Ismail shows Yak’s the way to do it for County

South Wales Argus: YAKETY YAK: County players celebrate after Ismail Yakubu’s first half goal YAKETY YAK: County players celebrate after Ismail Yakubu’s first half goal

Newport County 1 Ebbsfleet United 0

NEWPORT County AFC opened up a five-point gap at the top of the Blue Square Bet Premier with a scrappy victory over relegation-threatened Ebbsfleet United.

The visitors came to spoil the party and take a point home with them and they would have gotten away with it if it wasn’t for that pesky Yak.

Feed the Yak and he will score sang the crowd and, just like at Tamworth on Saturday, that is exactly what Ismail Yakubu did to win another precious three points for the Exiles.

And, with Wrexham not in action and Forest Green surprisingly beaten 2-1 at home by the Lambs, it was enough to put Justin Edinburgh’s team out on their own at the summit.

Tony James, who was celebrating his 34th birthday, and Aaron O’Connor were both passed fit to play and Edinburgh named an unchanged team from the weekend.

There was no early return for Lee Evans and strikers Jake Harris and Conor Washington had to be content with a seat in the stands.

Alongside them were former County heroes Gary Warren and Sam Foley, who departed for Inverness and Yeovil respectively in the summer.

And the Friends Reunited theme continued with one-time Exiles striker, turned defender, turned striker again Phil Walsh earning a place on the Ebbsfleet bench.

None of them had much to watch early on as the game took an age to get going on a cool and wet night in Newport.

Tom Phipp put a fierce drive just over Lenny Pidgeley’s bar on ten minutes and Ben Swallow had the hosts’ first chance midway through the half but his shot didn’t trouble Preston Edwards in the Ebbsfleet goal unduly.

It took a simple set piece to break the deadlock as Yakubu headed in Andy Sandell’s corner from close range after half an hour.

The goal was remarkably similar to the one the defender got on Saturday and took his tally to the season to five.

Why he wasn’t picked up is a mystery but the Nigerian-born cult hero didn’t care and neither did the home supporters.

After strikes at Mansfield, Braintree, Telford and Tamworth it was his first in front of his home fans and it woke everyone up at Rodney Parade, even the Ebbsfleet drummer.

Not that Edinburgh’s men really built on their lead and they were a touch fortunate to go in 1-0 up after Nathan Elder headed straight at Pidgeley from six yards out in stoppage time.

They were out a good five minutes before the visitors for the second half and certainly started as if they’d been told to step it up a gear or two.

David Pipe played in Lee Minshull with a superb defence-splitting ball but the midfielder smashed it onto the bar before the linesman raised his flag.

O’Connor, who was having his quietest game of the season, was also caught offside as he shaped to pull the trigger a few minutes later.

But Ebbsfleet continued to threaten sporadically and the dangerous Louis Soares forced Pidgeley into a sharp reaction save and the stopper did well to hold Patrick Ada’s follow-up.

Swallow had a curler deflected wide on the hour but the best chance fell to O’Connor, usually so deadly in the penalty area.

A fantastic ball from Jake Thomson found Max Porter out wide and the cross fell perfectly for the former Luton man but for once his touch let him down.

By the time he got his shot away the visiting defence were in place to hack it off the line.

It was a rare off night for O’Connor and County against a team who did their best to make life as difficult as possible but not every win has to be a thriller.

And the table certainly makes for thrilling reading for the Amber Army right now.

County: Pidgeley, Pipe, Sandell, James, Yakubu, Porter, Minshull, Thomson (Flynn, 70), Swallow (Charles, 68), Crow (Louis, 27), O’Connor

Subs not used: Hughes, Perry

Ebbsfleet: Edwards, Stone, Ada, Lorraine, Marwa (Barrett, 46), Elder (Walsh, 68), Ashikodi, Phipp (Enver-Marum, 57), Howe, Bellamy, Soares

Subs not used: Menz, Greehaigh

Referee: Peter Bankes (Liverpool)

Attendance: 2,453

Argus star man: Yakubu

Comments (10)

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12:05am Wed 10 Oct 12

larneman says...

