Newport County suffered a 1-0 defeat at home to Rochdale on Saturday afternoon courtesy of an early goal from James Ball.

Jimmy Keohane crossed on five minutes to Ball who headed past Joe Day after only 5 minutes to give us the worst possible start.

The hosts made a bright start and following a neat passing move Adam Lewis picked out Aaron Wildig at the far post, but he mis-controlled the ball at the back post after Will Evans had jumped to head it.

Moments later the referee waved away strong claims for a penalty after Omar Bogle was brought down, Nathan Moriah-Welsh then had an attempt at goal which flew just wide.

Rochdale took an early lead just minutes later, with Ball rising highest to nod the ball past the helpless Joe Day.

Newport responded well and a dangerous cross from Adam Lewis was cleared away with Will Evans lurking on 18 minutes.

Bogle went close after beating his man to the ball and cutting inside, however, his left footed effort curled just wide of the far post.

Day had to be at full stretch to deny Ball his and Rochdale’s second goal, palming away the midfielder’s powerful half volley from just outside the area.

From the resulting corner Ethan Ebanks-Landell will be wondering how he didn’t score. Day had beaten away the first effort from Sam Graham, and with the goal at his mercy the skipper could only scuff it wide.

We went close from a set piece of our own shortly after, with Bogle meeting Robbie Willmott’s ball into the box, only for it to sail wide of the top-right corner.

Bogle then had a golden chance to equalise. After being put clean through on goal by Moriah-Welsh, he couldn’t beat Richard O’Donnell one-on-one.

On the counter-attack Rochdale had a brilliant chance to make it two. Abraham Odoh raced through on goal on the right and fed it to Scott Quigley, who could only poke wide from deep inside of the penalty area.

Bogle had a strike early in the second half, but after finding space on the edge of the area, his shot deflected agonisingly wide of the left-hand post.

Centre back James Clarke had a decent chance to bring County level on 54 minutes, rising highest to meet Willmott’s corner kick, his header though sailed harmlessly over the bar.

Moments later it was Mickey Demetriou to head one at goal from Willmott’s corner, this time it hit the side netting as Newport desperately looked for an equaliser.

Newport dominated the second half, and delicious Demetriou pass found Aaron Wildig inside the area, his powerful was blocked well though by Ebanks-Landell.

Cameron Norman was the next to let fly with a powerful drive which just flew past the top left corner as the Amber Army rallied behind their team.

With seconds remaining we threw everything at Rochdale, a free-kick in which Day had come up to try and get his head on ended with Demetriou winning a header on the six-yard line, but it went just over in the final act of a frustrating afternoon.

Newport County XI: Day (GK), Norman, Clarke, Demetriou (c), Adam Lewis (Nevers, 46’), Aaron Lewis, Moriah-Welsh (Collins, 46’), Willmott, Wildig (Waite, 87'), Evans (Zimba, 85’), Bogle.

Subs not used: Drysdale, Bennet, Ovendale.


Rochdale XI: O’Donnell (GK), Seriki, Ebanks-Landell (c), Liam Kelly (Sinclair, 70’), Ball, Rodney, Odoh (Henderson, 87'), Keohane, Graham, Quigley (McNulty, 87') Diagoura.

Subs not used: Bradley Kelly (GK), White, Brierley, Sinclair, Malley.


Match officials:

Referee: David Rock

Asisstant referee: Christopher Wade

Assistant referee: Christopher Husband
Fourth Official: Ollie Williams