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Report | A Late Goal Denies Newport County a Win in 3-3 Draw with Walsall

20 October 2023

Club News

Report | A Late Goal Denies Newport County a Win in 3-3 Draw with Walsall

20 October 2023

A last-minute goal denied Newport County three points in a 3-3 draw with Walsall at Rodney Parade.

Graham Coughlan, in the game that marked his first full year at the club, made two changes from the team that lost to Swindon at the weekend. Declan Drysdale and Aaron Wildig returned to the team in place of Josh Seberry and Nathan Wood.

It didn’t take long for County to take control. After some excellent back and forth between Will Evans and Omar Bogle, Bogle found Bryn Morris on the left-hand side of the box. The midfielder took a touch before rifling a beauty of a strike into the top corner past a helpless Owen Evans in the Walsall goal.

This lit a fire under the team as they continued to put pressure on the Walsall back-line. A dangerous ball from Evans just minutes after the goal failed to find its target but was a clear signal of what was to come from the striker.

The visitor’s first real chance of the game came in the 14th minute when Freddie Draper turned on the edge of the box and fired a shot at Johnny Maxted, with the keeper tipping it over for a corner.

Unfortunately, Draper would find the target just two minutes later. A ball from Knowles on the right was played across the box, with Draper connecting and turning it past the outstretched hand of Maxted to level the score.

The Saddlers came close to doubling their lead in the 22nd minute, with Oisin McEntee heading narrowly wide from a corner.

The next twenty minutes saw very few chances created, with heavy rainfall impacting the ball's movement and slowing the action down considerably.

The stoppage time board went up, indicating five minutes, and this seemed to inspire Newport into action. A goal-mouth scramble following a fumbled catch from Owen Evans resulted in Omar Bogle having a shot blocked by Donveron Daniels, with the Walsall defence clearing their lines in panic.

They could do nothing to stop Will Evans just minutes later, though. Aaron Widlig found Evans on the edge of the area, with the striker taking a touch before spectacularly curling it into the bottom corner to put us 2-1 up in first-half stoppage time. This was his 10th league goal of the campaign, making him the first player in the Premier League and Football League to hit double figures in the league this season.

Half-time

After a slow start, it was Walsall who grabbed the first goal of the second half. A long ball from Joe Riley found Draper in the area, with the striker controlling it, taking it onto his left foot and slotting it underneath Maxted to pull the visitors level in the 53rd minute.

The heavens opened shortly after, ensuring the final thirty minutes would turn into a battle in increasingly tough conditions.

Tough conditions have been where Graham Coughlan’s men have excelled in the first 12 months of his management, though, and their battling spirit shone through in the 67th minute. Will Evans turned provider this time, playing a tempting low across the face of the Walsall goal, which Bryn Morris gladly smashed into the back of the net to grab his second of the evening and give us the lead for the third time.

Walsall went in search of a third equaliser, dominating possession and taking control of the game in the middle of the park. For long portions, though, they could only muster half-chances. Tom Knowles saw a half-volley bounce over the bar before Ryan Stirk drove a shot straight at Johnny Maxted from the edge of the area.

Unfortunately, County were dealt a cruel blow in the 6th minute of stoppage time. A last-minute corner caused chaos; the ball was then played back into the box by Daniels, with Freddie Draper flicking it into the back of the net to complete his hat-trick and make it 3-3, robbing us of the win right at the death.

 

Newport County: Maxted, McLoughlin, Payne (Rai 84’), Delaney, Baker (Seberry 71’), Drysdale, Evans (Thomas 94’), Bogle, Bennett, Morris, Wildig (Bondswell 84’)

Subs: Townsend, Seberry, Waite, Wood, Rai, Thomas, Bondswell

 

Walsall: Evans, Mcentee (Comley 46’), Daniels, Riley (Matt 82’), Hutchinson, Knowles, Draper, Williams, Allen (Gordon 72’), Stirk, Tierney

Subs: Smith, Gordon, Matt, James-Taylor, Griffiths, Johnson, Comley

 

Attendance: 3,896 (361 away)


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