Burton 1 County 0

NEWPORT County AFC ended a vintage year with a hangover at the home of the Brewers as they suffered their first League Two defeat since November 2.

County have enjoyed a simply stunning 2013 and there is much to look forward to as we enter 2014 but they were second best at Burton Albion.

The hosts, who started the day one place ahead of the Exiles, dominated for long stretches and showed that they too are genuine promotion contenders this season.

Justin Edinburgh’s men weren’t at their best but they were by no means poor. Burton were simply the better side on the day and didn’t allow their opponents a foothold in the game. County defended well and were indebted to a fine performance from goalkeeper Lenny Pidgeley but they couldn’t quite hold on for a point.

Edinburgh had resisted the temptation to rest any of his key players, sticking with the side that triumphed 1-0 at Wycombe Wanderers on Boxing Day.

He also retained the bold 3-4-3 formation, signalling his intent to take the game to the hosts on a chilly afternoon in the Midlands.

But it was Gary Rowett’s side who dominated right from the off and County were fortunate to make it to the break on level terms.

Brewers full-back Phil Edwards was the main danger man early on as Exiles’ goalkeeper Lenny Pidgeley reacted well to keep out his header after just five minutes.

Edwards then managed to hit the crossbar from just a yard out after 20 minutes when a clever dummy fooled the County defence.

Pidgeley knew nothing about it as the ball cannoned off Edwards, onto the bar and finally away to safety.

Ten minutes later, however, the Exiles’ stopper earned all the plaudits as he flung himself to his left to deny Shane Cansdell-Sherriff what looked a certain goal.

The header from inside the six-yard box was superbly saved by Pidgeley and the visitors held on.

The closest County came to scoring in the first half was a decent penalty shout when Conor Washington appeared to be pulled down in the box but the referee was not interested.

Edinburgh’s men certainly started the second half more positively with Mike Flynn, in search of a fourth goal in three games, twice letting fly from distance in the opening exchanges.

The best chances were still at the other end, however, and Billy Kee should have done better after being picked out by Ian Sharps in the box but his header was straight at Pidgeley.

Burton went even closer on the hour mark when Adam McGurk’s shot was deflected onto the inside of the post with Pidgeley beaten but again County survived.

Edinburgh brought on Ismail Yakubu for Harry Worley to try to solidify the defence but the Brewers kept pouring forward and County were restricted to sporadic counter-attacks and set-pieces.

Tom Naylor and the lesser-spotted Ryan Burge replaced Flynn and Willmott as Edinburgh shuffled his pack but the changes didn’t change the flow of the game.

And the hosts finally got the goal they deserved on 79 minutes as Kee stabbed home from close range to break County’s resistance.

Pidgeley saved brilliantly again from the impressive Jimmy Phillips in time added on and the visitors never threatened to snatch a point.

There is no let-up in the hectic festive fixture list with promotion rivals Oxford United heading to Rodney Parade on New Year’s Day.

County will hope to maintain their impressive home form and kick-start another year that promises to be just as exciting as the last 12 months.

Burton: Lyness, Edwards, Sharps, Weir (Bell, 67), MacDonald (Hussey, 83), McCrory, Phillips, McGurk, Palmer, Cansdell-Sherriff, Kee

Subs not used: Siegrest, Diamond, Howe, Knowles, Holness

Booked: Cansdell-Sherriff

County: Pidgeley, Sandell, Oshilaja, Worley (Yakubu 62), Jackson, Flynn (Naylor, 69), Chapman, Pipe, Willmott (Burge, 69), Washington, Jolley

Subs not used: James, Minshull, Crow, Barker

Booked: Chapman

Referee: G.Eltringham

Attendance: 2,692

Argus star man: Pidgeley

Comments (7)

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6:57pm Sun 29 Dec 13

ohc says...

There has been discussion about signing priority in he window. This makes it clear for me - a striker. J and W look as if they could play forever and not score. CW needs to be mindful of what Moyes has told Wellbeck - strikers need to score
There has been discussion about signing priority in he window. This makes it clear for me - a striker. J and W look as if they could play forever and not score. CW needs to be mindful of what Moyes has told Wellbeck - strikers need to score ohc

8:07pm Sun 29 Dec 13

Adrian Williams says...

A big striker needed in the window for sure
A big striker needed in the window for sure Adrian Williams

8:53pm Sun 29 Dec 13

llandaff says...

