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Match Reports

REPORT | Exiles move up to second in Sky Bet League Two table with victory over Tranmere Rovers

17 October 2020

Match Reports

REPORT | Exiles move up to second in Sky Bet League Two table with victory over Tranmere Rovers

17 October 2020

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Newport County AFC ensured it was a birthday to remember for Michael Flynn as the Exiles secured a 1-0 victory over Tranmere Rovers at Rodney Parade.

Saikou Janneh struck his first goal in the Football League mid-way through the first-half to ensure County picked up their fourth Sky Bet League Two win of the season.

County, who were aided by Paul Lewis' dismissal in the second-half following a rash challenge on Joss Labadie, also moved up to second in the league table with the victory.

Flynn, who was celebrating his 40th birthday, made two changes from the Exiles' defeat against Cambridge United last Saturday. Brandon Cooper, who missed the trip to the Abbey Stadium after being called up to the Wales Under-21s side, and Saikou Janneh both replaced Scot Bennett and Padraig Amond in the starting line-up.

Chances proved to be a premium for both sides in the opening 20 minutes as Nick Townsend and his opposite number Joe Murphy were kept quiet in between the sticks. But it was the latter who was brought into action for the first time when he tipped Scott Twine's well-struck free-kick from 35 yards over the top of the crossbar.

The Swindon Town loanee enjoyed another effort at goal minutes later, which led to the opening goal after Murphy again palmed the ball over the crossbar. Tranmere defender Manny Monthe was at fault for the goal after he nodded Matty Dolan's back across goal towards Janneh, who rifled the ball beyond Murphy to break the dead-lock. 

County enjoyed the better of the chances throughout the first-half and nearly doubled their lead after the restart when Tristan Abrahams pounced on a tame header from Monthe. The Exiles striker managed to flick the ball over Murphy's head before Peter Clarke came to the away side's rescue by clearing to safety.

Tranmere managed to withstand a period of pressure from the hosts, but their chances of drawing level took a hit when Lewis was shown a straight red card. After clattering into County captain Joss Labadie with a rash challenge, referee Thomas Bramall reached for his back pocket and brandished the card to give Lewis his marching orders.

County continued to pile on the pressure as they looked to take advantage of the extra man, and nearly doubled their lead through Mickey Demetriou. The defender connected with Dolan's corner and struck a low shot towards goal, which looked destined for the bottom, before Jay Spearing hooked the ball off the line. The Exiles were adamant that the ball had crossed the line, but the referee signalled for a corner.

Janneh should have added his second of the afternoon in the dying stages when he latched on to Twine's pass before seeing his effort denied by Murphy, but the Exiles did enough to see out the victory.

Neport County AFC: Nick Townsend, Ryan Haynes, Mickey Demetriou, Matty Dolan, Brandon Cooper, Liam Shephard, Joss Labadie (C), Josh Sheehan, Scott Twine, Saikou Janneh (Padraig Amond 85'), Tristan Abrahams.

Substitutes not used: Tom King, Ashley Baker, Bradley Webb, Scot Bennett, Robbie Willmott, Kevin Ellison.

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