VIDEO: County 0 Bury 0

BATTLE: County left-back Andrew Highes in action against Bury

BATTLE: County left-back Andrew Highes in action against Bury

First published in Sport
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South Wales Argus: Photograph of the Author by

NEWPORT County AFC failed to build on Saturday’s victory at Torquay United as they were held to a 0-0 stalemate at home by lowly Bury.

The Exiles’ own relegation worries were eased by a much-needed three points at Plainmoor but in football parlance the Shakers are ‘fighting for their lives’ at the foot of League Two.

This was never going to be an easy night for Justin Edinburgh’s men then but the lacklustre display and disappointing result felt like a missed opportunity to reignite their play-off hopes, especially with free-falling Portsmouth the visitors to Rodney Parade this weekend.

Edinburgh named an unchanged side after the 1-0 win at basement boys Torquay.

But the Exiles didn’t resemble a side with renewed hope and confidence in the early stages. And certainly not a group who believe that a top-seven finish is still a realistic aim.

Sloppy defending allowed visiting skipper Craig Jones two glorious opportunities inside the County box in the opening 15 minutes.

The first came after new centre-back Kevin Feely, on his home debut alongside Darcy Blake, missed a cross but Jones screwed his shot wide of Ian McLoughlin’s far post.

The second saw Jones completely unmarked no more than three yards out but he failed to control Danny Mayor’s centre and knocked the ball out with his knee for a goal kick.

Shortly afterwards Mayor’s curling effort from the edge of the box was saved superbly by McLoughlin, diving low to his left to tip it round his post.

Saturday’s match-winner Chris Zebroski had County’s first shot on goal after 25 minutes, well saved by former Premier League goalkeeper Brian Jensen.

But the Shakers continued to dominate and striker Clive Platt really should have opened the scoring just over ten minutes before the break.

Chris Hussey swung in a perfect cross; giving the journeyman striker a free header six yards out but he somehow missed the target by a good 15 yards.

At the other end Robbie Willmott forced Jensen into a smart save with a fierce drive from just inside the box and captain Mike Flynn tried his luck from 30 yards out but Edinburgh won’t have been pleased with his side’s first half showing.

The Exiles boss resisted the urge to change too much at the break but did give young striker Aaron Holloway a chance to impress in place of the ineffective Danny Crow.

Flynn picked up where he’d left off with another volley that Jensen dived low to his right to palm away.

And County improved a little but with two big men up front in Zebroski and Holloway they tended to hit the ball long and the Bury defence rarely looked unduly troubled.

The frustrated home fans called for a penalty on the hour when Zebroski went down in the box but Jensen clearly scooped the ball away from County’s top scorer and referee Chris Sarginson showed no interest in pointing to the spot.

Encouraged by the fans, County did raise their game a little in the latter stages with Flynn forcing another good save from Jensen and Lee Minshull grazing the outside of a post with a header from Willmott’s corner.

At the other end Feely did well to block Jones’ goalbound effort and McLoughlin got down well to deny Chris Sedgwick at his near post.

But neither side did enough to win a low quality game and Edinburgh’s introduction of Max Porter for Minshull suggested that he was happy to settle for a point in the end.

County: McLoughlin, Hughes, Feely, Blake, Naylor, Minshull (Porter, 79), Flynn, Chapman, Zebroski, Crow (Holloway, 46), Willmott

Subs not used: Sandell, Jeffers, Worley, Jolley, Howe

Booked: Minshull, Holloway, Chapman

Bury: Jensen, McNulty, Jones, Hussey, Sedgwick, Mayor, Tutte (Proctor, 64), Nardiello, Platt (Akpa-Akpro, 70), Veseli, Mills

Subs not used: Hinds, Cameron, Grimes, Young, Charles-Cook

Referee: Chris Sarginson

Attendance: 2,160

Argus star man: Flynn

Comments (18)

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10:37pm Tue 25 Mar 14

sooty001 says...

