In our ongoing 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.
December was an undoubtedly tough month for the Exiles but 2020 was a brand new year and the perfect time for a fresh start. It was time to put the defeats and low moments of 2019 behind them and think positive going into the New Year.
The Exiles began their 2020 journey at Rodney Parade with their first league game of the year against Michael Duff’s promotion chasing Cheltenham Town side.
Newport County 1-1 Cheltenham Town – Rodney Parade (January 1, 2020)
The Exiles kicked off the New Year with a visit from Gloucestershire side Cheltenham Town. The game proved to be an extremely tough battle for both sides but it was County who netted the opening goal. Tristan Abrahams grabbed the Exiles’ first goal of 2020 shortly after the break but it wasn’t enough as former Exile Ben Tozer finished from close range to equalise for the Robins.
Team: King; McNamara, Demetriou (Dolan 45’), Inniss, Haynes, Bennett, Nurse, Sheehan, Labadie (Maloney 75’), Abrahams (Amond 90’), Matt
FA Cup Round 3: Millwall 3-0 Newport County – The Den (January 4, 2020)
The Exiles’ favourite competition came back around this month and they faced the difficult task of taking on Championship side Millwall at The Den. Unfortunately, it was a quick start for the home side who took the lead after seven minutes through matt Smith. The Exiles fought valiantly through to the second-half but the Lions doubled their lead on 64 minutes and sealed their place in the next round with a third in the 82nd minute. It wasn’t meant to be for County in the FA Cup this year but they soon found out which competition they would soon embark on a journey with.
Team: King; Bennett, O’Brien, Demetriou, Haynes (Whitley 74’), Labadie (Dolan 80’), Sheehan, Abrahams (Collins 80’), Amond, Nurse, Matt
Leasing.com Trophy Round 3: Newport County 3-0 MK Dons – Rodney Parade (January 7, 2020)
County continued their Leasing.com run with a superb 3-0 win over League One side MK Dons. Tristan Abrahams finished from close range to give the Exiles the lead within five minutes and Padraig Amond netted his first goal of the month to make it 2-0 on 25 minutes. Everything was going County’s way in a fantastic performance and they had one foot in the next round when Matthew Sorinola turned the ball into his own net in the 35th minute. Former Exiles Rhys Healey and Alex Gilbey came on in the second-half for the visitors but failed to make an impact as the score finished 3-0 to the County.
Team: Townsend; Haynes, O’Brien (Howkins 75’), Inniss, Jefferies (Collins 84’), Bennett (Poleon 70’), Sheehan, Nurse, Dolan, Abrahams, Amond
Scunthorpe United 1-2 Newport County – Glanford Park (January 11, 2020)
Newport returned to league action and were looking for their first win at Scunthorpe in over 41 years. It wasn’t the greatest of starts from County as Abo Eisa put the home side ahead after 38 minutes but an eventful second-half soon followed. Jamille Matt popped up in the 72nd minute to equalise for County from close range before Lee Novak was shown a straight red card for the home side three minutes later. Padraig Amond calmly finished from inside the area with great composure as he netted the winner for the Exiles in the 75th minute in a lightning quick turnaround.
Team: King; Inniss, O’Brien (Matt 58’), Demetriou, Bennett, Nurse, Sheehan, Labadie, Haynes, Abrahams, Amond
Newport County 2-0 Swindon Town – Rodney Parade (January 18, 2020)
Next up at Rodney Parade were table-toppers Swindon Town and County were looking to extend their four game unbeaten run at home to five. It was a brilliant start for the Exiles as Josh Sheehan broke through the Robins’ defence and stabbed home the opening goal in the first minute. It remained a dominant display from the home side throughout the first half and the three points were sealed later on in the second-half thanks to Jamille Matt. After a chaotic goal line scramble, Matt waited at the back post and grabbed his fifth goal of the season. It was another impressive home performance from County and a result which saw them move to 11th in the table with three games in hand.
Team: King, Inniss, O’Brien, Demetriou, Bennett (Waters 90’), Baker, Sheehan, Labadie, Haynes, Matt (Gorman 90’), Abrahams (Green 83’)
Leyton Orient 2-1 Newport County – Brisbane Road (January 25, 2020)
The Exiles were in good form with high hopes when they headed to East London to take on Leyton Orient but it proved to be a challenging afternoon at Brisbane Road. Both sides had their fair share of chances but the home side took the lead when Ryan Haynes unknowingly turned the ball into his own net from an Orient corner. Ruel Sotiriou sealed the win in the 89th minute before Jamille Matt netted a consolation goal deep into stoppage time for County.
Team: King; Baker (Amond 83’), O’Brien, Demetriou, Haynes, Bennett, Willmott, Sheehan, Dolan (Nurse 65’), Matt, Abrahams (Green 61’)
Newport County 1-0 Macclesfield Town – Rodney Parade (January 28, 2020)
Despite missing out on the three points at Leyton Orient, the Exiles were determined to finish January on a positive note. It may have been a cold Tuesday night in Newport but captain Joss Labadie’s brilliant header in the 34th minute sealed another home win for County. Macclesfield’s struggle in the league continued as the Exiles remained in 11th place at the end of the month.
Team: King; Baker, Bennett, Demetriou, Haynes, Sheehan, Green (Waters 73’), Willmott, Labadie, Amond (Abrahams 86’), Matt
Top scorer(s) in November:
Jamille Matt – 3