Wise old heads let County down at Morecambe

DESPAIR: Ismail Yakubu, left, and Darren Jones, right, react to the winning goal from Paul Mullin

DESPAIR: Ismail Yakubu, left, and Darren Jones, right, react to the winning goal from Paul Mullin

First published in Sport
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THIS was a game that had enough highs and lows for a whole season for Newport County AFC and their fans.

In fact it was a perfect microcosm of the 2013/14 campaign for the Exiles – first half good, second half goodness gracious me!

Justin Edinburgh’s men were 2-0 up and in complete control after an uplifting first 45 minutes thanks to a thumping Adam Chapman drive and an Aaron O’Connor tap-in.

But the second 45 was a horror show as history repeated itself against bogey team Morecambe.

Bring me sunshine? It seems it’s always doom and gloom against the Shrimps as far as County are concerned.

Twice last season they led against Jim Bentley’s side and twice they ended up with nothing.

It happened again on Saturday and they can’t even blame Tom Naylor this time, or poor refereeing, or gamesmanship from Kevin Ellison.

It was Ellison who made the difference again, however, with two goals in five minutes around the hour mark – the first a superbly struck free-kick and the second handed to him on a plate by Darren Jones and Lenny Pidgeley.

And when Andy Sandell failed to cut out a cross from the right Paul Mullin was left with a free header at the far post to win the game on 84 minutes.

The County defence – back four, five or three – hasn’t had a good first week with new signing Jones suffering more than most.

The hosts got one goal back, panic set in and the end result had a feeling of inevitability about it because the frailties at the back are nothing new.

At the moment Edinburgh’s side are like a distressed dog owner struggling to cope with a boisterous beagle – they can’t hold onto a lead.

Seven times in 2014 they’ve let precious points slip from their grasp from a winning position.

It’s happened twice at Morecambe and you can add Accrington away, Wimbledon home and away and Scunthorpe and Burton at home to the list.

League Two is a tough division where mistakes are punished and it won’t get any easier at Mansfield on Tuesday night.

Not all of those games turned on defensive lapses but County desperately need to cut out the individual errors and get at least a point on the board before a bad start gets even worse.

Edinburgh and assistant Jimmy Dack know well from the last two seasons the benefit of a fast start but momentum can work both ways and at the moment it’s momentum of the wrong kind that County are experiencing.

There were some positives to take from this game with Chapman taking his chance well and O’Connor off the mark for the season with a poacher’s finish.

Both goals came from Robbie Willmott free-kicks and both also owed a lot to good work from Ismail Yakubu in the opposition box.

Going forward the Exiles were significantly better than they were against Wycombe last week and they took advantage while they were on top.

But at Field Mill they will know they need to be up for a physical battle, resolute and determined not to be bullied out of the game like they were at Morecambe.

And if any more money can be squeezed out of the budget – or one or two fringe players move out – then further additions to the squad would certainly help before the end of the month.

With just four wins in 27 games since the turn of the year some fans are understandably frustrated with the players and with the manager.

But they and he should still have enough credit left after the last few years for the majority to stick with them through a difficult period.

Morecambe: Roche, Beeley, Hughes, Parrish, Goodall, Fleming, Williams (Devitt, 46), Kenyon, Amond (Mullin, 46), Redshaw, (Drummond, 89), Ellison

Subs not used: Arestidou, Wright, Sampson, Doyle

County: Pidgeley, Willmott, Hughes, Jones, Yakubu, Sandell, Minshull, Byrne, Chapman (Jeffers, 78), Howe (Zebroski, 70), O’Connor (Jolley, 87)

Subs not used: Thomas, Jackson, Klukowski

Booked: Sandell, Minshull

Referee: Sebastian Stockbridge

Attendance: 1,506 (149 County)

Comments (8)

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7:31pm Sun 17 Aug 14

Dafydd y Garreg Wen says...

JE has continually been found wanting in the tactical stakes and still insists on playing his favourites when they are obviously not good enough. Sandell for Captain, a player not even worth his place in the Team, must represent one of JE's more mystifying decisions, along with playing Minshall and dropping Jackson after being MoM at Reading. Attendances will hold if supporters see honest endeavour, but at the moment all we are offered is complete capitulation.
JE has continually been found wanting in the tactical stakes and still insists on playing his favourites when they are obviously not good enough. Sandell for Captain, a player not even worth his place in the Team, must represent one of JE's more mystifying decisions, along with playing Minshall and dropping Jackson after being MoM at Reading. Attendances will hold if supporters see honest endeavour, but at the moment all we are offered is complete capitulation. Dafydd y Garreg Wen
  • Score: 10

8:11pm Sun 17 Aug 14

Rubble4 says...