More of the same tonight, a dour game with few chances that were not taken, I suppose that we can be thankful for keeping two consecutive clean sheets.At least the back four looks more stable now but we seem to have lost the art of goal scoring, Zeb runs his legs off but has little support from our poor midfield,at least we should be safe now and on the whole we have had a good season but will need to strengthen the team if we are to challenge for promotion next season, so the marks for tonight County 5 out of 10, Amber Army 10 out of 10.
More of the same tonight, a dour game with few chances that were not taken, I suppose that we can be thankful for keeping two consecutive clean sheets.At least the back four looks more stable now but we seem to have lost the art of goal scoring, Zeb runs his legs off but has little support from our poor midfield,at least we should be safe now and on the whole we have had a good season but will need to strengthen the team if we are to challenge for promotion next season, so the marks for tonight County 5 out of 10, Amber Army 10 out of 10. sooty001
  • Score: 9

11:39pm Tue 25 Mar 14

Clever Trevor says...

Bury are scrapping for their lives and were never going to be easy,they are what we’ve become used to this Season,Big strong no nonsense footballing teams.
After a slow 1st half I thought we were superb 2nd half,some of the football was as good as anything ive seen of late,all we needed was a slice of luck in front of goal.
Zeb ran his socks off 1st half and was out of it late 2nd half,Holloway was full of running and looked a real handful.
Blakey was very good as was the whole back 4 tonight,I thought the link up play was also good in the middle of the park,all in all we are 4 points better off than this time last week when the World was coming to an end.
Not a classic,but enjoyed the game
Bury are scrapping for their lives and were never going to be easy,they are what we’ve become used to this Season,Big strong no nonsense footballing teams. After a slow 1st half I thought we were superb 2nd half,some of the football was as good as anything ive seen of late,all we needed was a slice of luck in front of goal. Zeb ran his socks off 1st half and was out of it late 2nd half,Holloway was full of running and looked a real handful. Blakey was very good as was the whole back 4 tonight,I thought the link up play was also good in the middle of the park,all in all we are 4 points better off than this time last week when the World was coming to an end. Not a classic,but enjoyed the game Clever Trevor
  • Score: 6

11:55pm Tue 25 Mar 14

Harps62 says...

Best football we have played all season without looking like scoring
10 men first half with Danny Crowe a non entity hopeless but he kept himself warm in a nice pair of black gloves.
Blake & Feely were super so the defence is sorted

Now we need to sort out goal scoring as we never looked capable tonight.

Holloway came on and looked good until pulling a hamstring.

Why JE did not take him off for the last 15 minutes and try Jeffers or Jolly in the hope of a bit of magic and 2 extra points I have no idea.

Both goalies were superb tonight and I thought the whole team with the one exception looked really good.

Enjoyable evening pity it was not 3 points gained.

Just feel mid field needs to push up and link closer to Zeb and 1 other for Saturday
Few of Chapman's long passes were like Hoddle, if only they all were it would be brilliant
Best football we have played all season without looking like scoring 10 men first half with Danny Crowe a non entity hopeless but he kept himself warm in a nice pair of black gloves. Blake & Feely were super so the defence is sorted Now we need to sort out goal scoring as we never looked capable tonight. Holloway came on and looked good until pulling a hamstring. Why JE did not take him off for the last 15 minutes and try Jeffers or Jolly in the hope of a bit of magic and 2 extra points I have no idea. Both goalies were superb tonight and I thought the whole team with the one exception looked really good. Enjoyable evening pity it was not 3 points gained. Just feel mid field needs to push up and link closer to Zeb and 1 other for Saturday Few of Chapman's long passes were like Hoddle, if only they all were it would be brilliant Harps62
  • Score: 5

6:43am Wed 26 Mar 14

Rodneyboy says...

Solid display without really crating anything.Nothing at all moving down the right without Pipe or Jackson.Full credit to Zebrosky he ran his legs off although he spent far too much time out wide looking for the ball.Desperately looking for a partner for him for next season.
Solid display without really crating anything.Nothing at all moving down the right without Pipe or Jackson.Full credit to Zebrosky he ran his legs off although he spent far too much time out wide looking for the ball.Desperately looking for a partner for him for next season. Rodneyboy
  • Score: 2

7:50am Wed 26 Mar 14

Harps62 says...

