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MATCH REPORT: DONCASTER ROVERS (A)

17 September 2016

The Exiles leave the Keepmoat Stadium empty-handed after going down 2-0 against Doncaster Rovers.

County made two changes for their first visit to the Keepmoat Stadium, with Darren Jones and Ben Tozer being introduced to the starting eleven, at the expense of Jack Compton and Paul Bignot.

The hosts, Doncaster Rovers, celebrated midfielder James Coppinger's 501st appearance for the Club after the centre midfielder reached the 500 appearance landmark last weekend against Morecambe.

The Exiles looked to use the pace and trickery of Reece Grego-Cox down the right wing and the forward was able to beat Cedric Evina in the early exchanges and fire a dangerous cross into the area that was gathered by 'keeper Marko Marosi.

Joss Labadie was on the end of a great early chance for County, as a well-timed knock-down by Jon Parkin fell kindly into the path of the advancing midfielder, who was able to take a touch and advance into the area, but Marosi was brave to dive at the feet of Labadie to claim the ball.

Ben Tozer, who was sitting in a deeper role in front of the back-four, curled a delightful cross into the host's area which was met well by Mark Randall, who saw his looping header drop narrowly over the bar with the 'keeper beaten.

Doncaster took the lead after Coppinger won a free-kick on the edge of the area and was able to dust himself off to direct a well-struck set-piece around the wall and into the bottom corner of the net.

Midfielder Joss Labadie picked an injury and was replaced by Jack Compton midway through the first-half.

The Exiles had chances to pull back level, with Jon Parkin releasing Sean Rigg inside the area and the forward tried to curl his effort into the far corner, but his shot bounced narrowly past the post. Just moments later a through ball by Mark Randall enticed Marko Marosi off his line, but the midfielder was able to snatch the ball away from the 'keeper and find Jon Parkin, who directed his first time shot wide with just defender Joe Wright to beat on the line.

Just before half-time the host had a chance to extend their lead when a 
deep cross into the County area fell to Tommy Rowe, who was able to take a touch before firing a powerful volley into the side netting.

HALF TIME: Doncaster Rovers 1 - 0 Newport County AFC 

Into the second half and the hosts were able to extend their lead when a mistake by the County defence was capitalised on by Jordan Houghton, who able to compose himself to pick out Andy Williams, who then applied the finish from close-range.

County made a double substitution to forge a way back into the game, with Marlon Jackson and loanee Rhys Healey replacing Jon Parkin and Sean Rigg. 

Just moments after coming on Rhys Healey forced Marko Marosi into action after Jackson found the striker of the edge of the area and Murphy was able to advance into the box before attempting a curled finished, but Marosi was equal to his effort which resembled the Exiles best chance of the second half.

The home side squandered chances to score a third goal during the closing stages, as forward John Marquis continued to be a nusience for County in the final third.

Inside the five minutes of injury time, Maron Jackson dug out a cross to the far post which was met by Healey. The striker managed to direct a header towards goal, but his effort was cleared off the line by Andy Butler. 

FINAL SCORE: Doncaster Rovers 2 - 0 Newport County AFC 

STARTING XI: Day, Butler, Turley, D.Jones, Bennett (c), Randall, Labadie (Compton), Tozer, Rigg (Murphy), Grego-Cox, Parkin (Jackson)

SUBS: Bittner, Bignot, Compton, Jackson, Healey, Green, Cameron

BOOKINGS: Jon Parkin, Dan Butler, Scot Bennett, Jamie Turley


REFEREE: D.Webb
ATTENDANCE: 5,254 (266 away fans)

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