From the Archive | A Much-Needed Win at the Bescot

The 2020/21 season was, it’s fair to say, an emotional rollercoaster. The start of the COVID pandemic in 2020 meant that games were still being played behind closed doors, so, of course, in typical Newport County fashion, we were having what many consider to be our best year since returning to the league.

By the time boxing day rolled around, we were sitting at the top of the league and had only lost four of the opening 20 games, winning 11 and drawing five. Things started to stutter, though, and a failure to win in eight consecutive games saw us drop to seventh place by the end of January. 

A 1-0 win against Grimsby on February 6th suggested we might have turned a corner, but this was followed by a draw and two losses in our next three. Heading into our game with Walsall, we were sitting seventh in the league, clinging on to our play-off ambitions and in need of a win.

The Bescot had not been the happiest of hunting grounds for us at the time, with our last win away at Walsall coming back in the 1980s. 

The Saddlers were on a baron run themselves. They had won just one of their previous nine matches coming into the game and had only won two of their last eight at home. It was the perfect opportunity for us to pick up a much-needed morale-boosting win, and thankfully, the boys were up for the task. 

It was a cold Wednesday night in the Black Country, which is never the ideal conditions to go and grab an away win, especially with no Exiles in the away end to roar you on. However, the lads were able to dig deep. 

Early efforts for Nicky Maynard and Dom Telford came agonisingly close to opening the scoring, while Nick Townsend was in fine form, denying Max Melbourne at a crucial moment in the match.

In the end, it was Joss Labadie who would secure the win. He rose to meet a Ryan Haynes cross in the 71st minute to head past Liam Roberts in the Walsall goal to wrap up all three points. 

The win would help stabilise the team’s form, with us going on to win three of our next five games and ease worries that we would fail to make the playoffs.

The Exiles will be hoping for a similar result this coming Saturday, when they head to the Bescot stadium. Secure your ticket for the clash HERE.