Zeb needs to be in the middle not dodging Mole hills and sand castles.
Nothing to offer in the middle again
Jeffers must be hopeless in training other wise why is he not getting a start?
Need Jackson back sharpish.
Controversial but why not put Jolly out wide and get Zeb in the middle for Saturday.
Zeb needs to be in the middle not dodging Mole hills and sand castles. Nothing to offer in the middle again Jeffers must be hopeless in training other wise why is he not getting a start? Need Jackson back sharpish. Controversial but why not put Jolly out wide and get Zeb in the middle for Saturday. Harps62
  • Score: 3

8:49am Wed 26 Mar 14

sooty001 says...

Harps62 wrote:
Zeb needs to be in the middle not dodging Mole hills and sand castles.
Nothing to offer in the middle again
Jeffers must be hopeless in training other wise why is he not getting a start?
Need Jackson back sharpish.
Controversial but why not put Jolly out wide and get Zeb in the middle for Saturday.
Yes Harps, that could work for Saturday, I have watched Pompey four times this season and they play with five across the back but their wing backs are slow to get back so it could be interesting putting Jolly on the wing and see if he could run at them, surely he must regain his form of last season eventually.
[quote][p][bold]Harps62[/bold] wrote: Zeb needs to be in the middle not dodging Mole hills and sand castles. Nothing to offer in the middle again Jeffers must be hopeless in training other wise why is he not getting a start? Need Jackson back sharpish. Controversial but why not put Jolly out wide and get Zeb in the middle for Saturday.[/p][/quote]Yes Harps, that could work for Saturday, I have watched Pompey four times this season and they play with five across the back but their wing backs are slow to get back so it could be interesting putting Jolly on the wing and see if he could run at them, surely he must regain his form of last season eventually. sooty001
  • Score: 2

9:11am Wed 26 Mar 14

CountyValleyboy says...

Rodneyboy wrote:
Solid display without really crating anything.Nothing at all moving down the right without Pipe or Jackson.Full credit to Zebrosky he ran his legs off although he spent far too much time out wide looking for the ball.Desperately looking for a partner for him for next season.
Well said, my thoughts exactly !
[quote][p][bold]Rodneyboy[/bold] wrote: Solid display without really crating anything.Nothing at all moving down the right without Pipe or Jackson.Full credit to Zebrosky he ran his legs off although he spent far too much time out wide looking for the ball.Desperately looking for a partner for him for next season.[/p][/quote]Well said, my thoughts exactly ! CountyValleyboy
  • Score: 2

9:22am Wed 26 Mar 14

llandaff says...

I would like to say a big thank you to Ranzy's Motors on Corporation for their fine contribution to the match. The lovely aroma of acrid smoke coming from their premises throughout this awful game was such a joy. (We identified where it was coming from after the match)
Why were we continually subjected to this pollution? Why did the officials or the management not do something about it? Goodness knows what was in the smoke. I feel we are owed an explanation. I was in the Hazell stand but the poor people in the Bisley caught the brunt of it. If I had lit a cigarette at the game I would have been ejected. So why no action on this. An absolute disgrace.
The game was not worth commenting on being blunt.
I would like to say a big thank you to Ranzy's Motors on Corporation for their fine contribution to the match. The lovely aroma of acrid smoke coming from their premises throughout this awful game was such a joy. (We identified where it was coming from after the match) Why were we continually subjected to this pollution? Why did the officials or the management not do something about it? Goodness knows what was in the smoke. I feel we are owed an explanation. I was in the Hazell stand but the poor people in the Bisley caught the brunt of it. If I had lit a cigarette at the game I would have been ejected. So why no action on this. An absolute disgrace. The game was not worth commenting on being blunt. llandaff
  • Score: 7

9:30am Wed 26 Mar 14

llandaff says...

