Alfreton 4 County 3 – Match Report

First published in Newport County South Wales Argus: Photograph of the Author by

NEWPORT County once again endured a TV nightmare in the Midlands tonight, deservedly beaten by lowly Alfreton at the Impact Arena.

County were hammered at Mansfield and beaten by Shrewsbury in their live appearances last term and never recovered from a nightmare start that allowed Alfreton a precious three points in Sherwood Forest territory.

The brilliant Nathan Arnold led his merry men with a fantastic performance as Newport saw the points and their Goldie Lookin’ Chains plundered by the plucky hosts.

Boss Edinburgh doesn’t usually find himself averse to a little tinkering, even after victory, but the result 72-hours prior against Cambridge, a whopping 6-2 win, obviously convinced him not to make alterations.

The hosts were also in action on Tuesday, defeated 2-0 at Gateshead, but it’s at home where the Reds have struggled; only beating Luton at the Impact Arena so far this term.

However, with the lure of the TV cameras and the pressure really all on Newport who were the massive favourites, it was the hosts who made a fast start and they took the lead within the opening ten minutes.

The goal was well-worked and brilliantly finished as the hosts attacked with purpose for the first time, Paul Clayton and Ben Tomlinson combining cleverly, freeing the impressive Nathan Arnold who drilled home low and hard beyond Lenny Pidgeley.

It brought to mind the start of County’s last televised disaster in this part of the world when Anthony Hudson’s side were smashed 5-0 by a rampant Mansfield in the dying embers of his reign.

Those negative thoughts were hardly banished when the hosts doubled their advantage on 19 minutes, a corner headed back across goal allowing Paul Clayton to steal a march on his marker and poke home from close range.

The Exiles were two behind before they’d had a chance to work out what was happening, failing to put Alfreton under any real pressure as the Reds broke at pace time and again.

Not until midway through the half did Newport so much as mount an attack, Andy Sandell’s punt flicked on by the defender allowing Aaron O’Connor a run at goal, but he flashed wide.

County at least settled into a spell of possession, Ben Swallow collecting and firing right across goal, the subsequent corner almost headed home by Tony James, who ended up missing contact by a whisker as Newport huffed and puffed.

The Exiles needed a repost before half-time and it did arrive in unusual circumstances.

It came from a mistake by goalkeeper Jon Stewart whose kick was charged down by Smith, the ball catching the wind and drifting across the goal.

The keeper tried to make amends but couldn’t collect and Smith kept possession, dragged the ball back from the byline and curled home from an acute angle to give us a contest again.

The Exiles could even have achieved parity on the stroke of half time when Smith’s super cross arrived on a silver platter for Lee Minshull but he fired over from eight yards for a miss that would be fully punished.

Less than 30 seconds passed until the hosts won a penalty when Sandell slipped and fouled Ben Tomlinson (the suspicion being it was outside the area), Dan Bradley stroking home from 12 yards.

The Exiles needed a vastly different second half and to that end Edinburgh waited just ten minutes before introducing Lee Evans and Jake Thomson, looking to add some badly needed flair in the centre of the pitch and switching to a 4-4-2.

The switch yielded a reward immediately, Sandell’s corner clipping the crossbar after decent work by Thomson, O’Connor on hand to poke home the rebound.

Suddenly it was the hosts who could barely string three passes together, the second half possession stats something akin to Celtic versus Barcelona as the Exiles looked to turn the screw.

However, just like with the Hoops it was a set-piece that undid the away side, Pidgeley failing to claim amid a clustered penalty area as Clayton was allowed to scramble the ball home.

The goal settled the hosts as County again resorted to pumping the ball long as they chased a miraculous fightback, O’Connor forcing Stewart to save as the Exiles at least showed fight and desire, Evans fluffing his lines with an excellent chance as the seconds ticked away.

The Exiles’ spirit was admirable, Stewart saving brilliantly from Ismail Yakubu as they attempted another great escape.

County don’t know when they are beaten and with a minute remaining O’Connor brilliantly volleyed home goal number 16 for the season, setting up a pulsating period of injury time, but Louis could only head at Stewart in the dying embers as the Reds held on.

