Newport County drew 1-1 with AFC Wimbledon on Tuesday night at Rodney Parade, after a performance that on another night could well have earned all three points.

Ali Al-Hamadi gave Wimbledon an early lead after a composed left-footed finish to give us the worst possible start.

Graham Coughlan's half-time team talk certainly worked a treat and the Exiles came out fighting after the interval, with Harry Charsley netting with a wonderful strike.

The visitors created an early opening, with left-back Jack Currie sending a low ball into the penalty box which Al-Hamadi couldn’t turn home.

Al-Hamadi did take his chance on 5 minutes after a wicked cross from Chris Gunter and after bringing it under his spell, all the forward had to do was roll it in.

County huffed and puffed, and Priestley Farquharson received a yellow on 17 minutes for a pull on the dangerous Ethan Chislett.

Newport’s best chance of the first half came from Charsley, who met Mickey Demetriou’s long throw six yards from goal only to send it straight into the grasp of Nikola Chivarov Tzanev.

Nathan Moriah-Welsh had an ambitious go from about 30 yards on 35 minutes, but it was a speculative effort and easily held by the ‘keeper.

We started the second phase on the front foot and Demetriou caused more problems from a set-piece, meeting Aaron Lewis’ whipped delivery only to see it bobble harmlessly away.

Then, just minutes later, County were close to being awarded a spot-kick. Norman’s driving run attracted three defenders and he could only be stopped by Alex Woodyard’s tug-back, a free-kick was awarded, however.

The hosts continued to apply more pressure and on the hour mark Moriah-Welsh sent a hopeful ball forward, which the ever-present Farquharson met with a giant leap only for it to be held by the ‘keeper.

Wimbledon threatened on 67 minutes with a winding run from Chislett, but despite reaching the by-line, he couldn’t produce a cross of any meaningful harm.

The equaliser came just before the 70-minute mark, and it was expertly taken. Lewis’ deep delivery was headed back by Matt Baker, and eventually found Charsley who finished confidently with a left-footed strike that nestled in the roof of the net.

We threatened again minutes later and again it was from a cross, with substitutes Will Evans and Calum Kavanagh going for it. Unfortunately, though, it skimmed off a defensive head and just over the crossbar.

The game reached boiling point on 74 minutes with both teams going for it, not long after a Wimbledon penalty shout Lewis and Alex Woodyard got involved in some handbags and were both shown a yellow card.

Evans and Kavanagh were causing all sorts of problems and when the former headed on for Kavanagh, he looked destined to score. After turning well his volley was heading for the corner but was well saved.

It was all one-way traffic and Farquharson met one of several Lewis corner-kick deliveries but saw his header drift just wide.

Kiban Rai nearly made an instant impact off the bench, turning exquisitely on the edge of the area before spinning a powerful low cross in. Sadly, it was well held by the ‘keeper.


Newport County XI: Day (GK), Baker, Farquharson, Demetriou (c), Lewis, Moriah-Welsh (Waite, 84’), Bennett (Wildig, 64’), Charsley (Rai, 87’), Norman, McNeill (Kavanagh, 64’), Bogle (Evans 64’).

Subs not used: Townsend (GK), Clarke.


AFC Wimbledon XI: Chivarov Tzanev, Gunter, Pearce, Pierre, Currie, Woodyard, Little, Chislett, McAteer, Pearson (Janneh, 78’), Al-Hamadi.

Subs not used: Broome (GK), Nightinghale, Marsh, Jenkins, Bendle, Adjei-Hersey.


Referee: Tom Reeves

Assistant referee: Adam Ricketts

Assistant referee: Kevin Howick

Fourth official: Steve Durnall