Newport County beat Gillingham 2-0 on Saturday afternoon in League Two, thanks to goals from Priestley Farquharson and an own-goal from Elkan Baggot.
Farquharson bagged his first goal in County Amber with a powerful header from Aaron Lewis' corner two minutes before half-time.
Our set pieces were causing mayhem all afternoon, and Mickey Demetriou's long throw was nodded goalwards by Cameron Norman, before eventually going in off Elkan Baggott.
After just seven minutes County thought they had the breakthrough, a neat one-two from an Aaron Lewis corner lead to the wing-back crossing for Omar Bogle, whose snapshot was scrambled off the line by the desperate dive of Gills goalkeeper John Turner.
The visitors’ first real attack came in the 18th minute, as Ben Reeves charged down the centre of the field, chipping a ball to the back post in search of Mikael Mandron, only for Priestley Farquharson to out-muscle him.
Moments later the Amber Army were on their feet calling for Cheye Alexander to be sent off, but after the right-back came sliding in, the referee only awarded a yellow card despite loud cries from the home faithful.
Gillingham went close to opening the scoring through Will Wright on 28 minutes.
The central defender picked the ball up more than 30 yards from goal, and slammed a volley that dipped and required a superb diving save from Joe Day.
From the resulting corner-kick, Neil Harris’ men hit the woodwork twice in quick succession.
Reeves’ left-footed delivery was nodded onto the post by Shaun Williams and then the ball bobbled around in the box, falling to Max Ehmer who smashed the crossbar from close range.
Declan Drysdale came close to putting us in the lead before the interval, meeting Aaron Lewis’ set-piece on the full at the far post, he got too much on his header, though, and he put it over from about six yards out.
Will Evans was denied by a point-blank save by Turner seconds later, receiving Cameron Norman’s headed knock-down deep inside the area. However, the linesman’s flag had already been raised.
Farquharson gave the Exiles a deserved lead on 43 minutes, with a powerful header after a whipped Aaron Lewis corner, proving too powerful for the ‘keeper.
Turner had to be alert moments later with the hosts finishing the half strongly. Norman sent a deep cross to the far post with Aaron Lewis lurking, the goalkeeper responded well to is mishap, though, and collected well under pressure.
Newport wasted a great chance early in the second half, Nathan Moriah-Welsh made a brilliant interception and Amber and Black shirts charged forward. Omar Bogle had the ball in a two-on-one situation but his pass to Moriah-Welsh was too weak and the midfielder couldn’t get to it.
But we did eventually make it two courtesy of a fierce long throw from Mickey Demetriou, with Norman getting the original flick on only for Baggott to stick a leg out, and from there it was always heading for the far corner.
Gillingham’s response was something of a shot in anger as Lewis Walker swivelled 25 yards from goal and slashed a powerful shot that flew high and wide.
Substitute and skipper Stuart O’Keefe had a golden chance to reduce the arrears just seconds later, after Wright’s hopeful ball fell to him in the area, he sent a low drive goalward with Day to the rescue for County.
Bogle had a half-chance with 15 minutes remaining, after he brought a high ball down on the edge of the penalty, the frontman dragged a shot that had the ‘keeper rooted but rolled just wide of the right-hand post.
Evans put in yet another standout performance, and sent a dangerous cross in with the clock ticking down, Moriah-Welsh was there lurking at the far post but unfortunately it was well cleared.
After good hold up play from Evans, James Waite took the ball forward and unleashed a fierce shot that sailed just over the bar.
Newport County: Day (GK), Norman (Dolan, 70’), Drysdale, Demetriou (c), Demetriou, Aaron Lewis, Moriah-Welsh, Bennett, Waite, Evans, Bogle (Collins, 80').
Subs not used: Townsend (GK), Willmott, Adam Lewis, Nevers, Zimba.
Gillingham: Turner (GK), Alexander (O’Keefe, 46’), Wright, Ehmer, Williams (c), Baggott, Jefferies (McDonald, 58’), McKenzie, Walker, Reeves (Kashket, 58’), Mandron.
Subs not used: Mnoga, Adelakun, Holtham, Greene
Referee: Ollie Yates
Asisstant referee: Ollie Williams
Assistant referee: Andrew Hendley
Fourth Official: Darren Wilding