Alfreton: Stewart, Law, Franklin (Brown 83), Clayton, Bradley, Arnold, Franks, Meadows, Streete, Tomlinson, Killock

Subs not used: Barnes, Quinn, Russell, Worsfield

County: Pidgeley, Pipe, James, Yakubu, Sandell, Porter, Flynn (Thomson 56), Minshull (Evans 56), O’Connor, Swallow (Louis 70), Smith

Subs not used: Louis, Perry, Washington

Booked: Pipe (53), O’Connor (68)

Referee: Wayne Barratt Attendance: 663

Argus star man: Arnold (Alfreton)

Comments (16)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

10:11pm Fri 9 Nov 12

COUNTYVOICE says...

OH DEAR

another four goals conceded.
since yate that is 15 in 5 games.
not a sign of a side with a solid
rearguard.

again attack cannot fault it but defense, what is going on there.???????

justin the fans have "moaned" about the defensive cover for weeks now, LISTEN!

another disappointing result, how many more?????
OH DEAR another four goals conceded. since yate that is 15 in 5 games. not a sign of a side with a solid rearguard. again attack cannot fault it but defense, what is going on there.??????? justin the fans have "moaned" about the defensive cover for weeks now, LISTEN! another disappointing result, how many more????? COUNTYVOICE
  • Score: 0

10:36pm Fri 9 Nov 12

larneman says...

I watched this on sentanta and was shocked by how poor the defence was.I watched carefully and noticed that at no time were the back 4 ever in a line, there was always 1 of them on walkabout. The players were so slow in midfield with Alfreton just taking the ball off them at leisure. Sttrikers were good doing what they were being paid for. very impressed with Smith. But defence were just ball watching and waiting to see what Alfreton were going to do with the ball.
I can see why County have lost 1000 supporters. the back 4 have no idea what to do and just panic. Hyde must be licking their lips in anticipation of their visit to Rodney Parade. and with a defence that leaks like a sieve. who can blame them.Well played Alfreton the best team by a huge margin.
I watched this on sentanta and was shocked by how poor the defence was.I watched carefully and noticed that at no time were the back 4 ever in a line, there was always 1 of them on walkabout. The players were so slow in midfield with Alfreton just taking the ball off them at leisure. Sttrikers were good doing what they were being paid for. very impressed with Smith. But defence were just ball watching and waiting to see what Alfreton were going to do with the ball. I can see why County have lost 1000 supporters. the back 4 have no idea what to do and just panic. Hyde must be licking their lips in anticipation of their visit to Rodney Parade. and with a defence that leaks like a sieve. who can blame them.Well played Alfreton the best team by a huge margin. larneman
  • Score: 0

7:53am Sat 10 Nov 12

RSATaffy says...

5 matches - 15 goals scored jusitifies the top of the table position! But 15 goals conceded is probably relegation form!!
It's clear that defending is the current problem! But what options does the club have to cover injuries or loss of form? It appears none. The team should be sitting this morning with a 7 point cushion after scoring 3 away goals. I suggest the defenders offer sincere apologies' to the strikers.
5 matches - 15 goals scored jusitifies the top of the table position! But 15 goals conceded is probably relegation form!! It's clear that defending is the current problem! But what options does the club have to cover injuries or loss of form? It appears none. The team should be sitting this morning with a 7 point cushion after scoring 3 away goals. I suggest the defenders offer sincere apologies' to the strikers. RSATaffy
  • Score: 0

9:53am Sat 10 Nov 12

ohc says...

I've said it before. After the first 30 years of following the County you learn to expect nothing. Over a period of time you'll find they wont let you down and will achieve nothing. What we are seeing is the seeds of a drop away from promotion challenge (been done so many times before). Take solace that it seems we are safe from relegation
I've said it before. After the first 30 years of following the County you learn to expect nothing. Over a period of time you'll find they wont let you down and will achieve nothing. What we are seeing is the seeds of a drop away from promotion challenge (been done so many times before). Take solace that it seems we are safe from relegation ohc
  • Score: 0

10:23am Sat 10 Nov 12

Clever Trevor says...

Hurray,what a result - Fantastico-Wunderbar 6-2 against CUFC.Best Defensively display ever.

Boo,rubbish,back 4 again,even the GK maybe,terrible defeat 3-4 againt ATFC.
When will certain fans ever learn,get real,thats Football.
Hurray,what a result - Fantastico-Wunderbar 6-2 against CUFC.Best Defensively display ever. Boo,rubbish,back 4 again,even the GK maybe,terrible defeat 3-4 againt ATFC. When will certain fans ever learn,get real,thats Football. Clever Trevor
  • Score: 0

10:26am Sat 10 Nov 12

10bExile says...

