County back with a bang to stay top of the league

South Wales Argus: DELIGHT: Lee Minshull celebrates after scoring County's first goal tonight DELIGHT: Lee Minshull celebrates after scoring County's first goal tonight

COUNTY 6 CAMBRIDGE 2

NEWPORT County returned to winning ways with a bang that Guy Fawkes would’ve been proud of as they turned up the heat on their Conference rivals.

The Exiles were simply scorching as they put a sparkle back into their performance and arrested a slump of four successive games without victory by hitting Cambridge for six.

On a night where only the crowd was a disappointment, it was Justin Edinburgh’s side who always looked likely victors.

Boss Edinburgh had been hopeful of fielding a revamped forward line tonight with plans to sign another striker still alive, but only loanee Michael Smith was available.

It was a good job too as the Exiles have lost Danny Crow to a suspected torn hamstring and under those circumstances it was no surprise to see Edinburgh revert to the 4-3-3 formation that has worked so well for him.

That left him with tough decisions and he responded by selecting both Mike Flynn and Lee Minshull in his midfield trio at the expense of Lee Evans. With no goals between the pair of them that seemed a big call to make though the presence of the returning Ismail Yakubu was reassuring.

Football is at times frustrating, at times engaging but it’s never predictable and not even Edinburgh could’ve expected his marginal selection choices to pay off so spectacularly, because within 20 minutes Flynn and Minshull had rewarded him with their first goals of the campaign.

It was like the start of the Woking game in reverse, the Exiles burying the memories of their first home league defeat by playing the fast, at times furious, attacking football we’ve been spoiled with this term.

Flynn especially began like a train, pulling the strings and constantly finding the feet of the dangerous dual outlets of Aaron O’Connor and Ben Swallow.

As soon as County put it all together they scored the opener, the ball worked across the midfield to O’Connor who fired into the feet of Minshull who took an assured touch and dispatched the ball beyond Jonathan Hedge.

One became two within 120 seconds of Minshull hitting the net, Flynn finally reminding everyone why he’s spent a decade plying his trade in Leagues One, Two and the Championship.

His stunning effort might not be County’s best of the season but it’ll take some strike to beat it, the ball in all the way as he unleashed a thunderbolt that screamed past Hedge.

But Tom Elliott’s fine control and even better finish on the volley put the Us right back in contention with less than half an hour played.

The Exiles never for a second looked ponderous or daunted after conceding and merely went back to quick breaks that the visitors couldn’t deal with and when Josh Coulson pulled down Flynn just outside the area, you knew what was coming.

Not since the genius of Jason Bowen have the Exiles had a freekick taker with the accuracy of Andy Sandell and he used his hammer of a left foot to fire Newport 3-1 ahead, albeit via a slight deflection.

The left-back was also in fine form at the other end, denying Michael Gash with a superb block as the visitors pushed for a way back in. It almost arrived on half time only for Pidgeley to tip away another Gash drive before Coulson headed over when he was left unattended at the subsequent corner.

The excitement didn’t let up in the second period with both attacks shining brighter than the boys at the back, making this a fine spectacle.

Substitute Harrison Dunk’s goalbound effort was deflected wide by a despairing Pipe block and O’Connor again went close as each side looked to write the next chapter, close fought contest or runaway home win.

The latter looked more likely and midway through the second half was all but confirmed, Minshull heading down a cross (close enough to the goalkeeper that nine times out of ten it’d be a freekick) and O’Connor was perfectly placed to poke home his easiest goal of the campaign to make it 13 for the season.

This was a strange contest, chances not flowing like champagne but plenty of fizz nonetheless, almost every clear cut chance resulting in a goal.

The pattern continued as Cambridge quickly made it 4-2 when Luke Berry fired home via a deflection on 69 minutes but it was merely another false dawn as County restored a three goal advantage within seconds, Hedge’s woeful clearance punished as O’Connor lobbed him for 5-2.

