Newport County returned to winning ways with a confident 2-1 victory over Colchester United at Rodney Parade.
Graham Coughlan made two changes from Saturday’s defeat at Salford, with Josh Seberry and Matty Bondswell coming into the team for Shane McLoughlin and the injured Adam Lewis.
County started the game on the front foot, dominating possession in the opening stages as they looked to carve their first opportunity.
That chance came in the 10th minute when Omar Bogle teed up Will Evans on the edge of the box. Evans struck a sweet half-volley only to be denied by Owen Goodman in the Colchester goal. The team continued to pile on the pressure, with a dangerous ball from Josh Seberry just minutes later falling short of Omar Bogle.
The first goal of the game would come from the visitors, with a dangerous cross from Jayden Fevrier getting just behind the defence and being finished by Samson Tovide in the 34th minute.
The Exiles nearly made an instant response when a beautiful swinging cross found the head of James Waite, with the midfielder heading narrowly wide.
Newport’s efforts paid off in the 42nd minute. A shot from Scot Bennett from outside the box made its way into a crowded area and was cleverly deflected home by Will Evans, with the striker grabbing his eighth goal of the campaign.
Bennett nearly grabbed a goal of his own just a minute later, with his effort going just wide into the side netting.
There was still time for some late drama in the first half. Fevrier swung in another dangerous cross, which fell to Tovide at the back post, with an excellent save from Townsend on the line denying them a half-time lead.
We went in search of our lead seconds later, with Morris racing through on goal only to be denied by Goodman. The two teams went into the half time break, level.
County came flying out of the traps at the start of the second half. James Waite drilled an effort from outside the box, with Owen Goodman parrying the ball into the path of Aaron Wildig, who headed it back towards goal only for Goodman to pull off an excellent save.
The resulting corner saw Goodman pull off another brilliant save, with Will Evans nearly grabbing his second of the day when he flicked the ball goalwards.
County’s perseverance delivered in the 62nd minute when a dangerous ball in the box was parried by Goodman straight into the path of Omar Bogle, who instinctively hit the ball into the back of the net. The striker now has four in his last six league outings.
The striker nearly doubled his goal tally for the night just a minute later. Evans swung the ball in with Bogle heading narrowly into the side-netting as County continued to ramp up the pressure on the visitors.
County continued to dominate large spells of the second half, though very few clear-cut chances presented themselves.
Coughlan went to his bench in the 73rd minute, bringing on Kiban Rai and Lewis Payne for Omar Bogle and James Waite. Rai’s presence was immediately felt, with his electrifying runs and smart link-up play with Will Evans continuing to put the Colchester backline under threat.
Colchester nearly grabbed an equaliser in the 87th minute when a dangerous ball into the box resulted in a scramble, with Samson Tovide heading wide as Rodney Parade held its breath.
The visitor’s Arthur Read saw red two minutes later following an incident between the midfielder and Kiban Rai.
Colchester went in search of a late winner, but the County defence held strong, with Delaney and Seberry standing tall at the back and dealing with a flurry of long balls. The final whistle blew, and Rodney Parade was on its feet as County returned to winning ways.
Newport will look to build on tonight’s result when they welcome Harrogate Town to Rodney Parade this Saturday afternoon.
Newport County: Townsend, Delaney, Drysdale (McLoughlin 23’), Evans, Morris, Bogle (Rai 73’), Waite (Payne 73’) , Seberry, Bennett, Wildig, Bondswell
Subs: Maxted, Payne, Rai, McLoughlin, Thomas, Wood
Colchester United: Goodman, Greenidge (Bandeira 83’), Hall, Tovide, Chilvers, Mitchell, Read, Mingi (Ihionvien 74’), Taylor, Kazeem (Hopper 83’), Fevrier
Subs: Bandeira, Smith, Hopper, Kennedy, Cooper, Terry, Inhiovien
Attendance: 3,220 (143 away)