Chris Gadsby recalls all of today's action..
John Sheridan’s first game as Newport County manager saw Exeter City come to Rodney Parade with the Grecians having won three out of their last five games. Newport on the other hand suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of Crawley Town in midweek in what proved to be Terry Butchers last game in charge of the club.
Newport had many of the early chances in the first half, utilising Collins down the right hand side brilliantly in the first few moments of the game. With the fans strongly behind the players they continued to come forward, Medy Elito winning a corner after thirteen minutes. In the first quarter of an hour Newport looked a completely different side to the one which lost in midweek, coming forward with a purpose and passing the ball excellently all over the pitch.
Exeter had the first crucial chance of the first half however when Riberiro pounced on a half cleared ball and was able to whip a ball in across the face of goal but it was fired over the bar from two yards out. Newport continued to come forward but lacked the final ball and the ability to beat the final man. After half an hour Newport thought they were clear through on goal but Lenell John-Lewis was just offside as he chest the ball down from the lofted diagonal ball.
Aaron Collins then did really well to out sprint his marker down the right wing and find John Lewis in the box but after a couple of passes in and around the area involving Scott Boden, John-Lewis’ left footed effort was high and wide.
Exeter continued to have chances of their own however and on 33 minutes Lee Holmes was given too much space on the edge of the area and nearly curled a beautiful twenty yard ball into the top right corner of the net past Joe Day.
Mark Byrne nearly opened the scoring from thirty yards with a great run forward from half way before unleashing a great shot that was just going under the bar were it not for the hands of Robert Olijnik in the visiting goal. Aaron Collins then had a great chance to score from Scott Boden’s low cross but his shot on the turn from the penalty spot was straight at the keeper.
HALF TIME: NEWPORT COUNTY A.F.C 0 – 0 EXETER CITY F.C
Sheridan made an early substitution with Owen-Evans coming on for Yan Klukowski and Newport made an even stronger start to the second half than they did the first, spending a lot of the early period in and around Exeter’s penalty area although the crosses rarely cleared the first man.
Newport continued to play lovely attacking football forcing the Exeter defence to work hard and Scott Boden managed to get a good shot off from 25 yards that Olejnik had to dive away to his right to push away.
Exeter struck first though as Newport failed to clear their lines and gave Joel Grant all kinds of room in the penalty area to fire a ball through a crowd of bodies past Joe Day to give the visitors the lead after 61 minutes. The game suddenly became all Exeter City with Newport struggling to clear their lines and the fans getting increasingly concerned.
Newport County were back on level terms on 72 minutes though with a fantastic strike from Lenell John-Lewis after Alex Rodmans initial shot was blocked and the ball spun to him, allowing him to bury it into the corner of the net. All of sudden the crowd were right back into the game and Newport had the upper hand. Alex Rodman charged forward a couple of minutes later and the keeper had to make a good save with his legs to keep it out.
As the game ticked into the final ten minutes the crowd were urging County in a bid to try and get a second win in three games and the players responded positively, looking as though they may get a second goal, but Exeter weren’t without their chances either forcing some good saves from Joe Day.
Newport were knocking on the door in the last five minutes of the game but were unable to find the winner. A good point against a strong opponent however and new manager John Sheridan will be pleased with his sides’ performance.
FULL TIME: NEWPORT COUNTY A.F.C 1 – 1 EXETER CITY F.C
Day, Holmes, Barrow, M. Taylor, Elito, Klukowski (Owen-Evans 48’), John-Lewis, Donacien, Boden (Rodman 70’), Byrne (c), Collins (Blackwood 63’)Newport County AFC:
R. Taylor, Twumasi, Blackwood, Owen-Evans, Partridge, Parselle, RodmanSubs:
: John-Lewis 73’Goals
Olejnik, Noble, Ribeiro, Oakley (c), Holmes (Nichols 77’), Moore-Taylor, Morrison (Arron Davies 77’), Wheeler (Nicholls 77’), Tillson, Grant, BrownExeter City:
Butterfield, Davies, Nicholls, Nichols, McCready, PymSubs:
2870 (583 Away)Attendance:Tweets by @NewportCounty