In our latest series of articles, we will be taking a look back at the 2019-2020 season in more detail as we look at each match and review our season month by month.
Newport County AFC made a strong start to the new season.
It took just six minutes to register their first goal of the campaign and the new defensive recruits – Tom King, Danny McNamara, Kyle Howkins, Ryan Inniss and Ryan Haynes – gelled together quickly to claim an impressive five clean sheets in the opening month. At the other end Padraig Amond carried on where he left off with a prolific month for the Irishman
They remained unbeaten in the league throughout August, which saw them beat the Club record for most consecutive games without defeat in their Football League history. The only loss of the month came against Premier League giants West Ham United in the Carabao Cup.
Newport County AFC 2-2 Mansfield Town – Rodney Parade (August 3, 2019).
The Exiles got the new campaign off to the perfect start with captain Joss Labadie slotting home Matty Dolan’s pass in the opening six minutes. Amond doubled the lead from the spot but Krystian Pearce and Danny Rose levelled things after half time.
Debutant goalkeeper King stood strong to deny Nicky Maynard from the spot and help County claim a point against the Stags, who had Jacob Mellis sent off in the final quarter.
Team: King; McNamara (Abrahams 84), Howkins, Demetriou, Haynes; Dolan (Whitely 73); Labadie (C), Willmott; Sheehan; Amond, Matt.
Cambridge United 0-0 Newport County AFC – Abbey Stadium (August 10, 2019).
It was a second successive draw for County as they played out a stalemate against the U’s. In a game of few chances Robbie Willmott had Newport’s best opportunity but a strong hand from Dimitar Mitov kept the former Cambridge man off the scoresheet.
Team: King; McNamara, Howkins, Demetriou, Haynes; Dolan (Abrahams 61); Labadie (C), Willmott; Sheehan; Amond (Bennett 76), Matt.
Gillingham 2-2 Newport County AFC, Newport County AFC win 4-1 on penalties – MEMS Priestfield Stadium (August 13, 2019).
County left it late to seal their place in the second round of the Carabao Cup. The Gills led until the 84th minute thanks to a penalty from Brandan Hanlan – who also missed from the spot – but Tristan Abrahams levelled proceedings from a Dolan free kick.
That joy was short-lived as Gillingham were awarded another spot-kick and Mikael Ndjoli made no mistake but deep into injury time the visitors were given a penalty of their own and Amond calmly slotted home to force a penalty shoot-out.
Josh Sheehan, Amond, Mickey Demetriou and Abrahams were all on target to set up a clash with West Ham United.
Team: Townsend; O’Brien (C) (Demetriou 90+4), Stojsavljevic (Amond 90+4), Howkins; Bennett (Sheehan 80); Leadbitter, Maloney, Dolan, Nurse; Whitely, Abrahams.
Newport County AFC 1-0 Plymouth Argyle – Rodney Parade (August 17, 2019).
History was made as Michael Flynn’s men extended their unbeaten run in regular season Football League fixtures to 13 for the first time.
Kyle Howkins’ late header ensured the record books were rewritten while also bagging the Club’s first win of the SkyBet League Two season.
The victory was marred with Demetriou suffering a broken leg, which kept him out of action for 14 weeks.
Team: King; McNamara, O’Brien, Demetriou (Howkins 21); Haynes; Bennett (Abrahams 45); Willmott, Labadie (C); Sheehan; Amond, Matt.
Walsall 0-0 Newport County AFC – Banks’s Stadium (August 20, 2019).
County earned another credible point on the road with a goalless draw against the Saddlers.
Jamille Matt made his presence felt as he led the attack and almost found the net with a late header that just flew over the crossbar.
The draw continued the Club’s historic unbeaten run to 14 games.
Team: King; McNamara, O’Brien, Howkins, Haynes; Sheehan; Willmott, Labadie (C) (Maloney 45); Abrahams; Amond, Matt.
Newport County AFC 1-0 Crewe Alexandra – Rodney Parade (August 24, 2019).
It was another late show at home for County with Amond bagging all three points at the death. In truth, the Exiles had their defence and goalkeeper King to thank for keeping Crewe out, which then allowed George Nurse to play Abrahams through who squared for Amond to tap into an empty net and send the stands wild.
Team: King; McNamara, O’Brien (C), Howkins, Haynes; Sheehan, Dolan (Maloney 66), Whitely (Nurse 62); Willmott (Collins 87), Amond, Abrahams.
Newport County AFC 0-2 West Ham United – Rodney Parade (August 27, 2019).
Another Premier League side were welcomed to South Wales, but this time proved too strong for County.
The Exiles held their own for the majority of the first half until Jack Wilshere wriggled free to put the Irons ahead on the stroke of half time.
Pablo Fornals added a second after the break to end County’s Carabao Cup adventure for another year.
Team: Townsend; McNamara, O’Brien (C), Howkins, Haynes; Dolan (Bennett 63), Sheehan; Willmott (Collins 81), Amond, Whitely (Maloney 63); Abrahams.
Forest Green Rovers 0-2 Newport County AFC – The New Lawn (August 31, 2019).
The Exiles bounced back to move up to second in League Two. Amond continued his fine form with his fifth goal in as many games with a cool finish past Joe Wollacott, who was sent off just shy of the half-hour mark.
Haynes made the game safe in the dying minutes with a long-range effort.
Team: King; McNamara, O’Brien (Howkins 45), Inniss, Haynes; Dolan (Maloney 77), Willmott, Labadie (C) (Whitely 85); Sheehan; Amond, Abrahams.
Top scorer in August:
Padraig Amond – 5 goals.
Join us in our next article as we move onto September!
Article Series by Jay Bayford and Dylan Scarborough