JE should have got rid of all the dead wood in the summer.Most of these players (apart from a couple exceptions) are conference standard .But then they would struggle to get in a few of those sides at the moment.The way the team subsided the end of last season should have sent the alarm bells ringing but still he kept most of the side together ,added a few signings and we're no better off.Come back Pipey.Seems to be doing the job at forest green.
JE should have got rid of all the dead wood in the summer.Most of these players (apart from a couple exceptions) are conference standard .But then they would struggle to get in a few of those sides at the moment.The way the team subsided the end of last season should have sent the alarm bells ringing but still he kept most of the side together ,added a few signings and we're no better off.Come back Pipey.Seems to be doing the job at forest green. Rubble4
  • Score: 12

9:54pm Sun 17 Aug 14

ohc says...

Wow AP. A realistic report at last

The truth seems to be that JE is too loyal to his signings and vitally lacks live tactical skills. Two up at the half it was clear they would throw everything at us. He should have changed to a defensive formation for the second half.

I hate to say it but I think he's taken the County as far as he is capable

Sandell and Minshull are never Football League players
Wow AP. A realistic report at last The truth seems to be that JE is too loyal to his signings and vitally lacks live tactical skills. Two up at the half it was clear they would throw everything at us. He should have changed to a defensive formation for the second half. I hate to say it but I think he's taken the County as far as he is capable Sandell and Minshull are never Football League players ohc
  • Score: 7

10:09pm Sun 17 Aug 14

Harps62 says...

Some of the tactics and team selection are mind blowing.
If Danny Crowe was fit he would be his first choice up front.
Sandell, Minshull etc etc are conference standard journey men.
Let see what happens Tuesday!!
Some of the tactics and team selection are mind blowing. If Danny Crowe was fit he would be his first choice up front. Sandell, Minshull etc etc are conference standard journey men. Let see what happens Tuesday!! Harps62
  • Score: 5

2:06am Mon 18 Aug 14

COUNTYVOICE says...

YO go crowey!
YO go crowey! COUNTYVOICE
  • Score: 1

2:11am Mon 18 Aug 14

COUNTYVOICE says...

good report .

at last reporting the facts as they are instead of hairy fairy wishey washey predictions.

honesty and graft is the only way forward
good report . at last reporting the facts as they are instead of hairy fairy wishey washey predictions. honesty and graft is the only way forward COUNTYVOICE
  • Score: 4

10:13am Mon 18 Aug 14

kernowkid says...

Rubble4 wrote:
JE should have got rid of all the dead wood in the summer.Most of these players (apart from a couple exceptions) are conference standard .But then they would struggle to get in a few of those sides at the moment.The way the team subsided the end of last season should have sent the alarm bells ringing but still he kept most of the side together ,added a few signings and we're no better off.Come back Pipey.Seems to be doing the job at forest green.
What a huge mistake getting rid of David Pipe! Heartbeat of the team while at County, at least he is shown respect at Forest Green, Captain Fantastic!
[quote][p][bold]Rubble4[/bold] wrote: JE should have got rid of all the dead wood in the summer.Most of these players (apart from a couple exceptions) are conference standard .But then they would struggle to get in a few of those sides at the moment.The way the team subsided the end of last season should have sent the alarm bells ringing but still he kept most of the side together ,added a few signings and we're no better off.Come back Pipey.Seems to be doing the job at forest green.[/p][/quote]What a huge mistake getting rid of David Pipe! Heartbeat of the team while at County, at least he is shown respect at Forest Green, Captain Fantastic! kernowkid
  • Score: 1

1:14pm Tue 19 Aug 14

GOYTREXILE says...

i hope JE rings the changes tonight. Time for a Jolley boys night out I reckon .Put him in from the off. Totally wasted on the bench. Use his pace to feed the Zeb and O'Connor.I feel that if he's not used soon we may lose him to Luton or suchlike !!! Come on The 'Port.
i hope JE rings the changes tonight. Time for a Jolley boys night out I reckon .Put him in from the off. Totally wasted on the bench. Use his pace to feed the Zeb and O'Connor.I feel that if he's not used soon we may lose him to Luton or suchlike !!! Come on The 'Port. GOYTREXILE
  • Score: 0

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