AFC Wimbledon 2-0 County
County ended a week that has seen manager Justin Edinburgh depart for Gillingham, with a hard-fought two-nil away defeat to AFC Wimbledon.
If County weren't aware of the physical presence of Adebayo Akinfenwa before today, then the warning signs were apparent in the opening exchanges. The experienced Wimbledon striker almost opened the scoring with glancing header in the 4th minute. Luckily his effort bounced just wide of Joe Day's left-hand post.
It wasn't long before the target man was in the thick of the action again. A cross from the left by Sean Rigg found Akinfenwa who out jumped the County defence and nestled his header into the net and out of the reach of Joe Day.
After the goal Newport started to assert more pressure on the home side. Both Ryan Jackson and Andy Sandell worked the opposite wings and were at the heart of the majority of the County attacks.
It was the youngster Ryan Jackson who produced a teasing cross which found the advancing Mark Byrne in the six-yard area. The midfield couldn't balance himself to produce a clean shot the opportunity was wasted.
Byrne had another chance to grab an equaliser just before half-time. This time Andy Sandell’s throw from the left found the midfielder in Wimbledon area. Under pressure Bynre took a shot quickly and was only able to fire his attempt straight at James Shea who was able to save comfortably.
County went into the break a trailing by a goal, but would have been encouraged at the chances they had started to create.
Akinfenwa was quick to make his presence felt again in the second half. A cross from the left looked destined for him to head home at the far post, but pressure from Kevin Feely meant that the striker mistimed his jump and the opportunity went amiss.
The game was turned on its head in the 55th minute. Last man Kevin Feely was shown a straight red card for a pulling back the advancing George Francomb in the County area. Akinfenwa trotted up to the penalty and without much power behind his effort, Joe Day was able to save low down to his right.
With ten men County struggled to break down the resilient defence of the home side and carve out any real opportunities. Miles Storey was introduced to add some energy to the County attack but changes were hard to come by.
In the 71st minute Newport were then punished again by Akinfenwa. The striker first attempt from inside the County box was fortunately rebounded straight to his feet and he was able to poke the ball home from six-yards out.
The home side were nearly gifted a third goal before the end of the game. Substitute striker Adebayo Azeez charged down a clearance from Joe Day, but thankfully for the County 'keeper the ball ballooned over the crossbar.
County did have some chances in the closing moments of the game to pull a goal back. A Andy Sandel throw-in found Yan Klukowsi in the area, but the midfielder snatched at his volley which ended up clearing the crossbar.
County were unable to unlock the Wimbledon defence and the game ended 2-0.
Away Attendance: 271
"We are not getting the rub of the green at the moment. You see from their second goal that it's a ricochet that's landed straight to him (Akinfenwa).
Obviously we lost the first four at the start of the season and we have lost the last four again, but we turned it around then and I'm hopeful we can go on another run."
"Up until the sending off I thought it was a good performance. I thought we were getting back into the game. Second half we started off and I thought we were the better team. We were looking to push them and get the goal.
The sending off derailed us a little bit but we saved the penalty and I after that I thought we did exceptionally well playing with ten men. Footballers make decisions and Kev' has paid the price.
Three of the last four defeats have been away from home and it’s hard to win away from home. I thought their was a performance from the lads today. We are home on Tuesday and it's about us regrouping and getting a win on Tuesday."