Hedge was virtually a spectator when he wasn’t picking the ball out of the net, such was County’s clinical touch, but he did pull out a top save to deny Michael Smith as the clock ticked down, Pidgeley emulating the effort with a late save of his own.

But Smith wasn’t to be denied, curling home County’s sixth to put the icing on the cake in stoppage time.

County: Pidgeley, Pipe, James, Yakubu (Evans 86), Sandell, Porter, Flynn, Minshull, O’Connor (Thomson 90), Smith, Swallow (Washington 80)

Subs not used: Perry, Louis, Thomson

Booked: Yakubu 67

Cambridge: Hedge, Jennings, Coulson, Wylde, Shaw, Wellard (Pugh 62), Gash (Hughes 68), Elliott, McAuley, Berry, Smith (Dunk, 46)

Subs not used: Pugh, Jarvis, Ross

Booked: None

Referee: Robert Whitton

Attendance: 1787

Argus star man: Mike Flynn

Comments (12)

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10:34pm Tue 6 Nov 12

Adrian Williams says...

Really pleased to see Flynny coming good and scoring a belter and pleased to see Minshull upping his game too. The boy Smith looks a really good find and scored an excellent solo effort at the end. As for O'Connor, well he just scores when he wants. We have a really solid back four when Pipe, Yak, James and Sandell are all playing - let's just hope they can all stay fit and available though. A fantastic performance all round - very happy.
Really pleased to see Flynny coming good and scoring a belter and pleased to see Minshull upping his game too. The boy Smith looks a really good find and scored an excellent solo effort at the end. As for O'Connor, well he just scores when he wants. We have a really solid back four when Pipe, Yak, James and Sandell are all playing - let's just hope they can all stay fit and available though. A fantastic performance all round - very happy. Adrian Williams
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11:03pm Tue 6 Nov 12

larneman says...

Great result. would loved to have been there. Well done County. The crowds will come back. I wonder how many who stayed at home are wishing they had made the effort..6-2 WOW.
Great result. would loved to have been there. Well done County. The crowds will come back. I wonder how many who stayed at home are wishing they had made the effort..6-2 WOW. larneman
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2:09am Wed 7 Nov 12

COUNTYVOICE says...

WOW WHAT FANTASTIC RESULT

mr edinburgh take note, result was achieved with the solid back four we had all season , sandell (outstanding what was he doing at chippenham?) , james (warren who??) , yakubu (immense) , and captain america david pipe (jail term forgotten)

results achieved against yate , and woking will continue to happen if any of these players are injured or suspended and no quality cover is brought in.

as you can see the typical newport supporter is a fickle person and two crappy results against yate and the first home loss against woking saw almost a 1000 taken off the average gate. mr edinburgh im sure you cannot afford that to happen regularly.

nice to see wrexham in second spot after their win. but more importantly county are four points clear and with games against ALFRETON and HYDE to come, i would expect maximum points provided the usual back four play.

good debut by mr smith, hope he can continue , and AARON O CONNOR what can you say, even better than craig reid (who????)

COME ON THE COUNTY

MARKP1667 THE HOME OF CHOICE, VALUE AND CUSTOMER SATISFACTION (EBAY) :-)
WOW WHAT FANTASTIC RESULT mr edinburgh take note, result was achieved with the solid back four we had all season , sandell (outstanding what was he doing at chippenham?) , james (warren who??) , yakubu (immense) , and captain america david pipe (jail term forgotten) results achieved against yate , and woking will continue to happen if any of these players are injured or suspended and no quality cover is brought in. as you can see the typical newport supporter is a fickle person and two crappy results against yate and the first home loss against woking saw almost a 1000 taken off the average gate. mr edinburgh im sure you cannot afford that to happen regularly. nice to see wrexham in second spot after their win. but more importantly county are four points clear and with games against ALFRETON and HYDE to come, i would expect maximum points provided the usual back four play. good debut by mr smith, hope he can continue , and AARON O CONNOR what can you say, even better than craig reid (who????) COME ON THE COUNTY MARKP1667 THE HOME OF CHOICE, VALUE AND CUSTOMER SATISFACTION (EBAY) :-) COUNTYVOICE
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5:23am Wed 7 Nov 12

lowandhardandinthecorner says...

