MATCH REPORT: Exeter City 1-2 Newport County

Newport County started our EFL Trophy Group Stage campaign with a 2-1 win at Exeter thanks to goals from Chanka Zimba and Omar Bogle.

Kegs Chuake gave Exeter the lead early in the second half but strikes from Zimba and Bogle completed a second half turnaround and got Newport a perfect start in this season's EFL Trophy.

After a couple of half-chances, our first actual shot at goal came after 11 minutes, but skipper Matt Dolan struck narrowly wide of the right post with his direct attempt from a free-kick.

The first save came from Joe Day, who was equal to Matt Jay's shot from the edge of the box that was straight at Day and well held. 

Day was needed again a minute later and he had more work to do to keep out Jack Sparkes' half-volley from the left of the box that needed a strong hand from Day to punch it away with a dive to his left.

Will Evans had two chances to put County ahead in the first half. First, his off-balance attempt from just inside the area flew over the bar and soon after he was denied in a one-on-one.

Evans himself, Chanka Zimba and Aaron Wildig all combined as Wildig sent Evans away with a lovely through ball, but the summer arrival from Bala was well kept out by Scott Brown.

A minute later, Zimba struck wide for County as the half ended without a goal. 

Exeter got the dream start to the second half as, in the 52nd minute, Chuake gave them the lead.

Jake Caprice's low cross from the right was stabbed home by Chuake to put Exeter 1-0 up.

That one-goal advantage didn't last long though as, five minutes later, Zimba latched onto a loose backpass from Sparkes, rounded Brown and slotted home for 1-1.

It was nearly 2-1 to the hosts soon after though, but Priestley Farquharson was in the right place at the right time to hack clear Caprice's header off the line and away.

County would have a couple more half chances, as Wildig had a shot deflected wide while both Aaron Lewis and Sam Bowen struck over the bar.

Newport did get the second goal eight minutes from time when Bogle latched onto a long ball up the left wing before slotting under the legs of Brown for 2-1.

James Waite almost made it 3-1 five minutes from time but he was impressively kept out by Brown in the Exeter goal from inside the area.

Jevani Brown struck narrowly over the bar late on but Newport survived to clinch the three points.

Exeter City: Scott Brown, Jake Caprice, Harry Kite (Pedro Borges '84), Cheick Diabate, Jonathan Grounds, Jack Sparkes (Jevani Brown '74), Kegs Chuake, Rakeem Harper (Josh Key '79), Josh Coley, Matt Jay (C), Sonny Cox

Subs not used: Andrew Sowden, Harrison King, Archie Collins, Tim Dieng

Newport County: Joe Day, Aaron Lewis, Priestley Farquharson, Matt Dolan (C), Adam Lewis (Declan Drysdale '84), Robbie Willmott, Sam Bowen, Aaron Wildig (Nathan Moriah-Welsh '79), Will Evans (Omar Bogle '77), Chanka Zimba (James Waite '77), Lewis Collins (James Clarke '84)

Subs not used: Nick Townsend, Thierry Nevers