Third straight win sees County eighth
Newport looked to follow up their away win at Dagenham and Redbridge last Saturday with another good result against Southend United on a wet and windy night at Rodney Parade.
The game started slowly with the first real chance of the half coming from Andrew Hughes just before a quarter of an hour but his volley was wide of the target after some lovely build up play down the right wing. An even first half with chances for both sides, Southend had a string of corners midway through but these were consistently played short and posed no real threat to Joe Day in the County goal.
It was the visitors who had the better chances of the first half and their best came on the half hour mark as County failed to clear their lines and the ensuing scramble in the penalty area eventually saw the ball headed wide of the right hand post. It was only a few minutes later though that County again had their backs to the wall and the ball was superbly cleared off the line from an in swinging Southend free kick.
Newport came back strongly however and they had the better finish to the half when just 10 minutes from the break after some terrific build up play Lee Minshull saw his acrobatic volley sail over the bar. Finally just before the half time whistle Aaron O’Connor found himself all alone in front of goal only for Dan Bentley in the Southend goal to come out and gather the ball from under his feet.
HALF TIME: NEWPORT COUNTY 0 – 0 SOUTHEND UNITED
The game opened up in the 2ndhalf but neither side were able to create chances early on. It was Southend who had the first significant opportunity but this was thwarted by a brilliant sliding challenge from Zebroski to deny the shooting opportunity. Newport continued to make mistakes in defence though and it was only a reaction save by Day from a point blank header 10 minutes into the half that kept the scores level.
Southend continued to press for the opening goal and were awarded a penalty just after the hour mark after Kevin Feely was deemed to have handled the ball as he attempted to stop a cross from the left. Myles Weston was unable to convert though after Day guessed the right way and saved well down low to his left.
The deadlock was finally broken with 20 minutes to go as Mark Byrne picked up the ball just outside the area and drilled a powerful right footed shot into the bottom left corner of the goal past Bentley’s outstretched glove.
The closing stages of the game were dominated by Newport as they looked for an insurance marker. Sandell forced a terrific save from the Southend keeper as his curling free kick from 30 yards was heading for the top corner of the net and then as the game came to a close substitute James Loveridge was denied by a terrific save after he had been played through one on one with the goal keeper.
Newport were able to hold on to the one goal lead and now move into 8th in the table following their recent good run of form which they will be looking to continue at home to Accrington Stanley on Saturday.
Manager Justin Edinburgh commented "conditions played apart tonight, but I am delighted with the win in terms of the personal who were missing from the team right now, I think it was a magnificent victory."