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Club News

Report | Exiles defeated by Crawley on Easter Monday

1 April 2024

Club News

Report | Exiles defeated by Crawley on Easter Monday

1 April 2024

Newport County suffered a 4-0 home defeat to Crawley Town on Easter Monday at Rodney Parade.

First half goals from Dion Conroy and Ronan Darcy, along with second half strikes from Laurence Maguire and Adam Campbell were enough to hand the Red Devils all three points in South Wales. 

Manager Graham Coughlan made one change to the side that faced Colchester United last time out, with Seb Palmer-Houlden coming into the starting eleven in place of Lewis Payne.

Omar Bogle also made his long-awaited return from injury to feature on the bench. 

It was the away side who made an assertive start to proceedings, netting the opening goal inside the first minute. After the Exiles failed to clear a corner from the right, captain Conroy was on hand to guide a firm header past the outstretched Nick Townsend. 

Looking to make an immediate response, a quick counter attack led by Harry Charsley saw Will Evans find space in the behind the Town defence. Despite some neat footwork, he was unable to guide a way past Will Wright. 

With their tales up, the Exiles had a great chance to net an equaliser just before the fifteen minute mark. Palmer-Houlden’s through ball found Evans with time and space, and the Club’s leading goalscorer was unable to find the finding touch thanks to a strong save from Corey Addai. 

Continuing to create chances, the next opportunity for the Exiles fell the way of Offrande Zanzala inside the box. A clever set-pice from Aaron Wildig wasn’t dealt with and the forward was first to bounce on the loose ball, but he couldn’t manage to dig out an effort to trouble Addai. 

Against the run of play, however, it was Crawley who doubled their lead day through the half. A darting run from Darcy saw the midfielder breakthrough into Exiles territory before finding the bottom corner with a clinical finish from just outside the box. 

Before half time Coughlan was forced into an early change as Scot Bennett made way for Harrison Bright. Moments after the change, County came close to halving the deficit with two great chances. 

First, Charsley broke free down the right and delivered a pint-point cross for the on-running Evans, though he couldn’t connect to apply the finishing touch. That was before Bryn Morris tried his luck from distance with a low struck effort, as the visitors took a two goal lead into the break. 

Half Time

The Exiles looked to up the tempo in the second half and the early stages made their intensions clear. A short free-kick worked between Wildig and Morris resulted in a shooting chance for the former, but he couldn’t guide a trademark strike on target. 

In the 66th minute, Coughlan deployed a double substitution in hope of changes County’s attacking pressure in the final third. Omar Bogle and Luke Jephcott were both introduced to the fray in place of Palmer-Houlden and Zanzala. 

Within seconds of the change though, it was the Red Devils who secured a third thanks to a smart set-piece. A teasing ball from Will Wright picked out Maguire at the far post who swept home a cool effort to beat Townsend. 

Searching for a consolation goal in the minutes of the game that remained, the Exiles did force several chances. One resultant move saw Bright produce a neat delivery for Jephcott at the back post, though a comfortable save from Addai prevented the No.31 from point-blank range. 

In injury time, the Red Devils added a fourth goal in the tie when substitute Campbell thumped home a powerful strike to seal an important win for Scott Lindsay’s men in their quest for a play-off spot. 

Full Time

The Exiles return to Sky Bet League Two action on Saturday afternoon when they make the long trip to Grimsby Town (3pm).

Newport County: Townsend, Jameson, Bennett (C) (Bright 38’), Baker, Bondswell (Payne 60’), Wildig, Morris, Charsley, Zanzala (Bogle 66’), Palmer-Houlden (Jephcott 66’), Evans.

Substitutes: Maxted, Waite, Rai. 

Crawley Town: Addai, Gordon, Maguire, Conroy (C) (Mukena 88’), Wright, Tsaroulla, Williams (L. Kelly 75’), Darcy  (Khalee 88’), Lolos (Roles 88'), J. Kelly, Orsi (Campbell 71’).

Substitutes: Sandford, Adeyemo. 

Attendance: 4,643 (213away)

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