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REPORT | Exiles maintain lead at Sky Bet League Two summit with victory over Morecambe

5 December 2020

Padraig Amond's strike and a second-half penalty from Matty Dolan ensured Newport County remained top of the Sky Bet League Two table with a 2-1 victory over 10-man Morecambe.

Amond displayed a poacher's instinct to put the Exiles in front after bundling home Scott Twine's downward header past Mark Halstead.
 
Morecambe hit back in the first half through Carlos Mendez Gomes, who saw his initial effort denied by Nick Townsend before the ball fell back kindly to the striker.
 
It looked as though the goal was going to earn Derek Adams' side a share of the spoils until eight minutes from the final whistle when Stephen Hendrie was shown a red card for a challenge on Josh Sheehan in the penalty area.
 
And Dolan stepped up to tuck home from the spot to ensure County secured maximum points at Rodney Parade. 
 
Michael Flynn made two changes to his starting line-up from the Exiles’ 1-1 draw with Forest Green Rovers on Tuesday as Amond and Scott Twine drafted were in for Jamie Proctor and the suspended Joss Labadie. 
 
County made their early pressure pay as they took the opportunity with the first real chance of the game when Amond touched the ball home with 11 minutes on the clock. Amond had the returning Twine to thank as his header down allowed the Irishman to force his effort past Halstead. 
 
County, however, had to be alert after taking the lead and were fired a warning sign when Yann Songo’o fed in Jordan Slew, who flashed an attempt across goal from an acute angle. 
 
But the lead slipped from County's grasp as Mendes Gomes' low effort snuck past Townsend after the Morecambe forward latched on to Adam Phillips' through ball. 
 
Sheehan almost fired an immediate response for the Exiles as he showed neat feet to control with his left foot before striking just wide of the target.
 
County had to be patient after the break but they tested Halstead again as Twine unleashed a effort from distance which the keeper fumbled. Amond latched on to gather the rebound before the linesman raised his flag for offside.
 
Down the opposite end, Townsend had enjoyed a relatively quiet afternoon but he was expertly alert to Adam Phillips’ chance after the striker turned and shot at the goalkeeper. 
 
But the Exiles soaked up the pressure from the away side and finally restored their lead from the penalty spot after Sheehan, who was sent through on goal by Twine, was brought down by Hendrie inside the area. The referee Sam Purkiss pointed to the penalty spot before brandishing Hendrie with a red card, and Dolan drilled in a powerful effort past Halstead from 12 yards.
 
David Longe-King made his debut for the Exiles in the latter stages after replacing Amond, and the defender helped County secure their seventh home victory of the campaign.
 
Newport County: Nick Townsend, Ryan Haynes (Robbie Willmott 61’), Mickey Demetriou, Matty Dolan, Brandon Cooper, Liam Shephard, Scot Bennett (Kevin Ellison 74'), Josh Sheehan (C), Scott Twine, Padraig Amond (David Longe-King 89'), Tristan Abrahams (Jamie Proctor 61’). 

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