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Match Reports

REPORT | Ipswich Town 0-1 Newport County AFC

10 August 2021

Newport County AFC booked their place in the Carabao Cup second round with a 1-0 win over Ipswich Town at Portman Road.

Timmy Abraham's early strike ensured County kept up their reputation of overcoming higher division opposition in cup competitions by dumping the Sky Bet League One side out on their own patch.

Abraham, who made his first start for the Exiles after joining on a season-long loan from Fulham last month, flicked home Finn Azaz's delivery with the outside of his boot to seal the victory for Michael Flynn's side.

It was one-way traffic for large parts of the tie, with Ipswich enjoying a plethora of chances, but County withstood the home side's onslaught in the second half to ensure they will be in the hat for the second round.

Flynn made no fewer than 11 changes to the starting line up from the Exiles’ opening day win over Oldham Athletic, with seven Newport County AFC academy products included in the matchday squad. 

Louis Hall, James Clarke, Christopher Missilou, Azaz, Jordan Greenidge and Abraham were all handed their first starts for the club since their arrivals in the summer window.

The Exiles survived an early scare inside the opening three minutes when Armando Dobra found a pocket of space and struck a shot off the outside of the post, but it took less than 60 seconds for County to race down the opposite end and take the lead.

After a quickly-taken free-kick from Ellison found Azaz, the Aston Villa loanee got the better of Sone Aluko and delivered a cross to Abraham, who flicked the ball beyond Tomas Holy.

It was an end-to-end opening 10 minutes in Suffolk as Dobra’s powerful effort stung the plans of Nick Townsend, who replaced Joe Day between the sticks, with a powerful effort inside the County penalty area.

Debutant Greenidge was proving to be a handful for the home side’s defence and showed a good turn of pace to get the better of his marker before firing an effort towards goal which was gathered by Tomas Holy. 

The Tractor Boys were then denied by the upright for the second time of the evening on the half-hour mark when Aluko’s in-swinging corner caused problems for the away defence, but Macauley Bonne’s shot cannoned off the post and went behind for a goal kick. 

Bonne enjoyed another chance to draw the home side level on the stroke of half time when he rose highest to meet Idris El Mizouni’s cross, only to see his header denied kept out by Townsend in the final opening of the 45 minutes.

Louie Barry - another Aston Villa loanee who joined Ipswich in the summer window - had an opportunity to open his account for Paul Cook’s men early as the ball fell kindly to him in the penalty area before he flashed a shot over the crossbar.

The home side continued to apply the pressure and finally had the ball in the net after Bonne diverted Cameron Humphreys’ cross home. But their celebrations were cut short when the linesman raised his flag for offside, leaving Bonne with his hands on his head and wondering if it was going to be his side’s night. 

It took the striker 10 minutes for him to enjoy another opportunity on goal, this time it was Townsend who denied him as the County goalkeeper produced an outstanding save to prevent his curling effort from reaching the top corner.

County had to dig deep to withstand the Tractor Boys’ late pressure and it was Aaron Lewis who came to County’s rescue when he somehow managed to keep out Kayden Jackson’s header with an acrobatic goal-line clearance.

There were five minutes of additional time indicated by the fourth official but, unlike the opening day victory at Boundary Park on Saturday, there was no late drama as County held out to secure their place in the second round.

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