half to an end it was County who had all of the play and chances in the first half.
As the second half got underway it took less than a minute for County to break the deadlock. Following some good build up play the ball found its way to Aaron O'Connor who finished from close range to make it 1-0 to County. As the game reached the hour mark this was the signal for changes as Justin Edinburgh made 10 changes to his side including trialists Chris Jones and Jacob Cleever. Weston's Fiddes was next to strike from 18 yards which ended up going just wide of the mark.
Christian Jolley linked up well with Joe Parker on 72 minutes with a perfectly weighted through ball that just went wide. Parker was involved in the next big chance as his cross caused chaos in the Seagulls defence with the ball deflecting towards goal off a defender forcing Dan Jackson into an early save since coming off the bench. With ten minutes left Parker played Chris Zebroski through on goal only to see his well timed finish flagged as offside by the linesman. Jacob Cleever was next to get involved as his cross found Jolley in the area who controlled well and guided the ball into the net to double County's advantage in the game. Jolley went close again just moments later with ball going just wide on this occasion. Pidgeley had to keep on his toes as Weston looked to break in the last ten minutes with Fiddes half volley eventually landing comfortably into the hands of County's number one.
Trialist Jones linked up with Cleever who was through on goal only to see his effort saved by Jackson in the Seagulls goal. Pidgeley was forced into a save from distance as Llewellyn went close in the closing minutes. Jolley and Cleever linked well with Zebroski in the final minute only to see his effort just wide.
Justin Edinburgh commented after the game "I thought it was a very good workout, the levels of fitness they're getting through the gears now.I was pleased with the way we used the ball tonight on a very good surface against better opposition tonight. If we had been a little bit more clinical and ruthless the score line could have been a lot more, but the pleasing thing is the amount of chances we're creating and obviously nice again to make sure we kept a clean sheet."