Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Match Reports

REPORT | Tom King scores remarkable goal kick as Exiles secure 1-1 draw against Cheltenham Town

19 January 2021

Goalkeeper Tom King scored a remarkable goal kick as Newport County AFC earned a 1-1 draw against Cheltenham Town at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium.

The Exiles goalkeeper caught out his opposite number in a freak moment after his long ball down field bounced over Josh Griffiths' head and found the back of the net to put the visitors in front.

Cheltenham's players protested to referee Peter Wright but the goal stood and put County on course to return to the Sky Bet League Two summit.

But Matty Blair responded in stoppage time at the end of the first half to earn the Robins a share of the spoils in Gloucestershire. 

Michael Flynn made two changes from County's goalless draw against Salford City last time out. Padraig Amond and Robbie Willmott were brought into the starting line-up in place of Ryan Taylor and Josh Sheehan, who missed out through suspsension, respectively. Ryan Haynes was also fit enough to start against the Robins after he picked up a knock last time out.

Cheltenham nearly went ahead with less than five minutes on the clock when Blair's delivery into the penalty area found an unmarked Will Boyle, who got up well but failed to trouble King in the County goal as his header sailed past the post.

The Robins continued to threaten as Finn Azaz and Alfie May combined in a quick breakaway, but the latter was denied as he looked to take aim after a well-timed challenge from Matty Dolan, who scrambled the ball to safety.

Chris Hussey then smashed an effort wide of the post and behind for a goal kick after cutting inside on his right foot, but few could have predicted what was to follow as King gathered the ball.

After placing the ball down on the deck for what appeared to be a routine goal kick, King's thump down field evaded everyone and bounced over Griffiths before finding the back of the net. It was fair to say the goal came against the run of play and it proved to be the moment of magic Flynn's men needed as County failed to register another effort on goal.

King then produced an astonishing diving save to keep County in front when George Lloyd's header across the box found May, who saw his volley denied from point-blank range.

The Exiles goalkeeper was at it again 10 minutes later after Azaz, again causing problems for the away side, turned inside the area and smashed a fierce strike at goal, which King diverted away from the target with a strong palm.

Jake Scrimshaw carved out an opportunity to double County's lead down the opposite end after he found a pocket of space and smashed an effort over the target on the stroke of half-time, but there was still time for Cheltenham to draw level in added time.

May's well-weighted pass sent Blair through on goal and, despite King getting a hand to the shot, the midfielder's low effort found the bottom corner with virtually the final kick of the half.

After the break, County almost profited from a long throw-in from former County Ben Tozer as the visitors broke quickly on the counter-attack, but the Robins skipper recovered and hacked down Scrimshaw, earning himself a yellow card for his efforts.

Flynn made a triple substitution with 23 minutes left as Taylor, Tristan Abrahams and Owen Windsor all entered the fray as the visitors went in search of restoring their advantage.

The latter's well-timed pass opened up a chance for County to retake the lead when he slipped in Liam Shephard down the right wing, but nobody was there to connect with his threatening delivery and both teams were forced to settle for a point.

Newport County AFC: Tom King, Ryan Haynes, Mickey Demetriou, Matty Dolan, David Longe-King, Liam Shephard, Joss Labadie (C), Scot Bennett, Jake Scrimshaw (Owen Windsor 67'), Robbie Willmott (Tristan Abrahams 67'), Padraig Amond (Ryan Taylor 67').

Subs not used: Nick Townsend, Ashley Baker, Jack Evans, Lewis Collins.


Advertisement block