Battling point on the road for Newport County

MISSED PENALTY: County star Robbie Willmott

MISSED PENALTY: County star Robbie Willmott

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

SOUTHEND UTD 0 NEWPORT COUNTY 0

NEWPORT County AFC got their League Two promotion push back on track with a battling point at play-off rivals Southend United.

It might have been better for Justin Edinburgh’s men had Robbie Willmott not blazed his penalty into the stands early in the second half.

But after a tough January for the Exiles this was a welcome point on the road in terrible conditions once again.

Edinburgh made two changes from the defeat at Bristol Rovers with new striker Shaun Jeffers handed a debut up front in place of Christian Jolley and Ryan Jackson making way for Adam Chapman on his return from suspension.

The Exiles boss also ditched the flat back four and returned to his favoured 5-3-2 formation with captain David Pipe shifting to right wing-back and Willmott back on the other flank.

There was not much change in the conditions, however, as the rain continues to follow County wherever they go at present.

It was a minor miracle that the game went ahead with the whole country on flood alert and the Roots Hall pitch was not a pretty picture by the time the sides emerged from the warmth of the dressing rooms.

Understandably it was not an occasion for total football and players on both sides struggled to keep their feet as the rain continued to lash down.

Attractive passing football was at a premium but County started confidently with Chapman linking well with Ryan Burge in the middle.

Harry Worley had the first effort on goal and his shot from just inside the area was heading for the bottom corner before home defender Mark Phillips got a leg in the way to prevent an early goal.

Andy Sandell and Chapman both saw speculative long range efforts sail into the second tier of the stand behind Daniel Bentley’s goal as the visitors continued to push forward.

And new boy Jeffers went down in the box claiming a push in the back but referee James Linington waved away the penalty appeals.

As the first half wore on and the rain eased off the Shrimpers came out of their shell.

County were thankful to goalkeeper Lenny Pidgeley, complete with broken thumb, for helping them to the break on level terms.

First he did brilliantly to deny Will Atkinson from point blank range after half an hour as the Southend man headed goalwards and Pidgeley somehow diverted it onto the post and away to safety.

The Exiles stopper then beat away a fierce drive from Barry Corr before showing brilliant reflexes to divert the ball around the post after Lee Barnard’s header was deflected towards the bottom corner.

But if the hosts were slightly unlucky not to lead at the break they were very fortunate not to be behind seven minutes after the restart.

The impressive Burge surged through the middle of the Southend defence, shrugging off two challenges before being hauled down by Phillips in the box.

The home defender somehow avoided a card - red or yellow - but the referee was in no doubt about the award of the penalty.

And after Sandell’s last gasp spot kick was saved in the defeat to Northampton at the start of the month the penalty duties fell to Willmott.

And it’s fair to say Chapman or Rene Howe might take the next one after the wing-back blasted his effort high and wide and halfway down the A127.

The Southend fans, frustrated by what they perceived as County’s time wasting, saw that as justice done but the visitors were on top at that stage.

Phil Brown brought on Welsh international Freddy Eastwood as his troops began to look jaded after last week’s FA Cup tie against Premier League Hull City and a local derby with Dagenham & Redbridge on Tuesday.

Edinburgh also turned to fresh legs with Max Porter replacing Chapman and Jolley coming on for Jeffers.

It was a frustrating debut for the 21-year-old who arrived this week as part of the deal that saw Conor Washington sold to Peterborough United.

He did nothing wrong but with little service and a poor surface it was hard for him to make a great first impression.

Jeffers and the whole County squad will be delighted to get back to Rodney Parade where they play four of their next five games – if it ever stops raining!

