Newport County AFC continued their unbeaten start to pre-season as Jamille Matt scored the only goal of the game in a 1-0 victory against League One Shrewsbury Town at Ludlow Stadium.
It was like the team had never been away for the summer as Matt combined with his strike partner Padraig Amond to calmly dispatch his opportunity just before the hour mark.
County manager Michael Flynn named a strong starting team to face the League One opposition in a squad that largely resembled last week’s draw with Egyptian champions Al Ahly out in Spain.
Tom King played in goal behind a back four of Daniel Leadbitter, Mickey Demetriou, Kyle Howkins and George Nurse. Josh Sheehan provided the screen for the defence, with Corey Whitely, Joss Labadie, Robbie Willmott providing support for Padraig Amond and Jamille Matt.
The first half was certainly an industrious one with both sides having sustained spells of possession and causing some problems down their respective wings.
Whitely certainly impressed both on the left and when interchanging to play in the number 10 position, while Howkins and Demetriou were both putting themselves about and making some vital last-ditch interceptions.
Chances were few and far between up until the half time whistle as Jamille Matt headed straight at Max O’Leary on 20 minutes, while at the other end Steve Morison and Fejiri Okenabirhie both dragged shots wide.
Into the second half and County again more than held their own against their third-tier opposition and deservedly took the lead just before the hour mark.
It was a superbly crafted goal as Demetriou and Willmott both sent forward passes through perfectly for Amond to square across the face of goal for an easy tap-in for Matt.
Shrewsbury tried to respond from there but couldn’t find the desired equaliser as Shaun Whalley sent a half volley just wide with twenty minutes to go and Brad Walker also failed to hit the target.
With five minutes remaining, Abo Eisa should have capitalised on an error from Nurse when he was allowed to run clear, but he went for glory instead of passing and ended up smashing the ball well over the top.
That meant County were able to maintain their unbeaten start to the 2019/20 pre-season schedule with a confident victory against a team one division above them.
Newport County AFC (4-1-3-2): Tom King, Daniel Leadbitter (Marvel Ekpiteta 45’), Mickey Demetriou (Lazar Stojsavljevic 62’), Kyle Howkins (Mark O’Brien 62’), George Nurse, Josh Sheehan (Siono Benham 75’), Corey Whitely (Elis Watts 75’), Joss Labadie (C) (Matty Dolan 62’), Robbie Willmott (Dom Jeffries 75’), Jamille Matt (Momodou Touray 62’), Padraig Amond (Ryan Hillier 75’)
Shrewsbury Town FC: Max O’Leary (Cameron Gregory 66’), Aaron Pierre (Donald Love 45’), Ethan Ebanks-Landell (Luke Waterfall 45’), Omar Beckles, Romaine Vincelot (Abo Eisa 68’), Ryan Giles (Daniel Odoh 45’), James Rowland (Kian Taylor 68’), Brad Walker, Ryan Barnett, Fejiri Okenabirhie (Shaun Whalley 45’), Steve Morison (Ro Shaun-Williams 45’)