REPORT | Newport County secure all three points in Kent

Newport County AFC returned to winning ways with a deserved 2-0 victory against Gillingham at Priestfield Stadium.

A first-half brace from Omar Bogle was enough to see the Exiles secure maximum points on the road as well as earn a first clean sheet in four games. 

Following their defeat to Notts County in midweek, manager Graham Coughlan made two changes to his side in Kent. Declan Drysdale and Matty Bondswell both started in place of Lewis Payne and the injured Josh Seberry. 

It was the home side who made an assertive start to proceedings, calving out the first opportunity of the game inside six minutes. Dom Jeffries found space outside the County box before forcing Nick Townsend into a strong diving save down to his right. 

Just minutes later The Gills had another great chance to take the lead through attacker Jayden Clarke. After Drysdale failed to clear his lines, Macauley Bonne threaded a lovely ball into the path of the on-running Clarke, but he was smartly denied by the advancing Townsend. 

As County looked to create chances of their own, a swift attacking move saw Bryn Morris go close with a superb strike from distance moments after, prior to Bogle being denied the rebound from point-blank range. 

It was the Exiles, however, who made the breakthrough after 18 minutes. A poor back pass from Cheye Alexander allowed Bogle to beat Jake Turner to the ball inside the Gills box resulting in a penalty kick for Coughlan’s men. From the spot, Bogle made no mistake, showing great composure to fire a left-footed strike into the bottom corner to hand his side the lead.  

It was to get better for Newport as the clock ticked on in the half, when they were awarded another spot kick of their own six minutes later. With the Exiles showing some great attacking play, Bondswell was found by Aaron Wildig down the left and was taken down as he advanced goalwards, with Bogle converting the resulting penalty to net his second of the afternoon. 

With the home side searching for a way back into the game, Connor Mahoney went close for the hosts shortly before Jonny Williams mistimed a header in first-half injury time, as County took a deserved lead into the break. 


It was Gillingham who fashioned the initial threat when the game resumed. Clarke and Williams combined well in the County box, with the latter producing a strike narrowly wide of the post. 

At the other end, a great opportunity fell the way of Will Evans as he found space in behind the Gills backline. Wildig’s curling delivery found the feet of the league’s top goal scorer, but the forward’s audacious volley flashed wide of goal. 

As County looked to add to their lead in the contest, Coughlan deployed a double change midway through the second period, as both Kiban Rai and Lewis Payne entered the fray.

Within minutes of the change, Bogle found Rai with a smart ball in behind the Gillingham backline but Turner was able to thwart the teenager of the opportunity.

Mahoney went closest to clawing his side back into the game eight minutes from time. The winger showed good footwork down the far right, cutting inside past Bondswell but to only fire an effort well wide of the target. 

Bogle then went close to adding to his tally once more two minutes from time, but his header was off target as County secured maximum points on the road. 

Newport County return to action on Tuesday Night, as they face West Ham United U21s in the EFL Trophy at Rodney Parade (7.45pm). Buy your tickets here.



Gillingham FC: Turner, Alexander (Williams 78), Masterson, Williams (Lapslie 66), Jefferies, Malone (C), Clarke (Nichols 54), Coleman, Ogie, Mahoney, Bonne.

Subs not used: Dieng, Ehmer, Clark, Morris. 

Newport County AFC: Townsend, Delaney (C), Drysdale (Payne 67), Evans (Kiban 63), Morris, Bogle, Bennett, McLoughlin, Wildig (Waite 84), Baker, Bondswell. 

Subs not used: Wood, Thomas. 


Attendance: 5,869 (179 Away)