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MATCH REPORT: Newport County 0-1 Exeter City

2 April 2022

Tim Dieng's second-half goal condemned Newport to defeat against promotion rivals Exeter City.

Dieng poked home from a free-kick in the 72nd minute to seperate the two sides in a game of few clear-cut chances at Rodney Parade.

A first half between two evenly-matched promotion-chasing sides was cagey, with only a handful of half-chances being all the two could manage against two well-organised defences.

Jevani Brown had the first shot of the game, but he could only loop an effort over Joe Day's crossbar with an attempt on the turn from the edge of the box.

County's first chance came on the quarter-hour mark and more should have come from Finn Azaz being played in by Dom Telford but Archie Collins did well to recover and get a strong challenge in to deny what would have been a clear shot on goal for Azaz.

Newport had another good opening three minutes later with what's fast becoming a traditional counter-attack. Scot Bennett won the ball brilliantly in midfield and had a whole host of options as County sprung forward in numbers.

He went for James Waite whose ball into Azaz ended with the midfielder shooting wide of the far post after having an Exeter body putting him under pressure. 

An enterprising move from James Rowberry's men was the next chance, with Waite finding Dom Telford in the box whose backheeled flick picked out Azaz but the shot was straight at Exeter keeper Cameron Dawson and saved. 

Brown had Exeter's next shot at goal but the self set-up overhead kick from just inside the area was off the mark and dropped harmlessly wide of the far post. 

At the other end, Alex Fisher headed Waite's cross from the left just over the bar and the half closed with Exeter's Sam Stubbs heading over the top from a corner. 

The second half started in much the same way, with the first shot not coming until the 56th minute and Day making an easy save to keep out Jack Sparkes' shot that was straight at Day from the edge of the area.

Exeter managed to take one of the few chances that did occur though when, in the 73rd minute, Dieng got the vital touch to Sparkes' free-kick from the left for 1-0, Exeter.

County almost levelled four minutes later but Telford's shot from point-blank range was brilliantly parried behind by Dawson after substitute Lewis Collins had a shot blocked into the feet of Telford.

Newport had two last chances in the closing stages, with Courtney Baker-Richardson's header and Azaz's strike from the right of the box both being kept out by Dawson.

Exeter almost made it 2-0 late on, but Kieran Phillips was denied by Day in second-half stoppage time.

Newport County: Joe Day, Cameron Norman, James Clarke, Mickey Demetriou (C), Aaron Lewis, Scot Bennett (Lewis Collins '73), Robbie Willmott, Finn Azaz, James Waite, Alex Fisher (Courtney Baker-Richardson '61), Dom Telford

Subs not used: Nick Townsend, Ryan Haynes, Matt Dolan, Rob Street, Kevin Ellison

Exeter City: Cameron Dawson, Josh Key, Pierce Sweeney (C), Alex Hartridge, Sam Stubbs, Jack Sparkes, Archie Collins, Callum Rowe, Tim Dieng (Josh Coley '84), Jevani Brown, Offrande Zanzala (Kieran Phillips '80)

Subs not used: Scott Brown, Cheick Diabate, Jake Caprice, Matt Jay


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