Chris Gadsby takes a look back at the month of October
After an unbeaten September in the league that saw Newport begin to climb up the table, they went into October looking to continue that unbeaten run and make more strides towards the playoff positions. Ten points from the five games in October saw Newport in seventh at the end of it, in the final playoff spot, beating out Morecambe on the number of goals scored.
Saturday 4thOctober – Oxford United (A) – Lost 1-0 – League Position: 18th - HIGHLIGHTS
Oxford United lifted themselves out of the League 2 relegation zone as they inflicted the first defeat in eight League 2 games on Newport County. Michael Collins found the back of the net with just five minutes to go of the first half. Newport couldn’t find an equaliser despite the home side going down to ten men early on in the second half after Tyrone Barnett picked up his second booking. After the game Newport were only four points above the relegation zone, but three wins in a row propelled them up the league.
Saturday 11thOctober – York City (H) – Won 3-1 – League Position: 13th - HIGHLIGHTS
A second red card for Newport’s opposition in as many games allowed the Exiles to come from behind to inflict a convincing 3-1 win over York City. Russell Penn received his second yellow card just twenty five seconds into the second half which gave Newport the upper hand. Goals from Andrew Hughes, Chris Zebroski and Darren Jones secured the win for Newport despite going a goal down after just seven minutes. The win left Newport only one point outside the top half of the table, higher than they had been all season so far.
Saturday 18thOctober – Dagenham and Redbridge (A) – Won 1-0 – League Position: 9th - HIGHLIGHTS
It was a trip to London that the Exiles faced next. Dagenham and Redbridge were in the bottom third of the table and Newport were the favourites going in to the contest. Yet another red card was shown to Newport’s opponents, this time to Abu Ogogo after eighty minutes for lashing out at Lee Minshull. Newport were able to take full advantage of this and Chris Zebroski headed home a Sandell cross in the final minute of play to give County the three points before they returned home to face a strong Southend side in midweek.
Tuesday 21stOctober – Southend United (H) – Won 1-0 – League Position: 8th - HIGHLIGHTS
It was eight against ninth at Rodney Parade on a cold Tuesday night in mid-October. Newport were looking for their third win in a row whilst Southend were looking to get back into the playoff places that they had occupied slightly earlier in the season. The visitors were left to rue a missed penalty when Joe Day proved to be County’s hero, diving well to his left to save the spot kick. Mark Byrne scored the only goal of the game with fifteen minutes to go when he smashed home from the assist by O’Connor.
Saturday 25thOctober – Accrington Stanley (H) – Drew 1-1 – League Position: 7th - HIGHLIGHTS
Newport got themselves into the playoff places despite going a goal down at home to Accrington Stanley. They were looking for their fourth win in a row but after Sean Maguire put the visitors ahead after his shot got deflected to beat Joe Day, Joe Piggott scored a stunning goal to bring the Exiles level once again and the game finished one goal apiece.
In the last two months of domestic football, Newport had only lost once in the league. The fans were now starting to think that maybe Newport could achieve something beyond even the most optimistic fan’s dreams. This unbeaten run would continue into November and despite County’s exit from the FA Cup at the hands of Luton, in the league they would take eight points from twelve and remain in the playoff positions.