Chris Gadsby takes a look back at the month of February.
After a disappointing January for Newport, the fans were hoping that February would be better and that Newport would get back to their winning ways. Sadly, despite good results against high flying Wycombe and Burton, both away from home, they struggled against sides lower down the table, particularly at Rodney Parade.
Saturday 7thFebruary – AFC Wimbledon (A) – Lost 2-0 – League Position: 6th - HIGHLIGHTS
It was two goals for Adebayo Akinfenwa that meant Newport began life without Justin Edinburgh with a defeat. Kevin Feely was sent off for bringing down George Francomb in the box but Joe Day did well to keep out Akinfenwa’s spot kick, preventing him from a hat trick. The defeat meant that Plymouth and Exeter closed the gap on the Exiles for the playoff places and left the fans nervously looking over their shoulders.
Tuesday 10thFebruary – Tranmere Rovers (H) – Drew 1-1 – League Position: 6th - HIGHLIGHTS
Jimmy Dack got his first point as Newport County boss thanks to a late goal by Mark Byrne which cancelled out Rory Donnelly’s first half injury time goal. Lee Minshull had to be stretchered off with a heavy blow to the head in the box as he went up for a header, but in a game in which Newport had almost two thirds of the possession, many fans left the ground thinking they should have secured all three points.
Saturday 14thFebruary – Wycombe Wanderers (A) – Won 2-1 – League Position: 6th - HIGHLIGHTS
A brace for Yan Klukowski gave Newport a much needed win against a strong Wycombe Wanderers side who were in the top three and looking to claim the top of the table. This was County’s first win in six in the league and it was a necessary one as well as the chasing pack of Plymouth and Bury were only one point behind them.
Saturday 21stFebruary – Morecambe (H) – Lost 1-0 – League Position: 8th - HIGHLIGHTS
The chasing pack overtook Newport as they went down by a single goal to Morecambe. It was a defensive mistake that let Jack Redshaw in behind the back line, allowing him to slot past Joe Day in the seventh minute and giving the visitors the lead. Newport only had one shot on target in the match, despite ten corners, and they fell out of the playoff places.
Saturday 28thFebruary – Burton Albion (A) – Won 1-0 – League Position: 7th - HIGHLIGHTS
Having lost three out of the last four games Newport had to go to the then top of the table Burton Albion, who eventually became champions as well. It was a spectacular strike by Miles Storey on the hour mark that gave County the win, and inflicted the first home defeat for Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink. Bury also beat Plymouth by two goals to nil, meaning that Newport climbed a place back into the playoffs, having only spent one game out.
There were positives and negatives that Newport could take from February. They had won away at both Wycombe and Burton, both of whom were in the top three at the time, but they had failed to win at home. Home victories were something that Newport would struggle to get for the remainder of the season, they would only manage one more between now and the end of the campaign.