CountyValleyboy wrote:
Rodneyboy wrote:
Solid display without really crating anything.Nothing at all moving down the right without Pipe or Jackson.Full credit to Zebrosky he ran his legs off although he spent far too much time out wide looking for the ball.Desperately looking for a partner for him for next season.
Well said, my thoughts exactly !
If that was a solid display then I will eat my County hat!
County abandoned the long ball (at last) only to replace it with passing overkill.
Every time there was option to just run at the defense, inexplicably the ball was passed backwards. Chapman in particular was guilty of this.
Solid...I don't thinks so.
Hope you enjoyed the smoke pollution as much as I didn't!
[quote][p][bold]CountyValleyboy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Rodneyboy[/bold] wrote: Solid display without really crating anything.Nothing at all moving down the right without Pipe or Jackson.Full credit to Zebrosky he ran his legs off although he spent far too much time out wide looking for the ball.Desperately looking for a partner for him for next season.[/p][/quote]Well said, my thoughts exactly ![/p][/quote]If that was a solid display then I will eat my County hat! County abandoned the long ball (at last) only to replace it with passing overkill. Every time there was option to just run at the defense, inexplicably the ball was passed backwards. Chapman in particular was guilty of this. Solid...I don't thinks so. Hope you enjoyed the smoke pollution as much as I didn't! llandaff
  • Score: 1

10:48am Wed 26 Mar 14

NakedDancer says...

Very much like the Dagenham match. Bury are an average team at best but at least tried to play (4 County bookings, 0 Bury bookings). Thankfully Bury squandered chances first half and should have been out of sight by half time. County players worked hard all game but lacked quality. Stats sum the match up, equal possession and equal shots on target. Good saves by both keepers. A point gained to ensure safety and a clean sheet, if a little lucky first half, but hey County are due some luck. Good performances by McLaughlin and Chapman.
Very much like the Dagenham match. Bury are an average team at best but at least tried to play (4 County bookings, 0 Bury bookings). Thankfully Bury squandered chances first half and should have been out of sight by half time. County players worked hard all game but lacked quality. Stats sum the match up, equal possession and equal shots on target. Good saves by both keepers. A point gained to ensure safety and a clean sheet, if a little lucky first half, but hey County are due some luck. Good performances by McLaughlin and Chapman. NakedDancer
  • Score: 2

11:17am Wed 26 Mar 14

Frankfurt says...

I thought that the game had a higher quality than we have seen lately, albeit starting from a very low base. Impressed by the new lad Freely. Looks a good player and has brought some pace to the defence. Blake does not look fit, as people have said, but didn't do much wrong and constantly tried to distribute the ball properly instead of just banging it up field. You could see he had played at a much higher level. McLaughlin again very sound and Holloway won a lot of ball in the air and looks a good prospect. Didn't realise at the game that he had pulled a hamstring but that explains why he didn't chase a ball that the crowd thought he should.
I thought that the game had a higher quality than we have seen lately, albeit starting from a very low base. Impressed by the new lad Freely. Looks a good player and has brought some pace to the defence. Blake does not look fit, as people have said, but didn't do much wrong and constantly tried to distribute the ball properly instead of just banging it up field. You could see he had played at a much higher level. McLaughlin again very sound and Holloway won a lot of ball in the air and looks a good prospect. Didn't realise at the game that he had pulled a hamstring but that explains why he didn't chase a ball that the crowd thought he should. Frankfurt
  • Score: 2

12:23pm Wed 26 Mar 14

Adrian Williams says...

I didn't think we created enough clear changes to win the game, so I'm looking at it as a point gained and a point nearer to safety. I thought Holloway looked good when he came on and looked far better than Crow who did nothing whatsoever in the first half. We've lost a few games similar to this of late so it's good that we've stopped the losing habit. Impressed with Blake and Feely at the back - it'll be interesting to see what JE does when Yak and Anthony are fit. Personally with two clean sheets, I'd leave it as it is.
I didn't think we created enough clear changes to win the game, so I'm looking at it as a point gained and a point nearer to safety. I thought Holloway looked good when he came on and looked far better than Crow who did nothing whatsoever in the first half. We've lost a few games similar to this of late so it's good that we've stopped the losing habit. Impressed with Blake and Feely at the back - it'll be interesting to see what JE does when Yak and Anthony are fit. Personally with two clean sheets, I'd leave it as it is. Adrian Williams
  • Score: 2

5:05pm Wed 26 Mar 14

Thomas O'Malley says...