Get a grip lads. Yes your right, the defending or goalkeeping wasn't good.
But this was a side who put 4 on Wexham & 3 past Luton and at the end of the day, we only got beat by a dodgy penalty decision. What's more, We will still be top of the league at 5pm.
Get a grip lads. Yes your right, the defending or goalkeeping wasn't good. But this was a side who put 4 on Wexham & 3 past Luton and at the end of the day, we only got beat by a dodgy penalty decision. What's more, We will still be top of the league at 5pm. 10bExile
  • Score: 0

10:40am Sat 10 Nov 12

Ranger12 says...

After Tuesday I am sure the majority supporters would have backed an unchanged line up. Losses happen this is a very tight league where on its day any team can beat any other. We are still in the hunt have a good strike force and there will be many ups and downs before the seasons end. Signing defenders would have made no difference last night. What is important is that the team bounce back against Hyde and then do the business against Luton.
After Tuesday I am sure the majority supporters would have backed an unchanged line up. Losses happen this is a very tight league where on its day any team can beat any other. We are still in the hunt have a good strike force and there will be many ups and downs before the seasons end. Signing defenders would have made no difference last night. What is important is that the team bounce back against Hyde and then do the business against Luton. Ranger12
  • Score: 0

10:40am Sat 10 Nov 12

netala says...

i watched the game on setanta, t.v. curse again,out paced all over the park. were they afraid to untidy their hair for the camaras,or did they underestimate alfreton. you all know my opinion on team setup, defence first then work forward. please J.E. listen to the fans who seem to be talking with their feet. just a blip, but could be costly if left unattended
i watched the game on setanta, t.v. curse again,out paced all over the park. were they afraid to untidy their hair for the camaras,or did they underestimate alfreton. you all know my opinion on team setup, defence first then work forward. please J.E. listen to the fans who seem to be talking with their feet. just a blip, but could be costly if left unattended netala
  • Score: 0

12:31pm Sat 10 Nov 12

COUNTYVOICE says...

options at the back , that is the problem

up front we can shuffle things around with the multitude of strikers we have.

at the back its pidgely, sandell, yakubu, james and pipe (great backline on their day) , but no options to shuffle around
with defenders in the wing if things go pear shaped

no competition in other words, and there should be competition all over the park, players playing to their best ability to secure that place on the teamsheet every saturday.

not having the attitude "oh theres no one else to challenge me, im safe for saturday", breeds complacency

MARKP1667 THE TOP KAT OF EBAY :-)
options at the back , that is the problem up front we can shuffle things around with the multitude of strikers we have. at the back its pidgely, sandell, yakubu, james and pipe (great backline on their day) , but no options to shuffle around with defenders in the wing if things go pear shaped no competition in other words, and there should be competition all over the park, players playing to their best ability to secure that place on the teamsheet every saturday. not having the attitude "oh theres no one else to challenge me, im safe for saturday", breeds complacency MARKP1667 THE TOP KAT OF EBAY :-) COUNTYVOICE
  • Score: 0

1:05pm Sat 10 Nov 12

jetspotter says...

In view of the recent comments about poor attendances and how to raise money how about this. The calendar girls raised a fortune by stripping off. We could get the County boys to do the same thing and call it 'The colander boys', featuring the defense of course. Or do you think they've been exposed enough recently as it is ? For a guy who was a superb defender at the highest level J.E.seems to have little idea how to organise one ! Oh well onwards and......?? UP THE COUNTY !!!
In view of the recent comments about poor attendances and how to raise money how about this. The calendar girls raised a fortune by stripping off. We could get the County boys to do the same thing and call it 'The colander boys', featuring the defense of course. Or do you think they've been exposed enough recently as it is ? For a guy who was a superb defender at the highest level J.E.seems to have little idea how to organise one ! Oh well onwards and......?? UP THE COUNTY !!! jetspotter
  • Score: 0

2:13pm Sat 10 Nov 12

COUNTYVOICE says...

ha very good jetspotter.

i think the opposition have already done a strip on our defense over the last few games
ha very good jetspotter. i think the opposition have already done a strip on our defense over the last few games COUNTYVOICE
  • Score: 0

6:30pm Sat 10 Nov 12

larneman says...

