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REPORT | Exiles suffer first Sky Bet League Two home defeat against Oldham Athletic

19 December 2020

Newport County AFC were condemned to their first league home defeat of the season as Oldham Athletic twice came from behind to secure a 4-2 victory at Rodney Parade.

Scott Twine’s long-range opener gave the Exiles an early lead, but Oldham’s quick response saw Davis Keillor-Dun bring the game level.

Scot Bennett put County ahead once again thanks to an impressive ball from Twine, which the defensive-midfielder was able to take advantage as Michael Flynn's men led at the break.

But a strong start to the second half from the visitors gave them an equaliser as Conor McAnley fired past Nick Townsend before Padraig Amond saw his penalty saved down the opposite end.

Alfie McCalmont netted with five minutes left on the clock to put Oldham in the lead for the first time and Zak Dearnley delivered the final blow in stoppage time.

Twine set the tone for the game early on as he fired home from distance - something the Swindon loanee has done on multiple occasions this season - giving Ian Lawlor no hope in the Oldham goal.

The Latics pulled one back in the 14th minute after an impressive ball forward from Harrison Clarke was touched on by Sido Jombati for Keillor-Dun to slot home.

A few minutes later, Twine struck an ambitious free-kick from the edge of the box but Lawlor handled with ease to keep the game level and Robert Grant replied with a great effort down the other end of the field but Nick Townsend did well to deny him.

Robbie Willmott, who made the starting line-up after missing out against Salford on Tuesday night, and Liam Shephard worked well together down the right-wing in the first half to deliver a number of promising balls into the box, which were unlucky not to come to anything.

As Shephard went down in the 35th minute, space opened up in midfield for Oldham to carry the ball forward with pace but Keillor-Dun’s shot missed just high of the crossbar.

And much to County’s relief, the tension was cut when Twine once again showed his quality with a superb ball straight to Bennett who was able to turn and bury his attempt.

Twine was in the midst of the second-half action but his free-kick edged just wide of the post, before Proctor came close but couldn’t turn to get his effort on target.

A lively return to the pitch then saw McAnley’s stunning strike find the back of the net to bring the game level once more as his shot bounced past Townsend.

The Exiles were then awarded a penalty after Jamie Devitt went down in the box, but Lawlor did well again to save substitute Amond’s effort from 12 yards.

And the visitors then took the lead for the first time in the game through McCalmont at the back post and almost scored a fourth within minutes as Dearnley rattled the crossbar and a scramble in the box eventually found safe hands in Townsend.

After the announcement of six minutes added time, Harry Kewell’s side capitalised through Dearnley, who made no mistake this time around after firing the ball home from range to put the fixture to bed.

Newport County AFC: Nick Townsend, Ryan Haynes (Tristan Abrahams 85'), Mickey Demetriou, Brandon Cooper, Liam Shephard, Scot Bennett, Robbie Willmott (Kevin Ellison 69'), Lewis Collins (Jamie Devitt 69'), Josh Sheehan (C), Scott Twine, Jamie Proctor (Padraig Amond 60').

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

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