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Match Reports

TOWN 1-4 Newport County - Town fall to home defeat

27 February 2024

Match Reports

TOWN 1-4 Newport County - Town fall to home defeat

27 February 2024

Town fell to a 4-1 defeat at home to Newport County this evening as two goals either side of half-time did the damage.

After a quiet opening period Will Evans netted his twentieth of the season when he converted a penalty before Offrande Zanzala scored either side of half-time, with substitute Seb Palmer-Houlden adding a fourth before George Thomson’s late consolation.

Simon Weaver made four changes to the side that was defeated 2-0 by Walsall last Saturday with Warren Burrell, Josh Falkingham, Jeremy Sivi and Josh March coming into the side in place of Matty Foulds, Stephen Dooley, Thomson and Jack Muldoon.

The visitors, beaten 3-0 at MK Dons last time out, brought, Scot Bennett and Kyle Jameson into the side with Shane McLaughlin, James Waite and Seb Palmer-Houlden missing out.

It was an inauspicious start to the game with neither side managing to impose any sort of authority on the game.

In the tenth minute a scramble in the box saw Town fail to clear their lines, finally ending the danger before the dangerous Evans could pounce.

The recalled Sivi provided Town’s first threat of the evening when he drove to the byline before cutting the ball back but he failed to pick out a forward.

Newport’s approach was clear – get the ball wide and early – and it paid off midway through the first-half when Adam Lewis received the ball and whipped in a cross that was not far from picking out an Exile shirt.

Bryn Morris then dispossessed Abraham Odoh, marauding forward to strike an effort that was deflected over, with Evans going close with a purposeful header from the ensuing corner.

The visitors were denied just before half-hour mark when Scot Bennett’s strike looked for all the world like it was goalbound before striking Zanzala and falling to safety.

Moments later though they grabbed a deserved lead when Liam Gibson was penalised for handball and Evans confidently dispatched the spotkick past James Belshaw.

Two minutes later the lead was doubled. Belshaw initially made an excellent save to deny Aaron Wildig but Zanzala was on hand this time to fire home and make it 2-0.

Two almost fell further behind on the stroke of half-time when an O’Connor error found resulted in Lewis Payne crossing for Evans who headed only just over the bar.

Although there were no changes at the break it wasn’t long before Simon Weaver made a change with Thomson replacing Sivi.

Seconds later though Town failed to clear a free-kick deep into the box and Zanzala was on hand to fire past Belshaw.

Falkingham then went into the book for tripping Evans on the edge of the area, before Simon Weaver made a further quartet of changes with Muldoon, Dooley, Levi Sutton and Tom Bloxham replacing March, Cornelius, Falkingham and Odoh.

The changes brought some spark to Town’s play and a neat header from Thomson teed up Sutton but he sliced his effort over the bar.

Town were nearly the architects of their own downfall minutes later when they failed to clear their lines with Belshaw forced into save to keep the scoreline at 3-0.

Sutton then went close again when he strode into the area to fire narrowly wide of the keepers right hand post but it was 4-0 after 70 minutes when substitute Palmer-Houlden cut in from the left to fire beyond Belshaw.

With the game comfortably in hand the visitors made a pair of changes with fifteen minutes remaining when Evans and Wildig earned some time off when they were replaced by James Waite and Luke Jephcott.

With just over ten minutes remaining Town got some reward when Thomson netted his tenth league goal of the season by firing in a low effort from the edge of the area.

There were two final changes for the visitors with just over five minutes remaining when Lewis Payne and Kyle Jameson made way for Harrison Bright and Matt Bondswell.

Thomson went close for Town in added time when he curled a free-kick just beyond the post before the referee brought an end to a disappointing evening.

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