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REPORT | Exiles climb back into play-off spots with victory over 10-man Colchester United

6 March 2021

Goals from Joss Labadie and Padraig Amond saw Newport County AFC climb back into the play-off spots with a 2-0 victory over 10-man Colchester United.

The Exiles took a deserved lead when skipper Labadie finished off a well-worked move for the visitors with an exquisite finish inside the opening 30 minutes.

It was the response Michael Flynn would have hoped for after Tuesday's defeat against Tranmere Rovers as County were more than good value for their lead at the break.

The home side were then reduced to 10 men in the second period when former County man Frank Nouble was shown two yellow cards in the space of two minutes.

And County took advantage of their numerical advantage as Amond fired home within two minutes of the restart to earn the Exiles their first victory at the JobServe Community Stadium and send them sixth in the Sky Bet League Two table.

Flynn named an unchanged side from the Exiles' defeat against Tranmere Rovers in midweek. Anthony Hartigan was the only change on the County bench as he replaced Luke Gambin, who was unable to feature against his parent club after joining County on loan from the U's in the January window.

County looked to patiently build their way up the field by playing out from the back in Essex, but it was a quickly taken free-kick from Josh Sheehan that led to their first effort of the afternoon. The midfielder sent Ryan Haynes free down the left wing and after his cross was nodded down by Priestley Farquharson, Nicky Maynard brought a reflex save out of U's goalkeeper Shamal George.

County continued to build from the back and a patient passage of play which started from the heart of defence allowed Liam Shephard to flash a threatening ball right across goal. Amond went agonisingly close to getting on the end of it but the cross evaded everyone in the middle and rolled behind for a goal-kick.

Sheehan had played a part in two of the opening chances and was once again a key cog in the move that saw County make the breakthrough on the half-hour mark. A deft touch from Amond allowed the midfielder to break into the penalty area before he cut the ball back to Labadie, who found the bottom corner with a first-time finish.

The home side failed to carve out any clear-cut chances in the first half as Nick Townsend enjoyed an untroubled 45 minutes before the interval.

But the Exiles goalkeeper was finally brought into action with 60 minutes on the clock as Nouble teed up Callum Harriott, whose effort looked to be curling away from goal but Townsend took no chances and tipped it behind.

Nouble then met Junior Tchamadeu's delivery into the penalty area before guiding his effort wayward of the target.

Nouble's afternoon then went from bad to worse when he was cautioned for hacking down Shephard before tripping Sheehan in a bizarre two minutes.   

It took two minutes for County to take advantage of the extra man as another well-worked move saw Dolan's quick free-kick fired across goal by Labadie. The ball eventually found its way to the back post to an unmarked Amond, who slotted home from close range to ensure County secured maxiumum points in Essex.

Newport County AFC: Nick Townsend, Ryan Haynes, Mickey Demetriou, Matty Dolan, Priestley Farquharson, Liam Shephard (Aaron Lewis 90+1'), Josh Sheehan, Scot Bennett, Joss Labadie (C) (Anthony Haritgan 90+1'), Padraig Amond (Jake Scrimshaw 90+1'), Nicky Maynard (Ryan Taylor 63').

Substitutes not used: Tom King, Kevin Ellison, Dom Telford.

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