A difficult night in the East Midlands ended with Newport County losing 3-0 against Notts County at Meadow Lane.
Graham Coughlan made two changes to the side that started against Walsall on Friday. Nick Townsend replaced Jonny Maxted in goal, and Josh Seberry replaced Declan Drysdale at the back.
Newport’s high press created the first chance of the game. Pressure from the midfield forced an error from the home defence, allowing Will Evans to break and fire a shot into Sam Solcombe’s hands from the edge of the box.
After an opening twenty minutes that saw neither side carve out a clear opportunity, the hosts kicked things up a gear, creating two chances in less than sixty seconds. First, Jodi Jones made a darting run through the County midfield before playing a ball into Macaulay Langstaff. The striker turned in the box and shot, only to see his effort deflected over by Ryan Delaney.
Following this, Dan Crowley found space on the left, playing the ball dangerously across the face of the goal, but no one was there to direct it goalwards.
Notts County’s pressure paid off minutes later. Another dangerous run from Jones saw him find Crowley in space in the box. The midfielder took a touch before firing it past Nick Towsend to make it 1-0 in the 24th minute.
Unfortunately, Graham Coughlan was forced into his first change of the evening when Josh Seberry went down injured in the 31st minute. Josh Seberry was stretchered off the pitch and replaced by James Waite.
Notts County’s clinical attack paid off again in the 34th minute. Jodi Jones, a constant threat, made another dangerous run into the area, teeing the ball up for Macaulay Langstaff. Townsend foiled the striker’s first headed effort, but he could do little to stop him tapping in the rebound.
Newport didn’t let their heads drop, though. Shane McLoughlin found Will Evans with a cross in the 38th minute, with the striker volleying an effort into the hands of Solcombe.
The hosts nearly added a third before the break. A deflected cross from Tobi Adebayo fell to Morias, with the striker hitting the ball high into the Hayden Green Family Stand behind the goal.
Newport made a strong start to the second half. Omar Bogle crossed from the left into Will Evans in the 47th minute, but the striker could not add to his impressive season tally, putting the resulting effort just wide.
Macaulay Langstaff nearly doubled his goal count for the night in the 50th minute. Sam Austin headed the ball down from the edge of the box, with Langstaff’s volley defeating Townsend before rattling off the bar.
The striker would grab the host’s third of the night in the 54th minute. Junior Morias won possession in the middle of the park, playing the ball out to Jones on the left, who then played it across the face of the goal into the path of Langstaff, who poked home.
Will Evans came close to pulling one back in the 64th minute. Matty Bondswell found himself in space out wide and played a ball into the box, with the striker unable to get his shot on target.
Minutes later, Macaulay Langstaff nearly completed his hat trick, forcing his way into the box only to have his effort deflected by Ryan Delaney. The defence comfortably dealt with the resulting corner.
Coughlan went to his bench in the 78th minute, bringing on Kiban Rai, Declan Drysdale, and Olly Thomas for Will Evans, Scot Bennett, and Omar Bogle, respectively.
The final ten minutes closed without incident, with Newport unable to find a way past a resilient Notts County backline.
Newport County: Townsend, Payne (Bondswell 57’), Delaney, Evans, Morris, Bogle, Seberry (Waite 31’), Bennett, McLoughlin, Wildig, Baker
Subs: Maxted, Drysdale, Waite, Rai, Thomas, Wood, Bondswell
Notts County: Slocombe, Rawlinson (Tipton 66’), Crowley (Randall 67’), Austin, Langstaff, Jones (Cisse 75’), Baldwin, Palmer (O’Brien 67’), Adebayo, Morais (Nemane 57’), Macari
Subs: Stone, O’Brien, Nemane, Randall, Mahovo, Tipton, Cisse
Attendance: 8,095 (198 away)