County secure their place in the second round of the Emirates FA Cup, with their first home victory since March...
It was a wet and windy night in South Wales that played host to the FA Cup First Round replay between the Exiles and National League North side Brackley Town. A win for Newport would see them go a month unbeaten and book a second round tie against Barnet, Brackley were looking to cause a major cup upset.
Newport County had the best possible start, scoring after 35 seconds after a mistake by the Brackley defence knocking it past their own keeper and allowing Lenell John-Lewis to slot the ball home from a tight angle.
GOAL: NEWPORT COUNTY 1 – 0 BRACKLEY TOWN (JOHN-LEWIS 1’)
After the very quick opening goal, Newport continued to look the League side in the encounter, almost constantly pressuring the Brackley defence despite the very strong wind blowing against them in the first half as they played towards the home terrace. Joe Day had particular problems with his goal kicks as they could not clear the rugby ten metre line and long balls forward were also blown off course for the Exiles.
Brackley were not without their chances though and this often came from a lack of Newport communication in which two players were often chasing the same attacker and leaving men in space. Scot Bennett did very well to clear a dangerous visiting cross twelve minutes in.
professional goal.thCounty though were the dominant side and a cross towards the back post towards Lenell John-Lewis nearly doubled the lead but his shot was mistimed, the ball eventually fell to Danny Holmes on the edge of the area who was fouled and gave Newport a dangerous free-kick 20 yards out. Yan Klukowski took it right footed and buried it into the top corner past the outstretched arm of Hornby in the Brackley goal, his 60
GOAL: NEWPORT COUNTY 2 – 0 BRACKLEY TOWN (YAN KLUKOWSKI 17’)
Joe Day was called into action midway through the first half after a curling shot was deflected, adding to the curve, towards the bottom corner of Day’s goal, but he was able to get down to his right comfortably to make the two handed catch.
With the two goal advantage manager John Sheridan appeared to become even more vocal then he was before, Newport appeared to be taking things a little easier and Brackley were having longer spells of possession in the County half. Newport though knew that they couldn’t be complacent because of what happened in the first tie and continued, thanks to runs from John-Lewis and Bennett, to give Brackley things to think about defensively as the clock ticked past the half hour mark.
The game began to quieten down somewhat as the first half began to creep towards its conclusion, Brackley had a few chances but as did County, neither side really threatening the opposition goal. Brackley Town though got back in the game with seven minutes to go in the first half when Newport failed to deal with a run into the box and the ball came across the six yard line into the feet for Hawtin to slot into the centre of the goal.
GOAL: NEWPORT COUNTY 2 – 1 BRACKLEY TOWN (AIDAN HAWTIN 38’)
That goal changed the entire mood around the ground. The away fans were singing and the Newport fans were getting frustrated with wayward passes in what were, tricky conditions. Brackley suddenly had a spring in their step and looked as though they could get the equalising goal, potentially even before half time. There were three minutes of added time and the crowd were desperate for Newport to get into the break with the lead intact. It was Brackley who controlled the ball and possession though and the crowd were very relieved when the half time whistle went.
HALF TIME: NEWPORT COUNTY 2 – 1 BRACKLEY TOWN
With the wind behind them Newport could peg Brackley back in the second half and they started brightly, using their better fitness to their advantage as time and again they chased the lofted ball over the Brackley back line.
Brackley began to play incredibly deep which meant that none of Newport’s shots were actually making it on goal. The fans were encouraged by the fast paced play that County were displaying as it was much the same as the play that brought them the two goal lead.
Newport continued to press and after some brilliant skill by Medy Elito at the byline, Mark Byrne was able to fire a shot that was pulled back to him on the edge of the area towards goal but he was leaning backwards and it was fired over. Only a minute later though Alex Rodman found himself in front of goal and fired a low shot across the face of goal into the corner of the net and restored County’s two goal advantage.
GOAL: NEWPORT COUNTY 3 – 1 BRACKLEY TOWN (ALEX RODMAN 63’)
That goal lifted the spirit of the crowd and the County Choir started banging the drum and raising their voices as the mood became better and better around Rodney Parade as the fans began to believe that the long awaited home win, stretching back to March could finally be about to arrive.
An own goal was the next thing on the scoresheet. Tom Owen-Evans did brilliantly to beat his marker and get a cross in which was turned past his own keeper by Aidan Hawtin to almost certainly but the game to bed.
GOAL: NEWPORT COUNTY 4 – 1 BRACKLEY TOWN (O.G AIDAN HAWTON 70’)
As the game ticked into the final ten minutes Newport were quite happy to pass the ball between themselves, switching the play from side to side, wearing down the opposition. They were relaxing and trying things that would not normally be attempted, Alex Rodman trying an ambitious thirty yard chip when the keeper was only a yard off his line.
Brackley Town though wouldn’t give up and were determined to fight every minute of the game in what was their sixth FA Cup tie of the year. They continued to come forward and although they failed to really trouble Joe Day in the County goal and Newport were eventually able to show their dominance, they gave the Exiles two very good games of football.
December.thThe three minutes of added time were uneventful and Newport were able to see the game out and secure their second round away tie to Barnet, which will be played on Saturday 5
FULL TIME: NEWPORT COUNTY 4 – 1 BRACKLEY TOWN
Day, Holmes, Elito, Klukowski (Owen-Evans 66’), John-Lewis (Collins 68’), Bennett, Boden, Partridge, Rodman, Barnum-Bobb (Hughes 57’), Byrne (c)Newport County:
Subs not used: Green, Taylor, Ralph, Parselle
Goals: John-Lewis 1’, Klukowski 17’, Rodman 63’
Bookings: Boden 64’
Hornby, Hawtin, McDonald, Clarke, Graham (c), Mills, Odhiambo, Walker, Akintunde (Moyo 71’), Diggin (Smith 78’), Batchelor (Winters 74’)Brackley Town:
Subs not used: Austin, Morley, Whittall, Farrell, Smith
Goals: Hawtin 38’
Bookings: Diggin, Hawtin
Referee: Stuart Attwell
Attendance: 1511 (181 away)
Man of the Match: Mark Byrne
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