Report | Exiles defeated at Edgeley Park

Newport County fell to a narrow 1-0 defeat against Stockport County at Edgeley Park on Saturday afternoon.

An injury-time strike from Paddy Madden was enough to secure all three points for the Hatters in Sky Bet League Two. 

Manager Graham Coughlan made one change from the side that was defeated by Mansfield Town last time out, with Offrande Zanzala coming into the starting eleven in place of James Clarke.

Clear-cut chances were at a premium early on as neither side gained a real foothold in the contest. The first chance of the game came the way of the home side. Antoni Sarcevic fired a lovely ball into the path of Paddy Madden who forced a strong save from Nick Townsend in the opening fifteen minutes. 

Gaining further territory in the final third, the hosts went close once again in the 24th minute. Scot Bennett’s defensive header dropped to Lewis Cass on the edge of the box but the central defender was unable to keep his driven effort down. 

Midway through the half, Stockport had a great chance to take the lead. After Townsend’s clearance could only find the feet of Nick Powell, he threaded through Sarcevic who was denied brilliantly by the advancing Exiles shot-stopper. 

Following a period of pressure, Cass and Powell both saw headers forced wide as Newport defended resolutely from several set pieces. 

Before half-time, Coughlan’s men did go close via Bryn Morris who produced an effort from range. After Zanzala battled well to retain possession in the Exiles half, he found Morris who took aim, firing a right-footed effort that was parried by Ben Hinchliffe. 

In added time, a smart move down the right-hand side allowed Myle Hippolyte to pick out the on-rushing Madden at the far post, but the forward was unable to steer a header goalwards. 

Half Time

It was the hosts who made a lively start to the second half. A stunning save from Townsend denied Madden in the early exchanges after he made a darting run in behind the Exiles’ backline. 

Searching for an opening goal, the Hatters went agonisingly close to breaking the scoreline on 58 minutes. Madden’s instinctive strike from inside the box beat Townsend, but somehow it was blocked by teammate Lemonheigh-Evans, as the scores remained level. 

Townsend was needed to palm away an effort from substitute Callum Camps just minutes later, as the Exiles had to absorb another spell of pressure from the league’s pacesetters. 

Coughlan made his first change after 64 minutes introducing Harry Charsely to the fray in place of Zanzala. Eight minutes later, Stockport were awarded a penalty on 72 minutes after Charsely was adjudged to have brought down substitute Tanto Olaofe inside the box. However, a terrific save from Townsend prevented Madden from the spot. 

With ten minutes of the game remaining, the Exiles nearly made a breakthrough of their own. A well-worked corner from Adam Lewis found Will Evans at the near post who stubbed home an effort that flew narrowly wide of the post.

As the home side piled on the pressure with the minutes of the game that remained, another incredible save from Townsend kept the Hatters at bay. Odin Bailey drove inside past Lewis before unleashing a fierce effort that saw the Exiles ‘keeper divert wide. Second later, he sprung into action once more, this time denying a deflection from teammate Morris. 

In injury time, the Hatters managed to carve out a late winner as Madden struck home a delightful strike to hand the home side all three points. 

Full Time

The Exiles return to Sky Bet League Two action on Tuesday night when they host Morecambe at Rodney Parade (7.45pm).

Stockport County: Hinchiffe, Horsfall, Madden (C), Saracenic, Powell (Camps 59’), Pye, Wootton (Richards 88’), Hippolyte (Bailey 59’), Bristow, Lemonheigh-Evans (Olaofe 70’), Cass.

Substitutes: Smith, Touray, Byrne. 

Newport County: Townsend, Jameson (Drysdale 80’), Bennett (C), Baker, Lewis (Bondswell 88’), Payne, Wildig, Morris, Zanzala (Charsley 64’), Evans, Palmer-Houlden (Jephcott 88’).

Substitutes: Maxted, Waite, Rai, . 

Attendance: 8,865 (315 away).