Joss Labadie produced a captain’s performance to lead Newport County AFC to a convincing victory over Macclesfield Town at Rodney Parade.
The margin of victory didn’t tell the full story as the Exiles dominated large spells of the game but they couldn’t find the extra goals their display deserved.
With the games coming thick and fast Newport County opted to make three changes. Labadie recovered from the illness that kept him out the line-up at Leyton Orient to take his place in midfield.
Jordan Green was handed the first start of his second spell at the Club while top scorer Padraig Amond returned upfront.
Scot Bennett filled in at the back with Mark O’Brien and Ryan Inniss both unavailable.
It took a while for the players to warm up in the freezing cold conditions at Rodney Parade in the second Unsponsored Derby of the season.
The Silkmen put their plan to action first with former Exile Emmanuel Osadebe finding space to play Arthur Gnahoua through on goal but Tom King, just like he did at the Breyer Group Stadium on Saturday, stood strong to deny the attacker.
Newport started to enjoy space on the wings with Ryan Haynes and Ashley Baker operating more as wingers than full backs as the first half progressed and it was Labadie who almost profited.
He blazed a header over from a Robbie Willmott corner before Macclesfield goalkeeper Jonathan Mitchell kept him out from close range.
The County captain was proving to be a real threat and it proved third time lucky as Green drove into the box and fired the ball across goal. Willmott’s flick fell kindly for Labadie to nod the ball home.
The duel between Labadie and Mitchell continued with the post this time coming to the visitors’ rescue before Amond had his first sight of goal – from a Haynes clearance – but Mitchell got the better of the Irishman.
After enjoying 60 per cent possession, the Exiles were almost made to pay for not taking their chances when a free kick from deep caught the defence out and allowed Joe Ironside a shot at goal. King was quick to react and blocked his effort.
Jamille Matt has been in rich form for the Exiles in recent weeks and the expectant fans were just waiting for the net to bulge once Amond had sent him through one-on-one shortly after the break. However, Mitchell’s right leg kept the deficit to just one goal.
The hosts continued to dominate proceedings but couldn’t add a second goal their performance merited so manager Michael Flynn sent on Billy Waters on 72 minutes in the hope he could add the finishing touch.
Tristan Abrahams followed him onto the pitch for the final few minutes and although he couldn’t add to his 10 goals this season, the Exiles saw out the three points comfortablly for their fourth win in five games.
Newport County AFC (4-3-1-2): Tom King; Ashley Baker, Scot Bennett, Mickey Demetriou, Ryan Haynes; Josh Sheehan, Jordan Green (Billy Waters 72), Robbie Willmott; Joss Labadie (C); Jamille Matt, Padraig Amond (Tristan Abrahams 86).
Subs not used: Nick Townsend, Kyle Howkins, Dale Gorman, Matty Dolan, George Nurse.
Macclesfield Town (4-1-4-1): Jonathan Mitchell; Connor Kirby, Fiacre Kelleher (C), Fraser Horsfall, David Fitzpatrick; Danny Whitehead; Ben Stephens (Theo Archibald 38), Jay Harris (Jacob Blyth 74), Emmanuel Osadebe, Arthur Gnahoua; Joe Ironside.
Subs not used: Reice Charles-Cook, Theo Vassell, Michael Rose.
Referee: Graham Salisbury.
Attendance: 3,354 (48 away).
Next up for County: Plymouth Argyle, February 1 (AWAY)