County come undone at home against Accrington Stanley.
Newport’s last game in March and their fifth of the month at home was against automatic promotion chasing Accrington Stanley, who were only a point outside the top three. County only named five substitutes for the match but Warren Feeney was looking to finish the month strongly.
The game was without incident until the 5th minute when Joe Day had to make a good save with his legs from six yards out to keep the ball out of the County goal, Darren Jones eventually clearing for an Accrington corner that was headed tamely over the bar.
County’s first good chance came from a free kick 11 minutes in after Alex Rodman was bought down whilst charging through the Accrington defence, but the delivery from Gosling was miskicked and went wide of everybody and out for a goal kick.
The game was still goalless after a quarter of an hour and the teams were pretty evenly matched however it was the Exiles who had the better of the chances in the opening stages of the game. Mark Byrne had a couple of chances from the edge of the area but these were both blocked at source and then the visitors had a free kick twenty yards from goal after Darren Jones brought down Josh Windass but the resulting header was never going to trouble Joe Day in the County goal and the header at the back post was wide of the mark.
Midway through the first half Scott Barrow did brilliantly down the left hand side to knock the ball past his marker and bear down on the penalty area with Boden sprinting in towards the back post, the driven cross beat Etheridge in the visiting goal but was a yard too early for Boden which was unable to reach it in time, and the ball ran all the way through the area.
It was only a couple of minutes later that Newport nearly took the lead when Jake Gosling hit a vicious volley from twelve yards after some brilliant passing in the build-up and it took a fantastic save from Etheridge to keep the scores level. Newport were getting better and better as the game went on and were really threatening the Accrington goal as the game headed to the half hour mark.
The visitors then took the lead against the run of play after the Coutny defence stood off the on rushing midfielders and after a couple of great saves from Joe Day, Billy Kee was found all alone at the back post and was able to fire home at the back post.
GOAL: NEWPORT COUNTY 0 – 1 ACCRINGTON STANLEY (BILLY KEE 35’)
Accrington doubled their lead two minutes later when Piero Mingoia was left time and space on the right wing to put in a low cross that Josh Windass was able to get a strong right foot to, Joe Day unable to get to the ball quickly enough, Newport suddenly with their backs against the wall heading towards the break.
GOAL: NEWPORT COUNTY 0 – 2 ACCRINGTON STANLEY (JOSH WINDASS 37’)
Those two goals took the confidence out of County but the remainder of the first half went by without incident and Newport went into the dressing room at the break knowing that they faced a uphill battle to get something out of the game.
HALF TIME: NEWPORT COUNTY 0 – 2 ACCRINGTON STANLEY
Warren Feeney made a half time substitution to try and change the game, bringing on Tom Owen-Evans in place of Janoi Donacien in an attempt to give County greater attaching threat in the second half. The first ten minutes were uneventful with neither side having clear cut chances in front of goal but it was the visitors who looked the more comfortable side.
The visitors looked the side more likely to score again and almost did when Scotty Brown was first to pounce on a loose ball from twenty five yards and hit fired a shot goal wards that was always rising and never troubled Joe Day. That was the only good chance of the first fifteen minutes of the second half and Newport knew that a goal needed to come quickly if they were in with a chance of getting a point from the game.
With twenty minutes to go the second half was still uneventful but after Warren Feeney bought on Matt Partridge and Tom Meechan for his football league debut, Newport knew that they had to throw everything at Accrington to try and get something from the contest. Stanley though were moving the ball brilliantly and as the game moved into the final fifteen minutes Mingoia had another strike at goal similar to his earlier effort, but the result was the same and it was no problem at all for Joe Day.
Newport won a free kick thirty yards from goal with seven minutes of normal time remaining and Jake Gosling did well to strike it left footed around the five man wall and he had Etheridge scrambling for a moment but the ball dipped over the bar and out for a goal kick.
There were only two minutes of added time at the end of the game and Accrington were easily able to keep Newport at bay for the duration of those two minutes, taking all three points away from Rodney Parade and recording their first victory over the Exiles at the sixth attempt.
FULL TIME: NEWPORT COUNTY 0 – ACCRINGTON STANLEY
Newport County: Day, Holmes, Barrow, Jones, Davies (Meechan 74’), Klukowski (Partridge 60’), Donacien (Owen-Evans 45’), Boden, Rodman, Byrne (c), Gosling
Subs not used: Green, Parselle
Accrington Stanley: Etheridge, Pearson, Davies, Mingoia, Windass (Boco 70’), McConville (Fosu 72’), Brown, Hughes, Conneely (c), Kee, Halliday
Subs not used: Mooney, Procter, Little, Gornell, Buxton
Goals: Kee 35’, Windass 37’
Attendance: 2218 (156 Away)
Referee: Sebastian Stockbridge