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MATCH REPORT: CHELTENHAM TOWN (H)

10 September 2016

The Exiles share the points with Cheltenham Town at Rodney Parade in a entertaining encounter.

The Exiles welcomed back Jamie Turley to the starting XI, as the defender was paired at centre-back with captain Scot Bennett after making his full return from injury.

The visitors made one change for their visit to South Wales, with defender Jack Barthram coming into the starting XI, in place of Danny Whitehead. 

The Exiles started the game brightly, with Reece Grego-Cox continuing to impress and causing Cheltenham problems down the right-wing and the winger managed to produce a number of crosses into the area inside the opening ten minutes. 

Cheltenham took the lead when Asa Hall was given the space and time to advance to the edge of the County area and  the midfielder had the chance to pick out a low finish that beat the diving Joe Day and buried into the bottom corner.

Seven minutes later the hosts we back level, after a corner from the right-hand side by Jack Compton caused Cheltenham all sorts of problems and after a scramble inside the six-yard box, Jon Parkin was on hand to fire a powerful volley home. There was a slight delay as the referee had to judge whether or not the ball crossed the line, but after an anxious wait, the referee deemed the goal should stand.

On the half-hour mark a quickly taken free-kick by Jon Parkin released Sean Rigg through on goal. The striker was just about to launch a finish on goal, but a delayed flag on the far side judged that he was in fact offside.

Cheltenham retook the lead when Harry Pell was able to run from one box to the other and was eventually brought down by backtracking County defender, Paul Bignot. Danny Wright stepped up to take the penalty and calmly slotted his effort past Joe Day.

Just after going behind, Reece Grego-Cox manufactured a great opportunity for himself, evading numerous challenges on the edge of the area, before firing an effort narrowly past the post.

County were back level in the thirty-eighth minute, when a deep cross from Dan Butler was touched home by the leaping Jon Parkin, for his second goal of the afternoon.

Just prior to the break, the Exiles were denied a third goal, when a low-driven shot by Reece Grego-Cox was saved by the legs of Cheltenham 'keeper Griffiths. 

HALF TIME: NEWPORT COUNTY AFC 2 -2 CHELTENHAM TOWN

The second half wasn't even a minute old when Jon Parkin had his next opportunity on goal, as the striker waited patiently for a looping ball to drop to him on the edge of the area, before launching a volley towards goal that had to be tipped over the crossbar.

Joe Day was called into action and made a terrific double save to deny both Pell and Smith from close range after the visitors had hit County on the break.

Jack Compton made way for Marlon Jackson, and the game had a real end-to-end feel during the final fouty-five minutes. Another chance fell to Jon Parkin, after a neat flick from Sean Rigg found Parkin, who lashed a looping volley wide of the post.

Double goal scorer, Jon Parkin, made way for Rhys Healey inside the final fifteen minutes, but apart from a long-range volley from Joss Labadie that flew past the far post, but nither side was able to dig out a final chance on goal to push for a winner.

FINAL SCORE: NEWPORT COUNTY AFC 2 - 2 CHELTENHAM TOWN


STARTING XI: Day, Bennett (c), Bulter, Bignot, Turley, Randall (Tozer), Labadie, Compton (Jackson), Grego-Cox, Rigg, Parkin (Healey)
SUBS: Bittner, Myrie-Williams, Tozer, Green, Cameron, Healey, Jackson 
BOOKINGS: Bignot 
GOALS: Jon Parkin x2

Referee: Carl Boyeson 
Attendance: 2,656 (422 away fans)
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