Goals from Oxford United’s Aaron Heap and Owen James handed County’s U18 side their fourth defeat of the season.
Newport struggled in the opening ten minutes of the game with Evan Press being shown a yellow card and a physical Oxford side not allowing the home side any chances.
United then took the initiative in the game and it payed off, with Aaron Heap opening the scoring for the U’s after some shaky defending from County allowed him to fire past ‘keeper Mathew Mayor in the 11th minute.
Newport started to press for an equalizer but neither side could create any clear-cut chances as the game progressed.
In the 30th minute Oxford’s Owen James shot from inside the box on his right foot and had beaten Mayor, but ended it up whistling past the post.
Unfortunately, Newport were forced into a change three minutes later, after an injury to Jay Williams meant he replaced by Liam Warman.
Then in the 38th minute County’s first real chance came, with Michael Cook and Lewis Collins causing problems for the away side after a shot hit the post.
This resulted in a goalmouth scramble which should’ve been capitalized on but Oxford’s Niall Clayton managed to pick the ball up under pressure.
County would regret not being able to make the most of that chance as in stoppage time they were caught on the counter-attack after a corner.
Owen James ran through the defence and dinked the ball over Mayor, hitting the underside of the crossbar and his shot was deemed over the line by the referee just before he called an end to the half.
County made their second sub at half-time, with Lewis Collins coming off for winger Owara Edwards.
Byron Anthony’s side started the second-half much better, keeping more of the ball and looking the better of the two sides after the restart.
The Young Exiles kept the pressure on United and in the 55th minute, Josh Williams calmly finished past Niall Clayton to bring county back into the game at 2-1 down.
Newport started to press for an equalizer, however they couldn’t break down a solid Oxford defence, who kept finding a way to keep the ball out of the net.
In the 87th minute they made the final roll of the dice, with Evan Press coming off for Laurent Ngunjoh but the Young Exiles couldn’t find the equalizer and fell to a 2-1 loss at Lliswerry School.
Your next opportunity to see the Young Exiles in action at Lliswerry School is against AFC Bournemouth on the 16th of September.
U18 FIRST XI – Mayor (GK), Williams, Scrivens, Savigar, Murray, Foulston, Taylor, Press (C), Cook, Collins, Josh Williams
SUBS - Johnson, Edwards, Watts, Ngunjoh, Warman.