County comeback earns three points
Newport manager Justin Edinburgh was able to call on recent signing Joe Day, after the goalkeeper’s transfer had been finalised at the start of the January transfer window. County also welcomed back striker Aaron O’Connor into the side, after missing the last three games through suspension. There was a recall to the stating eleven for mid-fielder Lee Minshull, who was an unused substitute against Cheltenham on Sunday.
The opening stages of the game played out without any team managing to carve out any clear changes of goal.
That all changed in the tenth minute when the first corner for the visitors was headed home by defender Courentey Meppen-Walter. The defender rose above the County defence and guided his header into the bottom corner of the net and past the reach of Joe Day.
Newport responded with a handful of half-changes. Andy Sandell made good progress down the left-wing and looked a threat throughout the first half. It was the County skipper who whipped in a cross that found Lee Minshull open in the visitor’s area, but the midfielder got the ball stuck under his feet and lost his balance before he was able to get his shot away.
County had success again from the left wing with Sandell again producing a good cross that found Chris Zebroski. The County forward stabbed home an effort from six-yards but Carlise ‘keeper Dan Hanford produced a fine reaction save to prevent Zebroski from scoring.
It looked like County were destined to go into the break behind, until Ryan Jackson accelerated into the Carlisle penalty area and was bought down by the visitors skipper Daany Grainger. Adam Chapman was given the penalty-kick and he calmly slotted home after Dan Hanford dived the wrong way.
The second half began in a similar fashion to the first, with both teams having trouble penetrating the defences. The visitors had a penalty shout dismissed from referee Darren Sheldrake, when driven cross came into contact with Ismail Yakubu in the County box.
County then started to exert some more pressure on the Carlisle defence in a bid to find a winner. Ryan Jackson made space from the right wing to deliver a cross which found Aaron O’Connor, but the striker was unable to direct his headed effort towards goal.
County mid-fielder Mark Byrne saw a well struck volley glance wide of the post, in which was one of a few attempts from the Irishman from outside the penalty area.
Ryan Jackson was again busy on the right wing, this time the youngster cut inside from the right and unleashed a shot that tested the judgment of the visitors ‘keeper as it skidded past the post.
And it was a cross from the right hand side that again caused the visitors problems, this time the ball fell to Aaron O’Connor in the area who had his effort saved but the ball fell kindly into the path of the advancing Lee Minshull who slotted the ball into the top corner.
After County took the lead Carlisle struggled to create any good opportunities to equalise. Their best effort came when Troy Archibald-Henville (yes that his real name) out jumped the County defence from a cross but his effort fell straight into the hands of Joe Day.
In the closing minutes of the game Newport were more reserved in committing players to attack and that tactic worked when after four minutes of injury time they held on to record the win.
“The ball couldn’t have rolled out any better. Me and Adam Chapman were waiting on the edge of the area and to be honest I put the ball in the only place I could because everyone was running out. I’m ecstatic with goal but more importantly with the win. We were better second half and we tried to increase the tempo a bit and we got a lot more crosses into the box and just glad it eventually told.”
“I thought we were slightly not at our best first-half, we were a little bit slow in our tempo. Credit to Carlisle they came and packed the midfield and made it difficult for us at times. The penalty on the stroke of half-time gave us that impotence to come out second half and eventually worthy winners.
We have got a lot of illness running through the camp and there were probably five players out there that perhaps could have cried off. They didn’t and that’s testament to them.
We moved the ball quicker second-half. We got Lee Minshull to play higher up and Byrne and Chapman got the passes going and we managed to get the ball out wide to Ryan Jackson who was a menace down the right-hand side all afternoon.”
Today’s attendance: 3,274