Rodneyboy wrote:
Solid display without really crating anything.Nothing at all moving down the right without Pipe or Jackson.Full credit to Zebrosky he ran his legs off although he spent far too much time out wide looking for the ball.Desperately looking for a partner for him for next season.
Bringing in another striker will be difficult within available budget (and financial fair play rules). I think Crow, Jeffers, Jolley, Howe, O'Connor, Willmott and Joe Parker (on loan at Gloucester) are already contracted for next season and County cant afford to pay anyone to go. Also need to contract Zebroski and Holloway may also get a contract depending how he does in remaining matches. That would make 9 forwards already !
[quote][p][bold]Rodneyboy[/bold] wrote: Solid display without really crating anything.Nothing at all moving down the right without Pipe or Jackson.Full credit to Zebrosky he ran his legs off although he spent far too much time out wide looking for the ball.Desperately looking for a partner for him for next season.[/p][/quote]Bringing in another striker will be difficult within available budget (and financial fair play rules). I think Crow, Jeffers, Jolley, Howe, O'Connor, Willmott and Joe Parker (on loan at Gloucester) are already contracted for next season and County cant afford to pay anyone to go. Also need to contract Zebroski and Holloway may also get a contract depending how he does in remaining matches. That would make 9 forwards already ! Thomas O'Malley
  • Score: 1

6:25pm Wed 26 Mar 14

asrncafc says...

With 8 matches remaining, County are 9 points ahead of Northampton. Useless speaking about being also 9 points behind 7th place York.

Facing teams threatened with relegation is no easy feat. No team would like to return to Conference football. Yesterday County managed to grab a point, although playing at home but kept a clean sheet for the second consecutive match.

Our main problems are upfront where our forwards are finding it difficult to bury the ball in. Maybe, our midfielders are not offering them those vital through passes that can be turned into goals.

Another opportunity to grab more points awaits us against Portsmouth who are themselves deep in relegation troubles. Our boys will have to be on their very best to ensure maximum points.
With 8 matches remaining, County are 9 points ahead of Northampton. Useless speaking about being also 9 points behind 7th place York. Facing teams threatened with relegation is no easy feat. No team would like to return to Conference football. Yesterday County managed to grab a point, although playing at home but kept a clean sheet for the second consecutive match. Our main problems are upfront where our forwards are finding it difficult to bury the ball in. Maybe, our midfielders are not offering them those vital through passes that can be turned into goals. Another opportunity to grab more points awaits us against Portsmouth who are themselves deep in relegation troubles. Our boys will have to be on their very best to ensure maximum points. asrncafc
  • Score: 1

6:48am Thu 27 Mar 14

Adrian Williams says...

Thomas O'Malley wrote:
Rodneyboy wrote:
Solid display without really crating anything.Nothing at all moving down the right without Pipe or Jackson.Full credit to Zebrosky he ran his legs off although he spent far too much time out wide looking for the ball.Desperately looking for a partner for him for next season.
Bringing in another striker will be difficult within available budget (and financial fair play rules). I think Crow, Jeffers, Jolley, Howe, O'Connor, Willmott and Joe Parker (on loan at Gloucester) are already contracted for next season and County cant afford to pay anyone to go. Also need to contract Zebroski and Holloway may also get a contract depending how he does in remaining matches. That would make 9 forwards already !
Clear the decks by selling Crow, Jolley and O'Connor then
[quote][p][bold]Thomas O'Malley[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Rodneyboy[/bold] wrote: Solid display without really crating anything.Nothing at all moving down the right without Pipe or Jackson.Full credit to Zebrosky he ran his legs off although he spent far too much time out wide looking for the ball.Desperately looking for a partner for him for next season.[/p][/quote]Bringing in another striker will be difficult within available budget (and financial fair play rules). I think Crow, Jeffers, Jolley, Howe, O'Connor, Willmott and Joe Parker (on loan at Gloucester) are already contracted for next season and County cant afford to pay anyone to go. Also need to contract Zebroski and Holloway may also get a contract depending how he does in remaining matches. That would make 9 forwards already ![/p][/quote]Clear the decks by selling Crow, Jolley and O'Connor then Adrian Williams
  • Score: 0

7:40am Thu 27 Mar 14

Harps62 says...

