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REPORT | Exiles make best ever start to English Football League season with victory over Bradford City

24 October 2020

Goals from Mickey Demetriou, Padraig Amond and Matty Dolan ensured Newport County AFC made their best ever start to a Sky Bet League Two season with a 3-0 victory over Bradford City.

Demetriou opened his account for the season when he smashed Scott Twine's cross past Richard O'Donnell inside the opening minute at the Utilita Energy Stadium.

Substitute Amond enjoyed a dream start of his own after curling home his first league goal of the season two minutes after his introducion before Dolan tucked home a penalty in stoppage time to take County to the top of the Sky Bet League Two table.

Michael Flynn named an unchaged starting line-up from the Exiles' 1-0 victory over Stevenage on Tuesday as County lined up in their accustomed 3-4-1-2 formation.

The Exiles came flying out of the blocks and made a dream start when Demetriou rifled home with 40 seconds on the clock. It was the defender’s long throw-in into the penalty area that started the move and, after making a run to the edge of the area, Scott Twine’s cross picked out the run of the defender before he rifled the ball into the bottom corner beyond Richard O’Donnell.

The lightning start to the afternoon from Flynn’s men was a sign of things to come as the two sides enjoyed opportunities down both ends in the opening stages.

Nick Townsend experienced a busy period when Billy Clarke charged down Brandon Cooper’s clearance and poked an effort goal-bound, but the Exiles goalkeeper did enough to keep it out before gathering at the second attempt.

Twine almost added his third goal of the season down the opposite end as the Swindon Town loanee found a pocket of space and fired an effort just wide of the post. It was another summer arrival in the form of Liam Shephard, who also went close to doubling County’s lead when he raced forward down the right wing before flashing his effort across the face of goal.

County were good value for their lead but they were forced into a first-half change three minutes before the end of the opening 45 minutes after Saikou Janneh hobbled off. But his replacement Amond made an immediate impact just three minutes after his introduction when he curled home Tristan Abrahams' lay-off into the far corner and chalked up his first league goal of the campaign.

It was the creators of the second goal - Amond and Abrahams - who linked up again and almost put the tie beyond Bradford's reach. It was Amond, this time turning provider, who rolled the ball into the path of Abrahams, but he saw his low shot denied by O'Donnell.

The Bradford goalkeeper had endured a busy afternoon and was called into action again less than two minutes later when he denied Amond inside the area.

But he was forced to pick the ball out of the net for a third time in stoppage time when Twine was brought down in the area by Wood, and Dolan tucked home his second penalty of the season to round off a perfect away performance for the Exiles.

Newport County AFC: Nick Townsend, Ryan Haynes, Mickey Demetriou, Matty Dolan, Brandon Cooper, Liam Shephard, Joss Labadie (C) (Scot Bennett 63'), Josh Sheehan, Scott Twine, Saikou Janneh (Padraig Amond 42'), Tristan Abrahams (Jamie Proctor 83').

Subs not used: Tom King, Ashley Baker, Robbie Willmott, Kevin Ellison.

 


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