We focus on the month of October in our review of the 2015/16 season.
With new manager John Sheridan in charge of the Exiles from the start of October, the fortunes of the club began to change. It took three games for Sheridan to get his first win as manager of County but the 2-0 away victory over Wycombe Wanderers started an impressive run of results that would see the Exiles go ten games unbeaten in all competitions.
Saturday 3rd October 2015 – Exeter City (H) – Drew 1-1 – 24th position – 6 points
John Sheridan’s first game as manager of Newport County ended in a one all draw with Exeter City after Lenell John-Lewis was able to slot home the rebound from Alex Rodman’s initial effort to cancel out Joel Grant’s effort twelve minutes earlier. It left County only two points away from safety but they knew that they had two tough fixtures against Mansfield Town and Portsmouth coming up in the next fortnight.
Saturday 10th October 2015 – Mansfield Town (A) – Lost 3-0 – 24th position – 6 points
It was three second half goals that sunk Newport County when they travelled up to Nottinghamshire to face Mansfield Town. Craig Westcarr, Malvind Benning and Adi Yussuf all found the net in the second period to move the Stags up to fourth in the league, and they left County rooted to the foot of the table for another week.
Saturday 17th October 2015 – Portsmouth (H) – Lost 1-0 – 24th position – 6 points
In one of the biggest games at Rodney Parade this season it was Portsmouth who took the victory with the reverse result of the same score line as County beat Pompey at Rodney Parade last season. The game was evenly matched until just before half time when Portsmouth’s star striker Matt Tubbs found the back of the net from eight yards away in the second minute of added time at the end of the first half. Newport looked better than their lone shot on target and were unlucky to come away from the fixture with nothing to show for it, but nobody could have predicted what would happen over the course of the next seven days.
Tuesday 20th October 2015 – Wycombe Wanderers (A) – Won 2-0 – 24th position – 9 points
Newport travelled to Wycombe on a cold Tuesday night thinking that taking anything from the game would be an achievement, but after Marcus Bean put the ball into his own net just after the hour mark the fans were believing that a second away win of the season would be possible. Lenell John-Lewis and Zak Ansah went close to doubling the Exiles’ advantage but it was Scott Boden with a minute of normal time remaining who put the ball past Ingram with a low drive to ensure the travelling supporters went home happy, and it was only goal difference that left County in the bottom two.
Saturday 24th October 2015 – Bristol Rovers (A) – Won 4-1 – 22nd position – 12 points
After the highs of Tuesday night, County then took the short trip over the bridge to face Bristol Rovers for the season’s local derby. They took the lead thanks to another own goal thanks to Tom Parkes before Billy Bodin equalised for the home side just two minutes later. Zak Ansah then took charge of the game in the second half and almost killed the game off within the first fifteen minutes of the second half when he scored twice in two minutes, before Tommy O’Sullivan scored a fourth with fifteen minutes to go to put the result beyond any doubt. Newport had got themselves out of the relegation zone for the first time since the first few weeks of the season, and Rodney Parade could sense an upturn in fortunes on the horizon.
Saturday 31st October 2015 – Northampton Town (H) – Drew 2-2 – 21st position – 13 points
The month ended with a home fixture against Northampton Town who, for all their troubles off the pitch were certainly doing well on it. The eventual champions were two goals to the good after half an hour thanks to Sam Hoskins and Marc Richards only for Newport to play a superb seven minutes of football to equalise thanks to Scott Barrow on 31 minutes and then Lenell John-Lewis on 38 minutes to ensure that the teams went into the break level. The sides were pretty evenly matched in the second half with neither side being able to find an opening to take all three points, and County ended the month with seven points from nine.
A change in fortunes for Newport County in the second half of October lifted them out of the relegation zone and put them four points clear of it. John Sheridan was breathing new life into the side and this is something that would remain throughout the course of November, the Exiles went unbeaten in all competitions, all month.
Tweets by @NewportCounty