Match Report : 16/09/2014

County earn point away from home

Newport County AFC battled against Tranmere Rovers on Tuesday night for a well earned point away from home. There were two changes to the side that won against Northampton Town on Saturday as Joe Pigott took his place amongst the starting XI and club captain Andy Sandell came in to the side. Another positive for County was Regan Poole being named amongst the substitutes for the game.

The first chance of the night fell to Tranmere's Abdulai Baggie just two minutes in, Baggie however put his effort wide of Joe Days goal.It was Baggie again who went close for the hosts as he found himself through one on one, Day again coming out on top as he was down well to save. 

Just six minutes in Chris Zebroski went close to breaking the deadlock as his header from a County corner was eventually cleared off the line by the Tranmere defence. The game then took a short stoppage as Tranmere's Matt Hill went down off the ball with a nasty looking injury. With both teams pressing it was County who were next to go close, a goalmouth scramble eventually ending in Owain Fon Williams tipping over from the County corner. Tranmere then looked to break away from the resulting corner as Eliot Richards found himself through on goal only to put his effort wide of the mark.

Joe Day was alert again just after the half hour mark as he did well to save from Richards first time shot. Andy Sandell was next to try his luck for County as his shot from distance flew past Fon Williams left hand post. Eliot Richards was proving a handful as he struck a shot first time from the edge of the box, Day was again on his toes to get down and send the ball to safety.

County made a substitution at half time as Kevin Feely was replaced by Aaron O'Connor for the second half. As Tranmere were pressing early in the second half a dangerous cross flashed across the face of the County goal with Robbie Willmott clearing the ball to safety. Zebroski found space just moments later as his shot went just past of the Tranmere goal.

Tranmere's Cole Stockton managed to turn and shoot but his effort ended up wide of the target. It was then Marc Laird who was next to test Joe Day as his shot from 20 yards out found the safety of Joe Day's arms. Just past the hour mark County made their second substitution as Joe Pigott was replaced by Yan Klukowski and Klukowski found himself on the edge of the box as he fired into a pile of bodies on the edge of the Tranmere box, the ball eventually cleared by the Tranmere defence.

Tranmere found themselves with a free kick on the edge of the County penalty area with just twenty minutes left in the game, the home crowd excited by the prospect of Jason Koumas coming on just moments before the free kick, he stepped up and the ball ended up safely over the bar. With twelve minutes left Klukowski fired in a cross that was just inches away from reaching Aaron O'Connor for what would have been a certain effort on goal. 

As the clock counted down to the 90 minute mark County made their final substitution bringing on Christian Jolley to replace Chris Zebroski. With an additional three minutes signalled by the fourth official there were chances at either end of the ground, but County's defence held strong to claim a clean sheet, whilst the team are now five unbeaten with another tough away trip to come at Shrewsbury Town on Saturday.

Manager Justin Edinburgh commented after the game "we had to soak up a lot of pressure during the game tonight, a very good performance by Tranmere, but a very good away performance by us tonight, we were solid without being spectacular, we had a lot of defending to do but when the keeper was called upon he was fantastic tonight. It's an excellent clean sheet and we've kept our unbeaten run going."