County go down at The GlobeNewport County AFC fell to a controversial 4-1 defeat at The Globe Arena as the referee took centre stage by awarding Morecambe a penalty 15 minutes into the second half and sending Tom Naylor off in the process when the County were 1-0 to the good. It was harsh on Naylor who was adjudged to have fouled veteran Morecambe striker Kevin Ellison as both players chased a long ball over the top.
Earlier in the game County were looking comfortable and it was Naylor who opened the scoring on 11 minutes deflecting a far post header from Worley past the Morecambe keeper Roche after Willmott had swung in a corner from the right. Playing a 3-4-1-2 formation the midfield trio of Minshull, Porter and Chapman were rotating well with Chapman often finding himself as the furthest forward of the trio linking up with Zebroski and Howe.
This was little more than County deserved for a dominant first half display in which debutant loanee goalkeeper Ian McLoughlin had little to do. The 22 year old Dubliner signed on an Emergency Loan from MK Dons was relishing the chance of first team football and his only real work in the first half was picking the ball out of the net after Ellison had rounded him and smashed the ball in the net despite the whistle being blown several seconds earlier for offside.
Just before half time Willmott nearly created another chance for the ever willing Howe but Roche smothered the ball inside the six yard box as the former Burton front man closed in.
Half Time 0-1
Both sides were out early for the second half running through extra warm up exercises as the fog descended as did the temperature.
The second half continued in similar fashion as County were pressing Morecambe and the home side were becoming increasingly frustrated and reverting to long balls over the top. It was from one of these long balls by the impressive Devitt, on loan from Chesterfield, that turned the away side's defence and led to the decision that changed the game. Ellison ran across Naylor and as the 2 met the Morecambe number 11 fell in the area and the referee pointed to the spot before producing a red card for the unlucky Naylor.
Devitt scored from the resultant penalty and Howe immediately made way for Pipe as Edinburgh re-organised the side on 57 minutes. Four minutes later a through ball saw Ellison through on goal and he poked the ball past the on rushing McLoughlin to give Morecambe the lead.
Despite County attempting to get back in the game a double substitution by the home side's Jim Bentley produced instant results as substitute Redshaw scored with his first touch heading in a corner from the right on 71mins before doubling his tally on 83 minutes turning inside the area before hitting a low shot across the County keeper into the corner from 12 yards.
Aaron Holloway came on for Willmott and marked his Newport County AFC debut with some nice touches and link up play with Zebroski but the controversial decision to send Naylor off affected the game and gave the final scoreline a flattering slant towards the home team.
Final score: 4-1
County: McLoughlin, Hughes, Porter (Capt), Chapman (Flynn 81), Minshull, Zebroski, Willmott (Holoway 65), Jackson, Naylor, Worley, Howe (Pipe 57)
Subs: Pipe, Crow, Jeffers, Flynn, Anthony, Jolley, Holloway
Sending Off: Naylor
Goal: Naylor (11)
Morecambe: Roche, Beeley (McCready 44), Threlfall, Drummond, Parrish, Hughes (Capt.), Kenyon, Fleming, Sampson (Redshaw 71), Devitt (Amond 71), Ellison
Subs: Redshaw, Wright, Williams, Marshall, McCready, Arestidou, Amond
Goals: Devitt (57), Ellison (61), Redshaw (72, 83)
Referee: Richard Clark
Att: 1,300 (43 County)