What on earth has happened to Christian Jolley?
Why was Minshull not in the starting line up? Burton are a big side and his height could have made a difference today.
County had a bad day at the office. Time to get over it and push on now.
What on earth has happened to Christian Jolley? Why was Minshull not in the starting line up? Burton are a big side and his height could have made a difference today. County had a bad day at the office. Time to get over it and push on now. llandaff

9:26pm Sun 29 Dec 13

larneman says...

llandaff wrote:
What on earth has happened to Christian Jolley?
Why was Minshull not in the starting line up? Burton are a big side and his height could have made a difference today.
County had a bad day at the office. Time to get over it and push on now.
As for the 2 strkers Jolley and Washington. As the old saying goes. The lights are on but there's nobody home. Of course we won't always play well everybody has an off day Maybe they are trying too hard but listening to Tim Thraves I lost count of the times he said the strikers lost the ball or were too slow to reach passes. Funnily enough other results were going our way. Still all is not lost. We can make it despite this upset.
[quote][p][bold]llandaff[/bold] wrote: What on earth has happened to Christian Jolley? Why was Minshull not in the starting line up? Burton are a big side and his height could have made a difference today. County had a bad day at the office. Time to get over it and push on now.[/p][/quote]As for the 2 strkers Jolley and Washington. As the old saying goes. The lights are on but there's nobody home. Of course we won't always play well everybody has an off day Maybe they are trying too hard but listening to Tim Thraves I lost count of the times he said the strikers lost the ball or were too slow to reach passes. Funnily enough other results were going our way. Still all is not lost. We can make it despite this upset. larneman

10:54pm Sun 29 Dec 13

Harps62 says...

Really missing Zebroski now.
Need height up front. Connor appears temporarily burnt out. Christian just aint at the races though if his superb lob against Wycombe had gone in maybe that would of helped. Danny isn't good enough at this level. Why get the lad from Brighton and not give him a game?. Also why keep retaining Billy Jones if he cannot get into the squad. Remember his superb goal on his debut?
Lets hope for a good result on Wednesday
Really missing Zebroski now. Need height up front. Connor appears temporarily burnt out. Christian just aint at the races though if his superb lob against Wycombe had gone in maybe that would of helped. Danny isn't good enough at this level. Why get the lad from Brighton and not give him a game?. Also why keep retaining Billy Jones if he cannot get into the squad. Remember his superb goal on his debut? Lets hope for a good result on Wednesday Harps62

9:11am Mon 30 Dec 13

CountyValleyboy says...

Harps62 wrote:
Really missing Zebroski now.
Need height up front. Connor appears temporarily burnt out. Christian just aint at the races though if his superb lob against Wycombe had gone in maybe that would of helped. Danny isn't good enough at this level. Why get the lad from Brighton and not give him a game?. Also why keep retaining Billy Jones if he cannot get into the squad. Remember his superb goal on his debut?
Lets hope for a good result on Wednesday
If the game will be on ?
[quote][p][bold]Harps62[/bold] wrote: Really missing Zebroski now. Need height up front. Connor appears temporarily burnt out. Christian just aint at the races though if his superb lob against Wycombe had gone in maybe that would of helped. Danny isn't good enough at this level. Why get the lad from Brighton and not give him a game?. Also why keep retaining Billy Jones if he cannot get into the squad. Remember his superb goal on his debut? Lets hope for a good result on Wednesday[/p][/quote]If the game will be on ? CountyValleyboy

10:20am Mon 30 Dec 13

MX47 says...

llandaff wrote:
What on earth has happened to Christian Jolley?
Why was Minshull not in the starting line up? Burton are a big side and his height could have made a difference today.
County had a bad day at the office. Time to get over it and push on now.
I think that Jolley (and Washington) are being asked to play with their backs to goal too much and tbh they are not that type of players. Its obvious that we need to get a player in who can take on that particular role more effectively so that J and W can play more on the front foot. I'm sue JE will address this in the xfer window if Zeb will not be fit.
[quote][p][bold]llandaff[/bold] wrote: What on earth has happened to Christian Jolley? Why was Minshull not in the starting line up? Burton are a big side and his height could have made a difference today. County had a bad day at the office. Time to get over it and push on now.[/p][/quote]I think that Jolley (and Washington) are being asked to play with their backs to goal too much and tbh they are not that type of players. Its obvious that we need to get a player in who can take on that particular role more effectively so that J and W can play more on the front foot. I'm sue JE will address this in the xfer window if Zeb will not be fit. MX47

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