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REPORT | Exiles' five-game unbeaten run comes to an end with defeat against Leyton Orient

12 December 2020

Second-half goals from Danny Johnson and James Brophy saw Leyton Orient come from behind to secure a 2-1 win against Newport County AFC at the Breyer Group Stadium.

Jamie Proctor put the Exiles in front in the first half after he fired past Lawrence with his second goal since joining the Exiles on loan from Rotherham United in the summer window.

County held their lead until the 62nd minute when Danny Johnson levelled for the O's with a finish from close range which Nick Townsend could do very little about.

And James Brophy fired in a second with 20 minutes remaining to secure victory for the home side, bringing County's five-game unbeaten run to an end. 

Aaron Lewis was handed his first start for the Exiles as Michael Flynn made four changes from County's 2-0 win over Grimsby Town in midweek. The on-loan Lincoln City defender replaced Ryan Haynes at left wing-back, while Matty Dolan, Scot Bennett and Proctor were also brought into the starting line-up in place of Robbie Willmott, Joss Labadie and Kevin Ellison.

County endured an early scare with eight minutes on the clock in east London when Craig Clay dispossessed Josh Sheehan on the half-way line as the midfielder looked to turn. Clay pressed forward, drew Dolan towards him and slipped the ball into the path of James Brophy, but he dragged his effort wide of Townsend's near post.

It served a wake-up call for Michael Flynn's men, who responded by taking full advantage of their first shot on target of the afternoon. Amond kept the ball alive on the touchline before cutting the ball back inside to Twine, who let the ball run through his legs into the path of Proctor. The Rotherham United loanee took a touch on his right foot, steadied himself and fired beyond Lawrence Vigouroux.

Lewis went close to making a dream start in his first game for Exiles on the half-hour mark after the defender combined with Twine on the edge of the area before curling a right-footed effort marginally wide of the far post.

Proctor then enjoyed another chance to grab his second of the afternoon six minutes later as he latched on to Liam Shephard's pass back inside, but he was unable to direct his shot on target.

Townsend had enjoyed a relatively quiet first half in between the sticks, but the Exiles goalkeeper had to be alert to deny Josh Coulson's header from drawing the hosts level after Brophy picked out the defender with a cross from the byline.

The home side continued to press for the equaliser and found it two minutes later in fortunate fashion when Clay's low drive deflected up off Dolan's knee, which allowed Job McAnuff to head the ball to Johnson and he rifled past Townsend.

Flynn sent on Tristan Abrahams and Joss Labadie as County looked to restore their lead. But the O's responded by taking the lead with 20 minutes left on the clock as a long ball forward eventually fell to Brophy, who found the bottom corner with a low strike.

Abrahams thought he had drawn County level when he evaded the offside trap and rolled the ball beyond Vigouroux, but the goal was chalked off after the linesman raised his flag for handball in the build-up to the goal. It proved to be County's last chance to draw level.

Newport County AFC: Nick Townsend, Aaron Lewis (Kevin Ellison 76'), Mickey Demetriou, Matty Dolan, Brandon Cooper, Liam Shephard (Robbie Willmott 76'), Scot Bennett (Joss Labadie 68'), Josh Sheehan (C), Scott Twine (Jamie Devitt 76'), Padraig Amond (Tristan Abrahams 68'), Jamie Proctor.

Subs not used: Tom King, David Longe-King.


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