WEST BROM 3 NEWPORT COUNTY 0
10:12pm Tuesday 27th August 2013 in Latest Football
WE billed it as a fairytale cup tie for County, but this was more like something from the Brothers’ Grimm.
So much hope, such great expectation, but the Exiles were blown away by the Baggies and the boy from Burundi, 20-year old England U20 international Saido Berahino, who possessed a senior hat-trick before the interval at Newport were cut deep at the Hawthorns.
While not lacking on effort and endeavour – and you can include the hugely impressive away following in that as well – County were outclassed by a distance when it came to any action in the final third, the hosts almost scoring at will in the first period, notching three without Lenny Pidgeley making a save.
The fine margins were there for all to see, Newport’s set-piece delivery and composure lacking throughout, perhaps finally overawed by surroundings that couldn’t be more unfamiliar for a former non-league outfit.
Following their shock success at Championship Brighton in round one, a bright and positive start by the Exiles wasn’t even close to being enough, but they were still impressive in the way they kept coming at Albion, abandoning plans to play on the counter-attack by monopolising possession and keeping several international players firmly on their toes.
It seemed almost bizarre that it wasn’t just the hosts who opted to rotate their ranks, boss Edinburgh resting his captain and in-form strikers, though he also changed things up for Newport’s magnificent win at Brighton, so it was hardly unexpected. The Exiles weren’t overawed by their surroundings or opposition, that much clear from the opening whistle. They had more possession, more chances and more set-pieces in a frantic opening 20 minutes, yet they fell behind to the Baggies’ first attempt at goal.
When it arrived it was frustrating in its simplicity, all three of Albion’s attacking debutants combining, ex-Swan Scott Sinclair and Matej Vydra released Saido Berahino who dinked the ball past Pidgeley beautifully.
You felt with the comfort of a goal the game would settle into a pattern of Newport chasing possession, but not so. Still the Exiles came, Lee Minshull and skipper for the day Andy Sandell both off target before they missed a stunning chance.
Harry Worley’s through ball found Conor Washington who took the ball in his stride brilliantly, but he couldn’t beat Luke Daniels who saved with his legs, a defining moment without question.
A sumptuous strike moments later all but settled the clash, Berahino again finding space and unleashing a thunderous left-footed drive into the top corner of the net after he wriggled away from Andrew Hughes.
The Exiles were frustrated and seemed to feel a little sorry for themselves – especially when Claudio Yacob was only shown yellow for a forearm smash that left Robbie Willmott prone, the Exiles screaming for a red card.
That might have been a game-changer, but before the break the contest was settled, Worley needlessly and unquestionably hauling down England U21 man Craig Dawson at a corner, allowing Berahino the chance to calmly fire home his third from the spot.
County were far more resolute after the interval but the damage was done, West Brom content to keep possession and treat the contest like a training match, subs Markus Rosenberg and James Morrison both denied, Rosenberg missing the target by inches and Morrison’s effort superbly blocked by Tony James.
County’s superb Amber Army deserved at least a goal to cheer but as the second half minutes ticked away that seemed more and more unlikely, West Brom’s desire to simply keep the ball coupled with Newport’s aim of not being humiliated hardly conducive to end-to-end football and it kept chances at a premium.
Chris Zebroski’s introduction added a little bit of urgency as the Exiles won four late corners and enthused their fans who were superb all evening, but there was no be no consolation, though Washington headed just over at the death.
However, a disappointing evening won’t diminish the magical memories Newport will take from the League Cup this term, nor should it be forgotten that their biggest contest of the week is on Saturday at Scunthorpe.
West Brom (4-3-3): Daniels, Jones (Gayle 70), Lugano, Dawson, Popov, Dorrans, Yacob (Morrison 64), Brunt, Berahino, Sinclair, Vydra (Rosenburg 42)
Subs not used: Myhill, Long, Mulumbu, McAuley
Newport County (5-3-2): Pidgeley, Jackson, Sandell, Worley, Hughes, Naylor, Chapman (James 62), Minshull (Flynn 52), Willmott, Crow (Zebroski 81), Washington
Subs not used: Stephens, Pipe, Jolley
Booked: Jackson, James
Referee: Andy D’Urso (Essex)
Argus star man: Saido Berahino (Albion)
Comments are closed on this article.