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Club News

Report | Newport County Fall to Defeat at Wrexham

23 December 2023

Club News

Report | Newport County Fall to Defeat at Wrexham

23 December 2023

Newport County suffered a 2-0 defeat to Wrexham in tough conditions in North Wales.

Graham Coughlan made two changes for our trip to North Wales to face Wrexham. Will Evans returned to the starting XI in place of Lewis Payne, while Harry Charsley made his first start since returning from injury, replacing Matt Baker.  

After a strong first-half performance, Newport were undone in the second half by goals from James Jones and Elliot Lee, both of which were the results of Ben Tozer's long throws. 

The hosts set out their plan for the first half in the opening minute, playing a long ball in search of Mullin, which was comfortably dealt with. A dangerous ball from Ireland international James McClean was then met at the near post by Nick Townsend in the fifth minute as the hosts struggled to create clear chances. 

Opportunities for either team were few and far between in the opening exchanges. Our best chance in the first ten fell to Omar Bogle. The striker was given space on the edge of the box, lining up a shot, only to have it deflected out by former Exile Ben Tozer. 

The Red Dragons continued to hunt for Mullin, with a long ball over from Jacob Mendy finding him on the 20-minute mark. Unfortunately for him, he was unable to shrug off Ryan Delaney, who managed to hold him off, forcing the ball out for a goal kick. 

Seb Palmer-Houlden and Omar Bogle's constant pressing was causing problems for Wrexham in the opening 25, and the pressure began to pay off in the 28th, with a string of chances being created. 

First, Bogle made light work of Wrexham defender Tom O'Connor on the edge of the area, feeding a ball in behind Jacob Mendy to Will Evans. Our top scorer fired an angled shot at goal, forcing an excellent save out of Wrexham keeper Arthur Okonkwo. 

The resulting corner then dropped at the feet of Bogle, with the ball getting trapped on the floor. The eventual shot was deflected over from close range, with the following corner being headed wide

We didn't let up, though, and Okonkwo was called to the rescue for Wrexham once again in the 30th minute. Seb Palmer-Houlden met a cross at the near-post, forcing an acrobatic save out of the stopper as he tipped it onto the bar. 

Wrexham were struggling to create chances as the game ticked towards half-time; their best opportunity came in the 38th minute, with midfielder Andy Cannon, a constant presence in the middle of the park, firing over from the edge of the box. 

Half-Time

Wrexham came out with more intent at the start of the second half and created their best opportunity of the game so far in the 47th minute. A dangerous ball from James Jones was headed goalwards by Jacob Mendy, but no one was able to meet the ball at the back-post. 

Ben Tozer's long throw caused problems in the 52nd minute; a scramble at the back post led to an effort being cleared off the line, with the follow-up header from Andy Cannon being comfortably collected by Townsend. 

The hosts came within inches of grabbing an opener in the 56th minute. James McClean found Elliott Lee on the edge of the box, with the midfielder firing a strike off the post, which then bounced back off Townsend's back and went just over the bar. Two minutes later, Sam Dalby turned in the box, firing a shot just wide of the post. 

They continued to heap on the pressure in the 61st minute. With the wind behind it, James McClean's corner caused havoc in the box, with Dalby firing a shot across the face of the goal but Mullin failing to connect with what would have been a certain opener. 

Wrexham would finally break the deadlock in the 63rd minute. A long throw from Ben Tozer eventually dropped to James Jones, who fired a shot from the centre of the box into the back of the net. 

We looked to grab an equaliser, with our first notable chance of the half coming in the 68th minute. Will Evans fired a cross across the face of the goal, with Wildig coming agonisingly close but ultimately being unable to turn an effort goalwards. 

Increasingly windy conditions made it difficult for both teams as the clock ticked down. The hosts pushed for a second in the 80th minute, with Elliot Lee finding James McClean in space down the right. He played the ball into Jones, who was unable to add to his tally, with substitute Matty Baker blocking the shot.

Wrexham grabbed a second in the 86th minute. Ben Tozer's long throw was once again the difference maker, with Elliot Lee meeting one in the middle of the box to head home. 

This would be the last moment of note in the game. We now turn our attention to back-to-back home fixtures, starting with Forest Green Rovers on Boxing Day. 

Full-Time

Newport County: Townsend, Delaney (C), Clarke, McLoughlin, Bennett, Wildig, Morris, Charsley (Baker 64'), Evans, Palmer-Houlden (Payne 79'), Bogle.

Substitutes: Maxted, Bondswell, Waite, Wood, Rai, Baker, Payne.

Wrexham AFC: Okonkwo, Cleworth, Tozer (C), O’Connor, Mendy, Jones, Cannon (Young 86'), Lee, McLean, Dalby (Fletcher 72'), Mullin.

Substitutes: Howard, Boyle, Forde, Young, J. Davies, Fletcher, Bickerstaff.

Attendance: 12,095 (1,139 away)


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