If Crowe is contracted for another year who is going to take him.
Total mystery regarding O'Connor what is going on?
They paid serious money for Jolley so again they wont give him away.
Not sure on Howe if he is not contracted let him go for sure another seriously overweight player
If Crowe is contracted for another year who is going to take him. Total mystery regarding O'Connor what is going on? They paid serious money for Jolley so again they wont give him away. Not sure on Howe if he is not contracted let him go for sure another seriously overweight player Harps62
  • Score: 2

1:46pm Thu 27 Mar 14

Adrian Williams says...

Harps62 wrote:
If Crowe is contracted for another year who is going to take him. Total mystery regarding O'Connor what is going on? They paid serious money for Jolley so again they wont give him away. Not sure on Howe if he is not contracted let him go for sure another seriously overweight player
i) someone in the Conference
ii) don't think he'll play for us again
iii) proved he can't handle the step up to Lg2
iv) not seen enough of him to decide yet - still think he'll come good
[quote][p][bold]Harps62[/bold] wrote: If Crowe is contracted for another year who is going to take him. Total mystery regarding O'Connor what is going on? They paid serious money for Jolley so again they wont give him away. Not sure on Howe if he is not contracted let him go for sure another seriously overweight player[/p][/quote]i) someone in the Conference ii) don't think he'll play for us again iii) proved he can't handle the step up to Lg2 iv) not seen enough of him to decide yet - still think he'll come good Adrian Williams
  • Score: 0

4:52pm Thu 27 Mar 14

Thomas O'Malley says...

Adrian Williams wrote:
Thomas O'Malley wrote:
Rodneyboy wrote: Solid display without really crating anything.Nothing at all moving down the right without Pipe or Jackson.Full credit to Zebrosky he ran his legs off although he spent far too much time out wide looking for the ball.Desperately looking for a partner for him for next season.
Bringing in another striker will be difficult within available budget (and financial fair play rules). I think Crow, Jeffers, Jolley, Howe, O'Connor, Willmott and Joe Parker (on loan at Gloucester) are already contracted for next season and County cant afford to pay anyone to go. Also need to contract Zebroski and Holloway may also get a contract depending how he does in remaining matches. That would make 9 forwards already !
Clear the decks by selling Crow, Jolley and O'Connor then
Transfer fees at this level are very rare and none of the squad currently contracted for next season would command a fee. With County's poor form since Xmas only Zebroski and Willmott would be attractive to other League 2 clubs - and County need those two.

The most likely option is to send the player out on loan to the Conference (but thats the players choice) so the receiving club would pay all or part of the wages. Alternatively, tell the player he won't get match time (ie transfer list) and hope he finds another club that he thinks is a worthwhile move financially. Players usually want to keep playing and put themselves in the shop window rather than not be involved on match day. Not good for squad morale managing contracted players out but it happens in all clubs.

A big challenge in the summer for JE.
[quote][p][bold]Adrian Williams[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Thomas O'Malley[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Rodneyboy[/bold] wrote: Solid display without really crating anything.Nothing at all moving down the right without Pipe or Jackson.Full credit to Zebrosky he ran his legs off although he spent far too much time out wide looking for the ball.Desperately looking for a partner for him for next season.[/p][/quote]Bringing in another striker will be difficult within available budget (and financial fair play rules). I think Crow, Jeffers, Jolley, Howe, O'Connor, Willmott and Joe Parker (on loan at Gloucester) are already contracted for next season and County cant afford to pay anyone to go. Also need to contract Zebroski and Holloway may also get a contract depending how he does in remaining matches. That would make 9 forwards already ![/p][/quote]Clear the decks by selling Crow, Jolley and O'Connor then[/p][/quote]Transfer fees at this level are very rare and none of the squad currently contracted for next season would command a fee. With County's poor form since Xmas only Zebroski and Willmott would be attractive to other League 2 clubs - and County need those two. The most likely option is to send the player out on loan to the Conference (but thats the players choice) so the receiving club would pay all or part of the wages. Alternatively, tell the player he won't get match time (ie transfer list) and hope he finds another club that he thinks is a worthwhile move financially. Players usually want to keep playing and put themselves in the shop window rather than not be involved on match day. Not good for squad morale managing contracted players out but it happens in all clubs. A big challenge in the summer for JE. Thomas O'Malley
  • Score: 0

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