Southend: Bentley, White, Coker, Phillips, Timlin (Clifford, 75), Corr (Straker, 46), Atkinson, Hurst, Leonard, Thompson, Barnard (Eastwood, 61)

Subs not used: Laird, Payne, Gomis, Smith

County: Pidgeley, Pipe, Worley, Naylor, Sandell, Willmott, Minshull, Chapman (Porter, 71), Burge (Flynn, 82), Howe, Jeffers (Jolley, 73)

Subs not used: Stephens, Hughes, Jackson, Anthony

Booked: Minshull

Referee: James Linington

Attendance: 5,993 (165 County)

Argus star man: Pidgeley

Comments (9)

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10:24pm Fri 31 Jan 14

jiffygeorge says...

How many penalties have County missed in past three seasons. At least 50% I would guess. Pathetic. And why people think Wilmott a good player is beyond me (he missed another gilt-edged chance in injury time). Still, a good point and could set County back on track for a play off place, provided we can find someone to take the chances that come our way.
How many penalties have County missed in past three seasons. At least 50% I would guess. Pathetic. And why people think Wilmott a good player is beyond me (he missed another gilt-edged chance in injury time). Still, a good point and could set County back on track for a play off place, provided we can find someone to take the chances that come our way. jiffygeorge
  • Score: -4

10:36pm Fri 31 Jan 14

larneman says...

This was a great point won by County, and God bless the 165 fans who travelled with them. On a sour note I tried to listen to Tim on the radio but to no avail. Unsubscribed from that its crap. Worried about the rain you are getting down there.
This was a great point won by County, and God bless the 165 fans who travelled with them. On a sour note I tried to listen to Tim on the radio but to no avail. Unsubscribed from that its crap. Worried about the rain you are getting down there. larneman
  • Score: 1

10:43pm Fri 31 Jan 14

larneman says...

jiffygeorge wrote:
How many penalties have County missed in past three seasons. At least 50% I would guess. Pathetic. And why people think Wilmott a good player is beyond me (he missed another gilt-edged chance in injury time). Still, a good point and could set County back on track for a play off place, provided we can find someone to take the chances that come our way.
I forgot to mention that J.E. should spend some time on the practice ground with penalty taking. Also the 5-3-2 system seems to work very well so stick with it. Well said jiffygeorge. But I'm not sure about Wilmott. Tim Thraves seems to rate him highly
[quote][p][bold]jiffygeorge[/bold] wrote: How many penalties have County missed in past three seasons. At least 50% I would guess. Pathetic. And why people think Wilmott a good player is beyond me (he missed another gilt-edged chance in injury time). Still, a good point and could set County back on track for a play off place, provided we can find someone to take the chances that come our way.[/p][/quote]I forgot to mention that J.E. should spend some time on the practice ground with penalty taking. Also the 5-3-2 system seems to work very well so stick with it. Well said jiffygeorge. But I'm not sure about Wilmott. Tim Thraves seems to rate him highly larneman
  • Score: 0

10:59pm Fri 31 Jan 14

Adrian Williams says...

I take it you pair weren't at the Memorial Ground last Saturday ? Wilmott was applauded off at the end by the County fans - our best player that day by far, never stopped running and gave 100 per cent as he does every game. As for the pennos , give them back to Chapman - don't understand why they were taken off him in the first place.
I take it you pair weren't at the Memorial Ground last Saturday ? Wilmott was applauded off at the end by the County fans - our best player that day by far, never stopped running and gave 100 per cent as he does every game. As for the pennos , give them back to Chapman - don't understand why they were taken off him in the first place. Adrian Williams
  • Score: 4

11:24pm Fri 31 Jan 14

keithbob says...

ok,so a point on the road is a small plus,but why oh why cant jolley find the back of the net anymore,and where the hell is aaron o connor,both scorers at wembley to get us promotion??
ok,so a point on the road is a small plus,but why oh why cant jolley find the back of the net anymore,and where the hell is aaron o connor,both scorers at wembley to get us promotion?? keithbob
  • Score: -1

8:02am Sat 1 Feb 14

Harps62 says...

