Sadly after last weeks exploits against Bath, the other United side turned up at Church Road this afternoon where the experience of Newport County showed as they eased to three points.
The game started in driving rain and it took a while for both sides to acclimatise. It was in fact the home side that created the games first chances, Kieran Knight saw a shot blocked by Lee Jarman after picking up a Josh Scott knock down and this was closely followed by a Nevin Saroya pass that found James Mulley and he in turn helped the ball on to Scott who turned but put his shot just over the crossbar.
From the 20th minute the visitors started to take a grip on proceedings, a Steve Perkins header clear from a corner fell nicely for Craig Hughes who saw his shot slip through Delroy Preddie's hand but thankfully for the stopper the ball went just over the goal for a corner. Four minutes later the ball did end up in the United net, Hughes flicked on to his strike partner Charlie Griffin who advanced into the area before hitting a tame shot that seemed to go through Preddie's dive.
Just a few minutes later another raid by County saw Hughes head the ball down the line to former Wales international Jason Bowen who cut into the area before trying to return the ball square to Hughes who was only stopped by a Danny Allen-Page interception. Ten minutes from the break Nathan Davies latched onto a Preddie punch but he was denied by a fine Preddie catch as the ball headed for the top corner of the United net.
Seven minutes from the break United conceded a free-kick wide on the left and having twice moved the ball forwards out of the eye line of the referee, Andy Gurney fired a superb swinging kick across the area that all and sundry, including Preddie, missed and the ball was left to find its way into the back of the United net. It could have been worse for United four minutes later when Preddie spilled a Davies shot but was quick enough to pounce on the ball as Hughes raced in.
United made a change at half time with Peter Collins replacing the out of touch Adam Thompson in the United defence but this did nothing to stem the attack of the Welshmen as Griffin ran onto a flick, rounded Preddie and rolled the ball goal wards only to be denied by a sliding clearance from Ram Marwa. Unfortunately for United the respite was short lived when Richard Evans was given far too much space on the left and he moved inside before curling a shot past the oncoming defender leaving Preddie rooted to the spot as the net again bulged.
A minute either side of the hour mark could have seen United make a fight of it, Staforde Palmer wriggled free of his marker on the right and teed up Peter Collins but the centre-backs drive was just too high. Minutes later Scott chased down a ball that keeper Scott James looked favourite for and appeared to toe the ball past the stopper before being felled, sadly the man in the middle waved away United's penalty shouts and the chance was gone.
From this point we need a quick spin forwards in the tardis as apart from a couple of Newport shots that went wide nothing noteworthy happened until the 90th minute when two United substitutes combined with Joel Ledgister getting on the end of a Kyle Matthews cross to tap home his first United goal and put a slightly better edge on the result.
Report by Kevin Watts. Photos by Ray Peploe.
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