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Match Reports

REPORT| County edged out at Wycombe Wanderers

26 December 2017

Goals in either half from Nathan Tyson and Adebayo Akinfenwa ensured Newport County AFC left Adams Park empty handed following a 2-0 defeat to Wycombe Wanderers.

The Chairboys got their just reward for a faster start to proceedings in High Wycombe, with Nathan Tyson grabbing the opener after 15 minutes.

Tyson did superbly well to control a cross-field pass from Luke O'Nien, before cutting back inside past Ben White and calmly curling the ball into the far corner from just inside the area.

County fought back resiliently the longer the game went on, Joss Labadie hitting the crossbar with just 22 seconds of the second-half played.

But the result was put beyond any doubt with 12 minutes to go, as Akinfenwa got in on the scoring.

The striker did superbly well to control a Jacobson delivery and chest it past Mickey Demetriou, before smashing a volley into the top corner that Joe Day could do nothing about in the County goal.

County also had to end proceedings with ten men after Joss Labadie was dismissed for a second bookable offence, catching Luke O’Nien just outside the area for the second of the two bookings.

Despite the result, County actually gain a place in the League 2 table, up to tenth, but three points away from the play-off places.

Mike Flynn elected to make one change to his Exiles team that drew 0-0 with Lincoln City on Saturday as Mark O’Brien missed out through suspension.

That saw Scot Bennett come in for the Irishman as County stuck to the familiar 3-5-2 formation at Adams Park, although the change brought with it some positional alterations.

Bennett moved forward into the midfield, while Ben Tozer moved back into the defence to fill the void left by O’Brien.

Wycombe manager Gareth Ainsworth made three changes to his side that lost 3-2 to Coventry City on Friday amidst some defensive frailties for the Chairboys.

Centre-back pairing Anthony Stewart and captain Adam El-Abd missed out through injury, as the Chairboys could only name one recognised centre-back in the starting side.

That meant Sido Jombati moved from full-back into the centre, while Dominic Gape came in.

Matt Bloomfield and Craig Mackail-Smith both dropped to the bench for the final Chairboys changes, with Paris Cowan-Hall and Eberechi Eze completing the 4-3-3 line-up.   

And it was the home side to fashion the opening opportunity of the game within the first five minutes.

Striker Adebayo Akinfenwa, who missed the reverse fixture at Rodney Parade through injury, was found in the area from a corner but could only head over Joe Day’s crossbar.

All the pressure was coming from the home-side in the opening 15 minutes, Birmingham loanee Dan Scarr firing well wide in addition to several crosses that Joe Day did well to collect.

And that pressure finally told as Nathan Tyson broke the dead-lock with a smart finish.

The Chairboys burst through the middle with pace before allowing Akinfenwa to hold the ball up and wait for support. O'Nien and Tyson provided it, as the latter superbly cut inside Ben White before calmly dispatching the opportunity just inside the area. Mickey Demetriou was booked for a foul in the build-up.

Joss Labadie tried to get County back level almost straight from kick-off with what was at-best a speculative attempt, although it flew well clear of Scott Brown’s far post.

Dolan fired straight at Brown as the Exiles did start to get a foothold on proceedings, Nouble also testing the palms of Brown as the game approached the 25-minute mark.

The game was starting to turn in the Exiles favour although Wycombe were still heavily dominant in possession, as Gape had to make a decent clearance to prevent Nouble getting in on goal following McCoulsky’s clever through ball.  

Nouble fired wide just a minute later after his bursting run into the area which no player could connect to, with Eze forcing Day into a comfortable save at the other end.

But that was all for the entertainment in the first-half as the one additional minute of added time came and went without a notable moment.  

You would have to say County were growing into proceedings at Adams Park the longer the game progressed, although couldn’t fashion any saves from Brown.

Wycombe got the goal that their lively start deserved, but other than that were finding it extremely difficult to breakdown a stubborn Exiles defence.     

But after just 22 seconds of the second-half, County were mightily unlucky to not get an equaliser.

The ball sat up invitingly for Labadie about 25 yards out, only to see the attempt ricochet back off the crossbar. McCoulsky forced a corner with the rebound, although the Chairboys did well to defend.

And with 55 minutes on the clock, the Exiles came close yet again.

Butler launched an aerial ball that McCoulsky did superbly well to chest and control, before attempting to square the ball for Nouble, which left-back Joe Jacobson cut out.    

Akinfenwa had the ball in the net down the other end shortly after, although that was ruled out for an infringement following a Jacobson free-kick.   

Robbie Willmott came on for the opening County substitution with 25 minutes to go in place of Bennett, while Lamar Reynolds also came on just two minutes later for David Pipe.

That meant the Exiles switched to a 4-3-3 line up with White doing the job as right-back, in addition to Reynolds and Nouble taking the attacking wide positions.

But with twelve minutes to go, the result was put beyond question as Akinfenwa got his 12th goal of the season.

Jacobson’s deliveries were causing havoc all afternoon to the County defence and this time one paid dividends. Akinfenwa sublimely chested the ball past Demetriou and rifled an unstoppable volley past a helpless Joe Day from all of 12 yards.

Amond almost found a route back into the game for County almost instantaneously, although Gape rose high to head his header off the goal-line and away from danger.

To make matters worse, Labadie was shown his marching orders for a second bookable offence with a minute to go after catching O’Nien outside the area.  

Five minutes additional time was indicated at the end of the game and Wycombe did have the ball in the back of the net at the end of the added extras, although strangely the whistle had already gone for full-time.

 

County: Day, Pipe (Reynolds 67’), White, Tozer, Demetriou, Butler, Dolan, Labadie (C), Bennett (Willmott 64’), Nouble, McCoulsky (Amond 78’)

Subs not used: Bittner, Foulston, Owen-Evans, Touray

 

Wycombe: Brown, Gape, Jombati, Scarr, Jacobson, Saunders, O’Nien, Eze (Bloomfield 76’), Cowan-Hall (Freeman 89’), Akinfenwa, Tyson (Mackail Smith 84’)

Subs not used: Ma-Kalambay, Southwell, De Havaillard, Williams

 

Referee: Charles Breakspear

Attendance: 4,629 (261 AWAY)

Next up for County: Cheltenham Town (30th December) AWAY


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