Adrian Williams wrote:
I take it you pair weren't at the Memorial Ground last Saturday ? Wilmott was applauded off at the end by the County fans - our best player that day by far, never stopped running and gave 100 per cent as he does every game. As for the pennos , give them back to Chapman - don't understand why they were taken off him in the first place.
Think Wilmott has been our best player by a mile this year.
Even Chapman missed one earlier in the season.
Got to be sorted urgently.
Still no goals from the forwards that also very worrying.
[quote][p][bold]Adrian Williams[/bold] wrote: I take it you pair weren't at the Memorial Ground last Saturday ? Wilmott was applauded off at the end by the County fans - our best player that day by far, never stopped running and gave 100 per cent as he does every game. As for the pennos , give them back to Chapman - don't understand why they were taken off him in the first place.[/p][/quote]Think Wilmott has been our best player by a mile this year. Even Chapman missed one earlier in the season. Got to be sorted urgently. Still no goals from the forwards that also very worrying. Harps62
  • Score: 0

9:41am Sat 1 Feb 14

asrncafc says...

I would have settled for a draw prior to the start of the match. But failing to convert a penalty against a directly competitive side has left me very disappointed.

I would say that it's two points lost rather than one gained.

Wilmott is by far one of our best players this season, forgeting the missed penalty kick.

The gap from the play-offs could have been reduced last night but, weather permitting, County can rely on Rodney Parade and the Amber Army with four home matches out of five in February.

One thing is sure. This month will definitely tell the fate of County's promotion bid.

As for Aaron O'Connor, I think the club should inform its loyal supporters about the physical condition of the player and when he is expected to be called, at least, on the bench.
I would have settled for a draw prior to the start of the match. But failing to convert a penalty against a directly competitive side has left me very disappointed. I would say that it's two points lost rather than one gained. Wilmott is by far one of our best players this season, forgeting the missed penalty kick. The gap from the play-offs could have been reduced last night but, weather permitting, County can rely on Rodney Parade and the Amber Army with four home matches out of five in February. One thing is sure. This month will definitely tell the fate of County's promotion bid. As for Aaron O'Connor, I think the club should inform its loyal supporters about the physical condition of the player and when he is expected to be called, at least, on the bench. asrncafc
  • Score: 3

9:17pm Sat 1 Feb 14

emlynkide says...

larneman wrote:
This was a great point won by County, and God bless the 165 fans who travelled with them. On a sour note I tried to listen to Tim on the radio but to no avail. Unsubscribed from that its crap. Worried about the rain you are getting down there.
hi, lanerman, if i was you i would try the local radio where county are playing, i've had some joy with this, i wont pay what they are asking its not reliable
[quote][p][bold]larneman[/bold] wrote: This was a great point won by County, and God bless the 165 fans who travelled with them. On a sour note I tried to listen to Tim on the radio but to no avail. Unsubscribed from that its crap. Worried about the rain you are getting down there.[/p][/quote]hi, lanerman, if i was you i would try the local radio where county are playing, i've had some joy with this, i wont pay what they are asking its not reliable emlynkide
  • Score: 1

6:18pm Sun 2 Feb 14

larneman says...

emlynkide wrote:
larneman wrote:
This was a great point won by County, and God bless the 165 fans who travelled with them. On a sour note I tried to listen to Tim on the radio but to no avail. Unsubscribed from that its crap. Worried about the rain you are getting down there.
hi, lanerman, if i was you i would try the local radio where county are playing, i've had some joy with this, i wont pay what they are asking its not reliable
thanks for that emlynkide I'll give it a go.
[quote][p][bold]emlynkide[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]larneman[/bold] wrote: This was a great point won by County, and God bless the 165 fans who travelled with them. On a sour note I tried to listen to Tim on the radio but to no avail. Unsubscribed from that its crap. Worried about the rain you are getting down there.[/p][/quote]hi, lanerman, if i was you i would try the local radio where county are playing, i've had some joy with this, i wont pay what they are asking its not reliable[/p][/quote]thanks for that emlynkide I'll give it a go. larneman
  • Score: 0

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