Those who stayed at home tonight, missed a real treat.
Fireworks on the pitch tonight!
Those who stayed at home tonight, missed a real treat. Fireworks on the pitch tonight! lowandhardandinthecorner
  • Score: 0

7:18am Wed 7 Nov 12

RSATaffy says...

well done! I guess there's a sunny outlook in Newport as well as RSA today!!
well done! I guess there's a sunny outlook in Newport as well as RSA today!! RSATaffy
  • Score: 0

8:32am Wed 7 Nov 12

swrxp09 says...

Great bounce-back result but the drop in attendance is a big concern. I dread to think what attendances would be if we had not started the season so well.We are top of the league and two poor results see almost 1000 off the expected attendance. Come on supporters, if we want to get back in the big time follow the team through the good and the bad.
Great bounce-back result but the drop in attendance is a big concern. I dread to think what attendances would be if we had not started the season so well.We are top of the league and two poor results see almost 1000 off the expected attendance. Come on supporters, if we want to get back in the big time follow the team through the good and the bad. swrxp09
  • Score: 0

8:46am Wed 7 Nov 12

the dork says...

Great
Great the dork
  • Score: 0

9:55am Wed 7 Nov 12

netala says...

fantastic result, football played on the floor. well balanced side. agree with other comments though,back four needs quality cover, on cold mid winter nights an armchair, a cup of cocoa,and the telly may seem a better option.results bring back the crowds, no matter what the weather.. the young man smith took a long time to settle, but when he found his feet, he looks an excellent find.to steal a quote from a film,"get the reults and they will come".
fantastic result, football played on the floor. well balanced side. agree with other comments though,back four needs quality cover, on cold mid winter nights an armchair, a cup of cocoa,and the telly may seem a better option.results bring back the crowds, no matter what the weather.. the young man smith took a long time to settle, but when he found his feet, he looks an excellent find.to steal a quote from a film,"get the reults and they will come". netala
  • Score: 0

10:38am Wed 7 Nov 12

NakedDancer says...

Great result, good performance. Flynn was excellent in a more advanced role and his goal was real class.

4 points clear at top of the league and 6 goals - what more can the fans want ?

Come on people - SUPPORT THE COUNTY !
Great result, good performance. Flynn was excellent in a more advanced role and his goal was real class. 4 points clear at top of the league and 6 goals - what more can the fans want ? Come on people - SUPPORT THE COUNTY ! NakedDancer
  • Score: 0

11:29am Wed 7 Nov 12

jetspotter says...

Of course most supporters are fickle. The average supporter will only turn up if he/she has a realistic expectation of an entertaining game and that's fair enough in this hard economic climate. The real problem with the County is that they swing from the sublime to the ridiculous and you can never be sure which portion of the curates egg you are going to be served up at any given match. Still last night was brilliant and let's hope we've turned the consistency corner. We do need to bring in some cover though. UP THE COUNTY !!!
Of course most supporters are fickle. The average supporter will only turn up if he/she has a realistic expectation of an entertaining game and that's fair enough in this hard economic climate. The real problem with the County is that they swing from the sublime to the ridiculous and you can never be sure which portion of the curates egg you are going to be served up at any given match. Still last night was brilliant and let's hope we've turned the consistency corner. We do need to bring in some cover though. UP THE COUNTY !!! jetspotter
  • Score: 0

1:45pm Wed 7 Nov 12

ncfcr says...

Not that it really matters, but Flynn scored against Woking as well.
Not that it really matters, but Flynn scored against Woking as well. ncfcr
  • Score: 0

2:35pm Wed 7 Nov 12

county mad says...

Wish I could have dodged work last night bl**dy typical. Still awesome result. UP THE COUNTY!!!
Wish I could have dodged work last night bl**dy typical. Still awesome result. UP THE COUNTY!!! county mad
  • Score: 0

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