The Magies take a narrow victory away from Rodney Parade.
The Exiles faced Notts County in their final home game of the season, with both sides guaranteed League 2 football next season. Warren Feeney decided to rest captain Mark Byrne meaning that Danny Holmes took the armband, the fans were hoping for a game similar in excitement to the reverse fixture, a seven-goal thriller at Meadow Lane.
Newport had the first real chance of the game nine minutes in when Dean Morgan made the most of a defensive mistake allowing him to beat Roy Carroll to the ball which looped up into the air, but his volley from the edge of the area
went wide of the open net.
Both sides had early chances and it was easy to see how the reverse fixture finished 4-3. It was the home side with the majority of the chances though and after the open goal the pick of the bunch came from their third corner of the game only 12 minutes into the contest when Scott Barrow’s curling effort only just missed the far post.
It was only after twenty minutes of the contest that the game began to slow to a more reasonable pace and there wasn’t an opportunity every ninety seconds. County still looked the side more likely to score and could easily have been two or three goals up by this point in the fixture, but Notts defended strongly in numbers when necessary. Matt Partridge had the next Newport effort but his thirty-yard strike was always rising and went comfortably over Roy Carroll’s bar.
Somehow the game was still goalless after half an hour and the longer the match progressed the more Notts County came into the game with a lot of possession in the attacking third and they almost had a goal when Kieran Parselle made a mess of a header back to Joe Day but he did well to protect the ball for Day to rush out and smother.
The game looked certain to be heading to half time goalless until just five minutes before the break when Joe Day came out to meet a Notts County cross which he missed, and Genaro Snijders was there to put the ball into the empty net with a firm strike of his right boot.
GOAL: NEWPORT COUNTY 0 – 1 NOTTS COUNTY (GENARO SNIJDERS 40’)
Newport suddenly appeared quite nervous and the bobbles on the pitch were going against them, breaking their flow. As the first half entered its first and only minute of added time, Newport were again on the back foot for a Notts corner which bobbled around the penalty area and was eventually cleared away in what proved to be the last act of the first half.
HALF TIME: NEWPORT COUNTY 0 – 1 NOTTS COUNTY
Newport’s first corner of the second half came after only two minutes when Dean Morgan ran from half way towards goal with Coulibaly in the middle waiting for the delivery which was delayed and then eventually blocked as the cross came in.
Notts County’s first chance of the second half came seven and a half minutes in after Newport were careless in possession and Jon Stead was too strong for Medy Elito as he burst into the Newport County half and hit a shot towards goal from thirty yards that was very high and wide of Joe Day’s top left corner.
Newport were nearly level ten minutes into the second half when Souleymane Coulibaly was on his own in front of goal, but he stumbled as he hit the shot and as it bobbled towards the goal line it was thumped away by Notts’ defence. Dean Morgan was next to try and level the match for Newport just after the hour mark when he received the ball from Tommy O’Sullivan on the edge of the area but his shot was always rising and went tamely over the bar.
With twenty minutes of the match to go Newport were still a goal down and had used all three of their substitutes. Notts hadn’t used any and knew that they were in the stronger position as the game neared its conclusion. Medy Elito had a fantastic opportunity at the back post to level the score line but he couldn’t divert his header towards goal and then Notts had a couple of opportunities from corners to double their lead, the Exiles doing well to clear their lines.
As the game ticked into the final five minutes of normal time it was Notts County who looked more likely to score as Valencic forced a great save out of Joe Day from twelve yards out to keep Newport’s deficit to just a single goal.
As the game entered three minutes of added time Newport’s season at Rodney Parade was coming to an end and it looked as though it was going to end in a defeat as Notts sat very deep to prevent the Exiles from getting a point. Adam Campbell almost doubled the visitors lead when his curling effort hit the post and that proved to be the last action of the game as the final game at Rodney Parade ended in defeat.
FULL TIME: NEWPORT COUNTY 0 – 1 NOTTS COUNTY
Newport County: Day, Holmes (c), Barrow, Elito, Coulibaly, Donacien, Morgan (Boden 64’), Owen-Evans (Byrne 57’), Partridge (John-Lewis 71’), Parselle, O’Sullivan
Subs not used: Green, Davies, Meechan, Angel
Notts County: Carroll, Adams (Campell 82’), Smith, Hollis, Snijders (McLeod 88’), Hewitt, Valencic, Burke (Audel 76’), Atkinson, Stead, Edwards
Suns bot used: Loach, Amevor, Boyce, Gibson
Goals: Snijders 40’
Referee: Nicholas Kinseley
Attendance: 4,903 (391 Away)
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