I was'nt at the match (400 miles away) but it sounded a bit scrappy. Would I be right in thinking that County play better in fine weather, this was their first win in the wet, or was it because good teams rarely play good football against poor teams. Big Tim did'nt have that usual excitement in his voice this time, no mention to Steve about going for a pint after this one. Still 5 points clear cheers me up no end. Well done County. Some comments from those lucky enough to be there would be appreciated.
I was'nt at the match (400 miles away) but it sounded a bit scrappy. Would I be right in thinking that County play better in fine weather, this was their first win in the wet, or was it because good teams rarely play good football against poor teams. Big Tim did'nt have that usual excitement in his voice this time, no mention to Steve about going for a pint after this one. Still 5 points clear cheers me up no end. Well done County. Some comments from those lucky enough to be there would be appreciated. larneman
  • Score: 0

9:03am Wed 10 Oct 12

swrxp09 says...

I wasn't at the game either (6000 miles away!). I think it is a good sign that you can grab the points when not playing well. Let's hope they can get it out of their system for Saturday. Come on theCounty.....
I wasn't at the game either (6000 miles away!). I think it is a good sign that you can grab the points when not playing well. Let's hope they can get it out of their system for Saturday. Come on theCounty..... swrxp09
  • Score: 0

10:17am Wed 10 Oct 12

idrischarles says...

When a team can win when not on top of their game is a sign of good team. The boys worked so hard last night, today we are five points clear at the top of the league. My Star Man Tony James = the rock
When a team can win when not on top of their game is a sign of good team. The boys worked so hard last night, today we are five points clear at the top of the league. My Star Man Tony James = the rock idrischarles
  • Score: 0

11:32am Wed 10 Oct 12

Adrian Williams says...

A poor performance last night - we looked sloppy and a better side than Ebbsfleet would have punished us. Having said that, winning when playing poorly is a good trait and I'm certainly not complaining about being 5 points clear :o)
A poor performance last night - we looked sloppy and a better side than Ebbsfleet would have punished us. Having said that, winning when playing poorly is a good trait and I'm certainly not complaining about being 5 points clear :o) Adrian Williams
  • Score: 0

5:47pm Wed 10 Oct 12

ohc says...

I find it surprising that the Argus has not done a further article after last evening. This is the best league position the County has held since it was reformed. Doesnt it merit some quotes from the Chairman and/or manager, David Hando, some statistical anlaysis or anything? We dont get serious journalism from the Argus, just lightweight space fillers using players who came to the County because their gran has a verucca, or JE is the son of Christ etc it seems
I find it surprising that the Argus has not done a further article after last evening. This is the best league position the County has held since it was reformed. Doesnt it merit some quotes from the Chairman and/or manager, David Hando, some statistical anlaysis or anything? We dont get serious journalism from the Argus, just lightweight space fillers using players who came to the County because their gran has a verucca, or JE is the son of Christ etc it seems ohc
  • Score: 0

6:31pm Wed 10 Oct 12

exrisca says...

I agree. How about going from an idea on the back of the proverbial fag packet in 1089 to Wembley and the highest position in non-league football, despite having to play on five different home grounds, a bad managerial appointment or two, and a High Court battle with FAW. It's brilliant..
I agree. How about going from an idea on the back of the proverbial fag packet in 1089 to Wembley and the highest position in non-league football, despite having to play on five different home grounds, a bad managerial appointment or two, and a High Court battle with FAW. It's brilliant.. exrisca
  • Score: 0

6:32pm Wed 10 Oct 12

exrisca says...

Oops, make that 1989!
Oops, make that 1989! exrisca
  • Score: 0

6:35pm Wed 10 Oct 12

the dork says...

GREAT
GREAT the dork
  • Score: 0

8:38pm Wed 10 Oct 12

Keith Barnett says...

Don't tempt fate guys
Brill to see them top but a long way to go
Don't tempt fate guys Brill to see them top but a long way to go Keith Barnett
  • Score: 0

5:39am Thu 11 Oct 12

swrxp09 says...

ohc wrote:
I find it surprising that the Argus has not done a further article after last evening. This is the best league position the County has held since it was reformed. Doesnt it merit some quotes from the Chairman and/or manager, David Hando, some statistical anlaysis or anything? We dont get serious journalism from the Argus, just lightweight space fillers using players who came to the County because their gran has a verucca, or JE is the son of Christ etc it seems
Talking dogs sell more papers.
[quote][p][bold]ohc[/bold] wrote: I find it surprising that the Argus has not done a further article after last evening. This is the best league position the County has held since it was reformed. Doesnt it merit some quotes from the Chairman and/or manager, David Hando, some statistical anlaysis or anything? We dont get serious journalism from the Argus, just lightweight space fillers using players who came to the County because their gran has a verucca, or JE is the son of Christ etc it seems[/p][/quote]Talking dogs sell more papers. swrxp09
  • Score: 0

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