County 4-1 AFC Wimbledon
Newport County welcomed Neil Eardley’s AFC Wimbledon to Rodney Parade. County having not taken three points from the Dons in their previous six outings, a run that stretches back to the 2009/10 season in the Conference.
However, the hoodoo was broken today, as the 2804 supporters witnessed a 4-1 victory in favour of the Exiles. Two goals from Loanee, Joe Piggot along with goals from Ismail Yakubu and Aaron O’Connor, Adebayo Akinfenwa with the return.
County began the game in a positive manner, pressing the Dons high up the pitch. Following the high pressure, Wimbledon centre half, Adam Barrett, got caught dawdling on the ball, Chris Zebroski poking the ball through from the hesitant defender, through on goal. Harrison, aware of the danger brought down the County striker, leaving the referee, Darren Deadman a difficult decision. The foul warranted a yellow card. In form Robbie Willmott struck the ball from range, only to see James Shea stretch down to his left to make the save.
The Exiles looked dangerous from set pieces throughout the first half, subsequently, in the eighteenth minute, a fantastic Willmott corner was met by the head of Yakubu, guiding his header past Shea and into the top corner of the net.
Willmott continued to progress and impress during the first half. Finding space down the right hand side, causing the Wimbledon defender all sorts of issues. Willmott’s persistence almost led to a second after thirty minutes, pinching the ball from the Wimbledon left back, bearing down on the opposition goal, Piggott was well placed in the box, Willmott opted to go alone, firing wide.
The Dons came close late in the half to an equaliser, Ben Harrison charging from the left back position in support, playing the ball into the County danger area, met by the arriving Sean Rigg, who headed narrowly wide.
The Exiles couldn’t have wished for a better start to the second half. AFC Wimbledon starting the second very much like the first, gifting Zebroski an opportunity through on goal. The keeper stood firm, however the ball fell Joe Piggott, who fired past the goal keeper to set the home support into hysteria.
Newport were continually warned from set pieces, as Wimbledon looked for a reply, sending the majority of set pieces into the ever present, Akinfenwa.
Despite the away sides’ pressure, it was County who took the initiative. Loanee Piggott, picking the ball from deep, beating numerous defenders before sending a deflected effort into Shea’s goal.
The hearts of the home support were well and truly in their mouths in the 69th minute. Matt Tubbs, playing a delicate back heal into the path of substitute, Adebayo Azeez, who slotted past the keeper, only to see the linesman flagging for the offside.
Wimbledon continued to search for a reply, sending long direct deliveries into the County danger zone. Newport seemed to be comfortable with the danger, however, a failure in clearance from a corner was returned with quality, meeting the head of the man mountain, Akinfenwa, who arrowed his header past Joe Day.
County sealed the match late on. Substitute O’Connor locating space in the opposition box. O’Connor, turning of a six pence and firing low past the Dons keeper, a hammer blow for the traveling support.
County went on the hunt for more in stoppage time, counter attacking through the Strikers, only to see the Wimbledon defence survive.