County put to the sword as the Rovers run rampant on Parade

FOUL: County's Aaron O'Connor is brought down against Forest Green today

FOUL: County's Aaron O'Connor is brought down against Forest Green today

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

COUNTY 0 FOREST GREEN 5

NEWPORT County turned their New Year’s Day celebrations into a Halloween-style horror show at Rodney Parade as they were torn to pieces by a rampant Forest Green Rovers.

The Exiles produced a stunning result at the New Lawn and knew the visitors would be searching for revenge on a difficult day at Rodney Parade, and they got it with interest in a one-sided massacre of Justin Edin-burgh’s side, this the worst performance County have produced since the 5-0 mullering they got at Mansfield last season.

The ground staff obviously worked wonders to get the game on at all less than 24 hours after the Dragons hosted the Ospreys on the pitch, but this fixture still represented the first occasion this campaign where conditions were Spytty Park-like.

County were also without their skipper, David Pipe (hamstring) failing a fitness test, Byron Anthony drafted in to a side that also saw returns for Andy Sandell and Ben Swallow.

Newport’s success on Boxing Day largely came from free-flowing, counter-attacking football and unfortunately for the hosts, that was precisely the manner the visitors played in during a first period when they deservedly took a grip on proceedings.

County dominated for barely 20 minutes but couldn’t find an opener and they paid fully against a Forest Green side whose away kit frankly hurts the eyes but whose passing football and cutting edge certainly did not.

It was Steve Brogan who had the first shot in anger, goalkeeper Alan Julian doing brilliantly to tip the ball away when a goal seemed almost certain.

At the other end County’s chances were less clear cut, a brilliant Michael Smith cross almost paying dividends before Julian again produced a fine stop to deny Jamie Norwood’s cross shot.

When a real opportunity came for the hosts it fell to the wrong man, defender Andy Sandell all alone when Sam Russell spilt the ball, but his effort with the keeper stranded went just the wrong side of the post.

That was the catalyst for a storming close to the half for Rovers who utterly took control.

First they scored from a preventable position, a throw-in worked to Norwood on the edge of the penalty area from where he was able to drill past Julian.

Norwood was the shining light for the visitors and made a key contribution to the next break, a quite outstanding team move that culminated in Yan Klukowski racing clean through, but he fired wide.

It was a big let-off but Newport didn’t heed the warning, another break down the left from Norwood allowing a cross into space that Klukowski simply couldn’t fail to convert from inside the six yard box.

The two goal advantage didn’t really flatter the visitors, more so just emphasising what a vital moment Sandell’s miss was in a game of few chances.

The Exiles were out for the second half a good five minutes before the visitors, but we’d passed the hour mark before another good opportunity befell either side, their urgency not translating to chances.

That was a big issue because from Forest Green’s first opportunity in the second half they did find the net, Norwood waltzing through a static rearguard to comfortably slot past Julian just moments after he should’ve been booked for an outrageous dive.

The Exiles’ spirit was broken and when you’re 3-0 down and making individual errors, further disaster is only moments away.

The fourth goal came with Julian coming for a through ball he was never going to get, Reece Styche nipping in to head almost out of Julian’s hands to finish with a tap-in.

The self destruction continued as the visitors made it five, Byron Anthony’s dreadful backpass leaving Tony James stranded as Norwood drove home for his hat-trick.

County huffed and they puffed but couldn’t even find a consolation, Lee Minshull’s late header ruled out for offside as their misery was complete.

Friday’s game with Welsh rivals Wrexham now takes on even greater importance.

County: Julian, Anthony, Sandell, James, Yakubu, Flynn, Evans (Minshull 72), Porter, Smith (Charles 55), O’Connor, Swallow (Washington 72)

Subs not used: Hughes, Pidgeley

Forest Green: Russell, Hodgkiss, Stokes (Asafu-Adjaye 75), Bangura, Kuklowski, Forbes, Taylor, Oshodi (Rowe 71), Norwood, Racine, Brogan (Styche 58)

Subs not used: Viera, Green

Booked: Oshodi

Referee: Graham Horwood

Attendance: 2787 (214 away)

Argus star man: Jamie Norwood

Comments (19)

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5:24pm Tue 1 Jan 13

Adrian Williams says...

Bad day at the office but keep the faith - we are still in a fantastic position
Bad day at the office but keep the faith - we are still in a fantastic position Adrian Williams
  • Score: 0

5:54pm Tue 1 Jan 13

COUNTYVOICE says...

bad day at the office , they didnt even turn up at the office.

david pipe out , defense collapses, faith is there but they need CONSISTENCY. not win by five and then lose by 5.

that defeat was just embarassing and at home as well.

though forest green deserve credit for taking their strikes
bad day at the office , they didnt even turn up at the office. david pipe out , defense collapses, faith is there but they need CONSISTENCY. not win by five and then lose by 5. that defeat was just embarassing and at home as well. though forest green deserve credit for taking their strikes COUNTYVOICE
  • Score: 0

6:10pm Tue 1 Jan 13

jetspotter says...

Newport (curates egg) County strike again!!While I admire your optimism in the face of blinding evidence Adrian I have to say (again) that this current team is probably not consistent enough to win promotion and certainly not consistent enough to live in a higher division ! It is simply beyond comprehension that a team can go from the sublime to the ridiculous in so short a space of time. There is a deep faultline in this team which has been evident since the beginning of the season and if J.E. doesn't identify it very quickly and do something about rectifying it with due haste my limericks will take on a distinctly sombre tone ! You wouldn't want that now would you J.E. !!!!
'
UP THE COUNTY !!!!!
Newport (curates egg) County strike again!!While I admire your optimism in the face of blinding evidence Adrian I have to say (again) that this current team is probably not consistent enough to win promotion and certainly not consistent enough to live in a higher division ! It is simply beyond comprehension that a team can go from the sublime to the ridiculous in so short a space of time. There is a deep faultline in this team which has been evident since the beginning of the season and if J.E. doesn't identify it very quickly and do something about rectifying it with due haste my limericks will take on a distinctly sombre tone ! You wouldn't want that now would you J.E. !!!! ' UP THE COUNTY !!!!! jetspotter
  • Score: 0

6:31pm Tue 1 Jan 13

Rodneyboy says...

I think game was a wake up call It shows that there are serious weaknesses in all departments and urgent team stregnthening is essential.
I think game was a wake up call It shows that there are serious weaknesses in all departments and urgent team stregnthening is essential. Rodneyboy
  • Score: 0

7:18pm Tue 1 Jan 13

llandaff says...

I am a pensioner in my 60s and as usual I got in my car today full of optimism, looking forward to the game and drove the 30 miles from my home in North Somerset to see County play, as I have done on countless previous occasions. Goodness knows how much of the Severn Bridge I now own with all the tolls I have paid over the years plus there is the double figure match ticket fee.This is called commitment.
With this in mind I would just like to say thank you County for the wonderful lack of commitment all of you repaid me with today against a two bit side. Perhaps you were blinded by their dayglow lime green shirts or was it the simple fact that FG knew where the goal was. Have you all suddenly forgotten how to actually keep the ball on the ground?
Today you were unbelievably awful and looked very sorry for yourselves.
SO..... PICK YOURSELVES UP AND SHOW SOME REAL COMMITMENT AGAINST WREXHAM ON FRIDAY.
I WILL BE THERE AND I EXPECT YOU TO WIN!
I am a pensioner in my 60s and as usual I got in my car today full of optimism, looking forward to the game and drove the 30 miles from my home in North Somerset to see County play, as I have done on countless previous occasions. Goodness knows how much of the Severn Bridge I now own with all the tolls I have paid over the years plus there is the double figure match ticket fee.This is called commitment. With this in mind I would just like to say thank you County for the wonderful lack of commitment all of you repaid me with today against a two bit side. Perhaps you were blinded by their dayglow lime green shirts or was it the simple fact that FG knew where the goal was. Have you all suddenly forgotten how to actually keep the ball on the ground? Today you were unbelievably awful and looked very sorry for yourselves. SO..... PICK YOURSELVES UP AND SHOW SOME REAL COMMITMENT AGAINST WREXHAM ON FRIDAY. I WILL BE THERE AND I EXPECT YOU TO WIN! llandaff
  • Score: 0

8:09pm Tue 1 Jan 13

larneman says...

Why oh why is it that when county draw a big crowd they play rubbish. Crowds won't turn up to watch a jekyll and hyde team play. Maybe they are just an above average BSP side but certainly not a div 2 side.We will need different players for that to happen. the wrexham game must see a very big improvement or I might as well cancel my setanta subscribtion
Why oh why is it that when county draw a big crowd they play rubbish. Crowds won't turn up to watch a jekyll and hyde team play. Maybe they are just an above average BSP side but certainly not a div 2 side.We will need different players for that to happen. the wrexham game must see a very big improvement or I might as well cancel my setanta subscribtion larneman
  • Score: 0

8:35pm Tue 1 Jan 13

ohc says...

The cold wind of reality. This is not the first time we've seen such failure but what worries me is JE seems unable to react. He stands there with us and lets the disaster unfold
The cold wind of reality. This is not the first time we've seen such failure but what worries me is JE seems unable to react. He stands there with us and lets the disaster unfold ohc
  • Score: 0

8:46pm Tue 1 Jan 13

COUNTYVOICE says...

i actually think J.E. is talking some sense in his article today about the strengthening he needs, and feel he knows who he wants to make promotion a reality.

but david pipe was SERIOUSLY missed today , and there doesnt seem to be another captain fantastic in the side if he s injured or suspended.

and i agree with the above contributors
COME ON COUNTY START SHOWING SOME CONSISTENT METAL .

even if you lose at least you v given 100% and the crowds appreciate that but not a display AWOL.
i actually think J.E. is talking some sense in his article today about the strengthening he needs, and feel he knows who he wants to make promotion a reality. but david pipe was SERIOUSLY missed today , and there doesnt seem to be another captain fantastic in the side if he s injured or suspended. and i agree with the above contributors COME ON COUNTY START SHOWING SOME CONSISTENT METAL . even if you lose at least you v given 100% and the crowds appreciate that but not a display AWOL. COUNTYVOICE
  • Score: 0

9:20pm Tue 1 Jan 13

oranges says...

the pathetic performance that the county players displayed today showed that promotion is no a reality.the players may have been enjoying the new years eve party and all eleven were having hangovers.thank goodness weve gained 45 points to date .lets not be deceived many more games like this willsee us in mid table.it is evident that this team will not be in division 2 next season
the pathetic performance that the county players displayed today showed that promotion is no a reality.the players may have been enjoying the new years eve party and all eleven were having hangovers.thank goodness weve gained 45 points to date .lets not be deceived many more games like this willsee us in mid table.it is evident that this team will not be in division 2 next season oranges
  • Score: 0

10:05pm Tue 1 Jan 13

sooty001 says...

You people really do amaze me!
Yes I was at the game today and it was poor,but if myself and the other 2,500 County fans that were there today had been offered 3rd place, 2points behind the leaders with a game in hand,on 1st Jan 2013,back in AUGUST we would have all ripped your hands off, so come on chaps shape up and be thankful for what we have.
You people really do amaze me! Yes I was at the game today and it was poor,but if myself and the other 2,500 County fans that were there today had been offered 3rd place, 2points behind the leaders with a game in hand,on 1st Jan 2013,back in AUGUST we would have all ripped your hands off, so come on chaps shape up and be thankful for what we have. sooty001
  • Score: 0

10:34pm Tue 1 Jan 13

oranges says...

sooty and co you need a medical check up. we were made to look a poor outfit on our own patch. we were ripped to shreds humiliated and taught a football lesson by our opponents.it does not get easier with wrectum coming down on friday.i hope the players respond to the challenge the last thing we need is another hammering but this time the cameras will be there
sooty and co you need a medical check up. we were made to look a poor outfit on our own patch. we were ripped to shreds humiliated and taught a football lesson by our opponents.it does not get easier with wrectum coming down on friday.i hope the players respond to the challenge the last thing we need is another hammering but this time the cameras will be there oranges
  • Score: 0

11:09pm Tue 1 Jan 13

sooty001 says...

Yes Oranges my wife thinks I need to see some sort of medical specialist because I spend so much time and money watching a team that I have supported for nearly 60 years lol.
Yes Oranges my wife thinks I need to see some sort of medical specialist because I spend so much time and money watching a team that I have supported for nearly 60 years lol. sooty001
  • Score: 0

11:59pm Tue 1 Jan 13

COUNTYVOICE says...

there is no need to get down over one result as teams from the bottom are beating teams at the top

its the manner of the capitulation that concerns me and it has been too many games like this over the last too months

brilliant on the day, but sometimes switching off and getting hammered .

more of the former and less of the latter needed
there is no need to get down over one result as teams from the bottom are beating teams at the top its the manner of the capitulation that concerns me and it has been too many games like this over the last too months brilliant on the day, but sometimes switching off and getting hammered . more of the former and less of the latter needed COUNTYVOICE
  • Score: 0

8:19am Wed 2 Jan 13

RSATaffy says...

Well Happy New Year! Judging by the comments things can only improve from here, let's hope so anyway. A good response gainst Wrexham is essential.
Well Happy New Year! Judging by the comments things can only improve from here, let's hope so anyway. A good response gainst Wrexham is essential. RSATaffy
  • Score: 0

9:06am Wed 2 Jan 13

golfball says...

Julian is from the Potter school of goalkeeping give us a break and bring Pidgeley back before its too late!
Julian is from the Potter school of goalkeeping give us a break and bring Pidgeley back before its too late! golfball
  • Score: 0

10:16am Wed 2 Jan 13

jetspotter says...

The problem is Sooty that a great many of those 2,500 spectators who watched the game with you today will not go back in future if this is the sort of dross that's on offer !
The problem is Sooty that a great many of those 2,500 spectators who watched the game with you today will not go back in future if this is the sort of dross that's on offer ! jetspotter
  • Score: 0

12:00pm Wed 2 Jan 13

jiffygeorge says...

I said weeks ago this County team had to be strengthened in the January transfer window if the board were serious about wanting promotion and Saturday's display shows that, so let's hope the manager acts.
Let's also be honest. JE has done a fantastic job with a small squad of limited ability and the squad itself has performed wonders to be where it is.
But the facts are that take Aaron O'Connor (17 goals this season out of 35 scored by all strikers in all competitions, ten of the other 18 by loan signings Jolley and Smith) needs much better support, and not just from his fellow strikers.
Defenders have scored 14 goals but midfielders, who should be the next greatest goal contributors to the front men, have managed just 7.
Again, I said weeks ago midfield was where County most needed strengthening yet the manager never seems to look at this department.
County CAN win promotion but, with just four wins from their last 13 games, THE BOARD HAVE TO ACT or we may not get the chance to regain Football League status for another twenty years!
I said weeks ago this County team had to be strengthened in the January transfer window if the board were serious about wanting promotion and Saturday's display shows that, so let's hope the manager acts. Let's also be honest. JE has done a fantastic job with a small squad of limited ability and the squad itself has performed wonders to be where it is. But the facts are that take Aaron O'Connor (17 goals this season out of 35 scored by all strikers in all competitions, ten of the other 18 by loan signings Jolley and Smith) needs much better support, and not just from his fellow strikers. Defenders have scored 14 goals but midfielders, who should be the next greatest goal contributors to the front men, have managed just 7. Again, I said weeks ago midfield was where County most needed strengthening yet the manager never seems to look at this department. County CAN win promotion but, with just four wins from their last 13 games, THE BOARD HAVE TO ACT or we may not get the chance to regain Football League status for another twenty years! jiffygeorge
  • Score: 0

8:23pm Wed 2 Jan 13

AMBERLING says...

We have had a better than expected start to the season I admit, but wildly inconsistent, brilliant one game then poor the next and leaking far too many goals. One weakness has been the midfield, failing to close down opponents, not dominating or driving the play efficiently enough from that area and lacking a commander to give more structure. Our other major problem is not having proper full-backs - something you'd think J.E. would be more keen about ! While Pipe and Sandell have done their best I think I'd prefer them in front of the full-backs, maybe giving us that drive and command we've been lacking in midfield, and having a back four who will hold the line and look confident in what they're doing - which in turn breeds confidence throughout the team. Too many gaps appear in both areas, which is why we can look so vulnerable at times, it needs sorting -FAST! So come on Justin, you were a defender, why is it so difficult to see ?!
We have had a better than expected start to the season I admit, but wildly inconsistent, brilliant one game then poor the next and leaking far too many goals. One weakness has been the midfield, failing to close down opponents, not dominating or driving the play efficiently enough from that area and lacking a commander to give more structure. Our other major problem is not having proper full-backs - something you'd think J.E. would be more keen about ! While Pipe and Sandell have done their best I think I'd prefer them in front of the full-backs, maybe giving us that drive and command we've been lacking in midfield, and having a back four who will hold the line and look confident in what they're doing - which in turn breeds confidence throughout the team. Too many gaps appear in both areas, which is why we can look so vulnerable at times, it needs sorting -FAST! So come on Justin, you were a defender, why is it so difficult to see ?! AMBERLING
  • Score: 0

9:04pm Wed 2 Jan 13

sooty001 says...

Well said Amberling, Pipe & Sandell in midfield and two tidy full backs, job done!
Well said Amberling, Pipe & Sandell in midfield and two tidy full backs, job done! sooty001
  • Score: 0

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