Report | Exiles defeated at Blundell Park

Newport County fell to a narrow 1-0 defeat to Grimsby Town on Saturday afternoon.

Despite the brilliance of goalkeeper Nick Townsend, Danny Rose' first-half strike was enough to claim all three points for the Mariners. 

Manager Graham Coughlan made three changes to the side that faced Crawley Town last time out, with Harrison Bright, Adam Lewis and Luke Jephcott coming in for Aaron Wildig, Matty Bondswell and Seb Palmer-Houlden.

Despite the seven places and 15 points separating the two sides before kick-off, it was Grimsby Town who dominated the first-half.

They had the first opportunity when Charles Vernam cut inside in from the left, however his low effort was wide of Nick Townsend’s net.

Kieran Green next went close, bringing the ball down on the edge of the area before firing goal-wards but his strike is straight at Townsend and easy for the ‘keeper to collect.

County had their first chance when Will Evans was found on the edge of the box by Bryn Morris, the striker unselfishly found Adam Lewis in space but his shot was straight at Jake Eastwood.

Grimsby had a succession of corners in the first 45, with Douglas Tharme presented with a free header from one of Vernam’s deliveries however his effort was well over the bar.

The Exiles looked to break on the counter, and had a great chance to open the scoring when Lewis was found in space on the left, his cross was good and met the head of Offrande Zanzala however the forward mistimed his leap and headed wide.

Vernam continued to cause trouble down County’s right, running to the by-line before playing it across goal. The ball deflected off of Kyle Jameson and luckily into the grateful hands of Townsend.

Grimsby then took the lead just after the half-hour mark, a mix-up between Zanzala and Townsend in the area allowed Danny Rose to sneak in and tap home, giving the Mariners a deserved lead.

County reacted well following the goal, and Eastwood was tested again from range after Kyle Jameson found himself in space on the edge of the area.

A missed header at the back presented Donavan Wilson with a clear shot of goal. Matt Baker was on hand to nip in and take the ball off the striker, saving what looked like a certain goal.

It was another good stop from Townsend after Liam Smith was found running in at the back post, the effort looked destined for the back of the net but somehow the County ‘keeper got a strong hand to it.


The second half started with County being hit on the break after a free kick was cleared by the home side with Donavan Wilson picking up the ball and driving forward. He looked for the open Danny Rose but Adam Lewis did well to get back and intercept.

Coughlan went for a double switch up front just before the hour mark, with Seb Palmer-Houlden and Omar Bogle being deployed in place of Luke Jephcott and Offrande Zanzala.

Townsend kept the score line at one once more after Jameson was dispossessed in his own area, Rosed aimed at the practically-empty net but somehow the shot-stopper got back and kept it out,

Wilson was denied by County’s number one twice in quick succession as the game crept into the final third, the striker was found over the top before seeing his shot saved.

Then minutes later, Rose wrestled Jameson off the ball inside the area and saw Townsend make a phenomenal save to keep his side in it.

In the dying embers, the Exiles pushed for a late equaliser but Grimsby stood firm to secure a much-needed vicory on home turf. 

Full Time

Newport County return to Sky Bet League Two action on Tuesday night as they host Accrington Stanley at Rodney Parade (7.45pm).

Newport County: Townsend, Bright, Jameson, Baker, Bennett (C), Lewis (Bondswell 88’), Morris, Charsley (Norris 88’), Zanzala (Bogle 56’), Jephcott (Palmer-Houlden 56’), Evans.

Substitutes: Maxted, Bogle, Rai, Palmer-Houlden, Bondswell, Norris, Sanca.

Grimsby Town: Jake Eastwood, Mullarkey, Rodgers, Tharme, Smith, Vernam (Andrews 90’), Thompson, Holohan, Green (Clifton 72’), Rose (C), Wilson (Obikwu 72’).

Substitutes: Auton, Eisa, Clifton, Ainley, Wood, Andrews, Obikwu.

Attendance: 5951 (113 away)