County crash at Dartford after injury time winner for hosts

South Wales Argus: GOAL MACHINE: Aaron O’Connor drew Newport level by scoring his seventh goal in seven games GOAL MACHINE: Aaron O’Connor drew Newport level by scoring his seventh goal in seven games

Dartford 2 County 1

NEWPORT County AFC went down to a second successive defeat on their travels as Dartford sealed victory with an injury-time winner.

The Darts pierced County hearts with a fantastic 92nd minute strike from left-back Richard Rose.

To compound their misery, Justin Edinburgh’s men surrendered top spot in the table on a night when big spending Forest Green Rovers hammered Ebbsfleet.

County are down to third, two points behind Rovers and a point adrift of Luton Town after this defeat.

It was no less than the in-form hosts deserved on a night when County failed to fire and sloppy defending cost them dear in the end after Aaron O’Connor had cancelled out Harry Crawford’s opener with his seventh goal in seven games.

Edinburgh resisted the temptation to indulge in a reshuffle after Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Wrexham and he might be wishing he’d wielded the axe after a frustrating day at the office.

Striker Danny Crow passed a morning fitness test on his knee injury to replace Ryan Charles, who dropped out of the squad along with Lee Minshull.

Ben Swallow took Minshull’s place on the bench and made a brief cameo in the second half.

The hosts were unchanged after their 5-1 victory over Alfreton on Saturday and sealed their fourth win in a row.

County began brightly with Jefferson Louis having two early chances with his head and O’Connor just failing to control David Pipe’s cross at the far post.

Crow, who looked fully fit and gave the Exiles an extra dimension up front, also went close from long distance.

But the best chance of the opening exchanges came for the home side as Crawford, who scored a hat-trick against Alfreton at the weekend, found himself in space in the area.

Thankfully for County the Darts striker missed the target, hooking his shot just wide of Lenny Pidgeley’s near post.

Max Porter should have done better after a lightning quick break involving O’Connor and Louis but his sidefoot finish was well wide.

At the other end Pidgeley carried on where he left off at The Racecourse with another impressive display.

The ex-Chelsea goalkeeper tipped a Ryan Hayes free-kick over the bar and did brilliantly to block a header from Mark Arber on the stroke of half-time before Jacob Erskine headed the rebound over the top.

That was another big let-off for the Exiles but they didn’t heed the warning and Dartford were ahead within four minutes of the restart.

Pidgeley again did well to save from Hayes but the ball popped up and Erskine hit the bar with a header. Crawford made no mistake with the rebound to nod his side into a 1-0 lead.

But the goal sparked the visitors into life and it was all square less than five minutes later.

Louis showed good strength to hold the ball up and Thomson put O’Connor through on goal.

The striker just nicked the ball before Dartford ‘keeper Marcus Bettinelli could get to it and he did superbly to keep his balance and poke it into the bottom corner of the net.

O’Connor and Louis both had chances to put County ahead in the aftermath and Mike Flynn tested Bettinelli from distance as the momentum shifted in their direction.

Edinburgh brought on Swallow for the tiring Louis for the last 20 minutes and the ex-Bristol Rovers man impressed in his first brief appearance for the club.

But as time ran out and County pushed for a winner it was the hosts who looked most likely to steal all three points on the break.

Flynn did very well to rob sub Danny Harris as he raced in on goal with seven minutes remaining but in injury time Crow lost the ball in attack and Rose got away from Pipe before firing in to break County’s resistance.

After the game Edinburgh said: "I think we were naïve, really. We dominated the game and, certainly if we'd left with a point, it would have been the least we'd have deserved.

"But we've left here with nothing and probably of our own doing. I am really so disappointed with that.

"But again, we're learning all the time about the group and how they haven't been able to see a game out, which is disappointing."
 

Dartford: Bettinelli, Rose, Champion, Bonner, Hayes (Noble, 81), Erskine, Bradbrook, Rogers, Arber, Burns, Crawford (Harris, 74, Wallis, 84)

Subs not used: Collier, Ibrahim

County: Pidgeley, Pipe, Sandell, James, Yakubu, Flynn (Harris, 90), Porter, Thomson, Crow, Louis (Swallow, 68), O’Connor

Subs not used: Hughes, Evans, Perry

Referee: Michael Bull

Attendance: 1,446

Argus star man: O’Connor

Comments (11)

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10:24pm Tue 4 Sep 12

ohc says...

The cold wind of reality. It will get colder
The cold wind of reality. It will get colder ohc

6:49am Wed 5 Sep 12

Adrian Williams says...

OHC - a.k.a doom monger. The last two results have been disappointing, yes, but five wins from 7 and 3rd in the league is still a fabulous start to the season. Upwards and onwards boys
OHC - a.k.a doom monger. The last two results have been disappointing, yes, but five wins from 7 and 3rd in the league is still a fabulous start to the season. Upwards and onwards boys Adrian Williams

7:59am Wed 5 Sep 12

high x boy says...

hope for a result and big crowd on Saturday
hope for a result and big crowd on Saturday high x boy

9:20am Wed 5 Sep 12

rhinestine says...

I hear they are not allowing county fans to mix with the away fans in the club house on Saturday.......why is this?
I hear they are not allowing county fans to mix with the away fans in the club house on Saturday.......why is this? rhinestine

11:33am Wed 5 Sep 12

exrisca says...

Probably need another 26 points for safety.
Probably need another 26 points for safety. exrisca

2:33pm Wed 5 Sep 12

paulkendallexpataustralia says...

Five from seven is no mean feat. I bet many County fans would have happily settled for that at the beginning of the season.
Five from seven is no mean feat. I bet many County fans would have happily settled for that at the beginning of the season. paulkendallexpataustralia

3:34pm Wed 5 Sep 12

county mad says...

OHC what does that stand for?

Only Happy Complaining!!
go away its still a brilliant start
OHC what does that stand for? Only Happy Complaining!! go away its still a brilliant start county mad

4:12pm Wed 5 Sep 12

ncfcr says...

rhinestine wrote:
I hear they are not allowing county fans to mix with the away fans in the club house on Saturday.......why is this?
This is standard at football matches, but completely unnecessary.

Away fans are basically given their own refreshment facilities, although there were many Hereford fans drinking in the 'home' bars at the recent home game and, guess what, not a hint of trouble.
[quote][p][bold]rhinestine[/bold] wrote: I hear they are not allowing county fans to mix with the away fans in the club house on Saturday.......why is this?[/p][/quote]This is standard at football matches, but completely unnecessary. Away fans are basically given their own refreshment facilities, although there were many Hereford fans drinking in the 'home' bars at the recent home game and, guess what, not a hint of trouble. ncfcr

6:24pm Wed 5 Sep 12

Clever Trevor says...

After pulling it back to 1-1,then in stoppage time,why not settle for a point,shore up the defence and take what you got,i think Mr Ed was naive last night and saturday in not settling for a point away from home.
After pulling it back to 1-1,then in stoppage time,why not settle for a point,shore up the defence and take what you got,i think Mr Ed was naive last night and saturday in not settling for a point away from home. Clever Trevor

6:28pm Wed 5 Sep 12

JENKO1965 says...

7 games played and 4 of them away and still in the top 3 not bad at all, them 2 away games were never going to be easy, after last season a top 10 finish would be nice, anything else is a bonus,just hope the crowds still go over there on the weekend
7 games played and 4 of them away and still in the top 3 not bad at all, them 2 away games were never going to be easy, after last season a top 10 finish would be nice, anything else is a bonus,just hope the crowds still go over there on the weekend JENKO1965

7:13pm Wed 5 Sep 12

the dork says...

not so great
not so great the dork

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