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Match Reports

REPORT | Exiles remain top of Sky Bet League Two with 1-1 draw against Forest Green Rovers

1 December 2020

Match Reports

REPORT | Exiles remain top of Sky Bet League Two with 1-1 draw against Forest Green Rovers

1 December 2020

Jamille Matt cancelled out Tristan Abrahams' opener as Newport County AFC were held to a 1-1 draw at the New Lawn.

Abrahams fired County ahead from the penalty spot in stoppage time at the end of the first half after Joss Labadie was fouled by Liam Kitching.

County held their lead for a large part of the second period before Matt, who departed the Exiles in the summer, struck 13 minutes from time to earn Rovers a share of the spoils.

The draw keeps County top of the Sky Bet League Two table, one point ahead of Cheltenham Town, who they have played a game less than.

Michael Flynn made four changes from the 3-0 victory over Salford City on Saturday afternoon. Nick Townsend, Matty Dolan, Joss Labadie and Abrahams replaced Tom King, Robbie Willmott Jamie Devitt and Scott Twine respectively as the Exiles reverted to their accustomed 3-4-1-2 formation. 

County came flying out of the blocks and were keen to stamp their authority on proceedings as they created two opportunities inside the opening eight minutes. 

Ryan Haynes supplied County’s first chance of the evening with four minutes on the clock after he raced down the left wing and found Proctor, who nodded wide of the far post.

Matty Dolan enjoyed another opportunity to open the scoring when he connected with Josh Sheehan’s corner, but the outcome was the same as Luke McGee was left untroubled in between the sticks.

Down the opposite end, County forward Aaron Collins, who netted against the Exiles on the final day of the 2018/19 campaign, nearly haunted the Exiles for a second time. The Welshman enjoyed two opportunities in quick succession, with the latter being the closest he came to breaking the dead-lock. But Townsend got down low and pulled off a reflex save to keep Rovers at bay.

Carl Winchester also saw an opportunity go begging for the hosts three minutes before the half-time interval when he raced forward and fired his effort over the crossbar. 

It looked as though both teams would be heading into the break level, but the Exiles were given the opportunity to take the lead just before the interval after Labadie was caught late by Kitching inside the penalty area. McGee guessed the right way from the penalty but he was unable to prevent Abrahams’ powerful effort from finding the back of the net.

The home side had enjoyed several clear-cut opportunities in the opening 45 minutes and continued in the same vein in the second half. Mark Cooper’s men went close to drawing level when Winchester found a pocket of space, only to see his effort kept out by Townsend.

But Rovers hit back 13 minutes from the final whistle when substitute Matty Stevens advanced forward and picked out Matt, who fired home to earn the hosts a share of the spoils.

Newport County AFC: Nick Townsend, Ryan Haynes, Mickey Demetriou, Matty Dolan, Brandon Cooper, Joss Labadie (C) (Scott Twine 73'), Scot Bennett, Josh Sheehan, Jamie Proctor (Padraig Amond 64'), Tristan Abrahams (Saikou Janneh 73').

Substitutions: Tom King, Robbie Willmott, Jamie Devitt, Kevin Ellison.

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