County very fortunate other results went their way. websight is a mess.should have left it alone
County very fortunate other results went their way. websight is a mess.should have left it alone larneman
  • Score: 0

8:41pm Sat 10 Nov 12

venga says...

My my, you can tell we are a welsh team, more leaks in our defence than than a greengrocers! Unless we want to look like a load of turnips skidding towards mid table on banana skins. I suggest Justin feeds his back line on carrots so they can better see where they are going wrong, otherwise we faithfull fans will be crying our potato eyes out like a load onion pealers. Come on Mr. Edinborough, strengthen your defence before we fans become has beans!
My my, you can tell we are a welsh team, more leaks in our defence than than a greengrocers! Unless we want to look like a load of turnips skidding towards mid table on banana skins. I suggest Justin feeds his back line on carrots so they can better see where they are going wrong, otherwise we faithfull fans will be crying our potato eyes out like a load onion pealers. Come on Mr. Edinborough, strengthen your defence before we fans become has beans! venga
  • Score: 0

11:50am Sun 11 Nov 12

COUNTYVOICE says...

justin you got away with it again

wrexham. and luton lost, but ground
has been gained by the chasing pack.

expectations are a funny thing.

at the start of the season every county fan would have welcomed a mid table spot with a run in either of the cups.

but due to your good management and astute working of the transfer market county sit proudly at the top of the pile , and in their centenary year.

a second chance to get into the football league , the first in our first season, when holdsworth left ( i take no pleasure to see that aldershot at bottom of league 2 , tee hee :-))

i dont want us to do another impression of a skier going down the alps, and sliding down the table , because the obvious is being ignored.

A CENTRAL DEFENDER is needed for cover and competition.

the centre backs are the most important positions, and a third as cover is vital, not make shift midfielders but an experienced centre back.

i hope all the pieces of the jigsaw fall into place before hyde, as it would be embarrasing TO LOSE AT HOME TO HYDE

UP THE COUNTY !!!!

MARKP1667 -BUY FROM THE BEST AND IGNORE THE REST (EBAY)
justin you got away with it again wrexham. and luton lost, but ground has been gained by the chasing pack. expectations are a funny thing. at the start of the season every county fan would have welcomed a mid table spot with a run in either of the cups. but due to your good management and astute working of the transfer market county sit proudly at the top of the pile , and in their centenary year. a second chance to get into the football league , the first in our first season, when holdsworth left ( i take no pleasure to see that aldershot at bottom of league 2 , tee hee :-)) i dont want us to do another impression of a skier going down the alps, and sliding down the table , because the obvious is being ignored. A CENTRAL DEFENDER is needed for cover and competition. the centre backs are the most important positions, and a third as cover is vital, not make shift midfielders but an experienced centre back. i hope all the pieces of the jigsaw fall into place before hyde, as it would be embarrasing TO LOSE AT HOME TO HYDE UP THE COUNTY !!!! MARKP1667 -BUY FROM THE BEST AND IGNORE THE REST (EBAY) COUNTYVOICE
  • Score: 0

9:50am Mon 12 Nov 12

Adrian Williams says...

Our recent slump in form has coincided with Lee Minshull getting a regular starting spot - just a coincidence I wonder ? He scores that sitter on Friday and we go on to win the game I reckon. For me, he puts in one decent performance every four of five matches. When we signed him last season he was what we needed at the time i.e someone who would get stuck in - I think we've evolved to a better style of play this year to what he offers. Just my opinion, but I don't think he should be getting a regular start in front of Evans, Flynn, Porter
Our recent slump in form has coincided with Lee Minshull getting a regular starting spot - just a coincidence I wonder ? He scores that sitter on Friday and we go on to win the game I reckon. For me, he puts in one decent performance every four of five matches. When we signed him last season he was what we needed at the time i.e someone who would get stuck in - I think we've evolved to a better style of play this year to what he offers. Just my opinion, but I don't think he should be getting a regular start in front of Evans, Flynn, Porter Adrian Williams
  • Score: 0

10:14am Mon 12 Nov 12

Adrian Williams says...

p.s I'm still puzzled as to how we went from playing so well on Tuesday to so badly on Friday
p.s I'm still puzzled as to how we went from playing so well on Tuesday to so badly on Friday Adrian Williams
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree