County pay penalty for Chapman's moment of madness

South Wales Argus: Danny Crow (4974635) Danny Crow (4974635)

IN TEAM sports, it is never really beneficial to play the blame game.

The collective, the notion that you win and lose as a team and no individual can do everything, or be blamed for everything, is a pretty central part of every successful sporting ideology, from Moneyball to Fergie Time.

But sometimes, it’s very difficult to adhere to the policy so strictly. After Newport’s narrow loss to Portsmouth, when ten men for so long, tried so valiantly, to produce a terrific comeback, would be a case in point. It really was hard not to point that accusing finger wasn’t it?

Or at the very least, beg the question, Adam Chapman, what on earth were you thinking?

His 26th minute dismissal for a horror tackle on Danny Hollands – he lunged with both feet off the ground and caught Hollands almost knee high - was as frustrating as it was shocking. It came as a result of Chapman controlling a ball magnificently and drawing a foul from Hollands who was made to seem positively hapless in the incident. But instead of merely leaving him with egg on his face, Chapman might easily have broken his leg.

It was an awful moment in an up and down season for Chapman who actually began the game brightly enough, pinging a 30-yarder just past the post with a swift movement that emphasised just how much natural talent he possesses for a League Two player. However, his temperament is becoming more and more questionable, especially following an unnecessarily high 11 yellow cards this season.

It meant that Newport’s situation, trailing 1-0 to a team clearly boosted by a managerial change, but nevertheless brittle and lacking in confidence, suddenly became almost impossible.

Including added on time Portsmouth played for 70 minutes with a numerical advantage and the dismissal meant a very good second half display from County counted for nothing.

The Exiles will also point to inconsistencies in terms of their second red card, Darcy Blake seeing red for two yellow cards, but Portsmouth striker Ryan Taylor was given a reprieve in almost identical circumstances, 10 seconds before he was substituted for his own good.

By then he had done his part, Taylor at the fulcrum of Portsmouth edging in front, winning and scoring a penalty on 21 minutes after Kevin Feely mistakenly tried to run a ball out of play instead of clearing. When Taylor retrieved Feely couldn’t recover having got the wrong side and the young striker was hauled back, though he made a real meal of his tumble to the floor.

The goal sent the large away contingent into raptures and also served to diffuse a situation that threatened to become concerning, a minority of away fans behind the goal spilling to the front of the stand and moving towards a minority of Newport supporters from the Bisley who had in turn moved closer to taunt the visitors, with the Police forced to intervene.

However, we will also do well to remember over time - with fingers no doubt pointed at Chapman and the referee - that another reason Portsmouth were able to secure this most vital of victories in their battle to avoid a third successive relegation and a fourth in five seasons was an absolutely top notch second goal.

Ricky Holmes was the architect – and in truth he terrorised Tom Naylor – weaving his way into a crossing position and picking out a perfect cross for Jed Wallace who headed home with a precise and composed effort that looped away from the despairing Ian McLoughlin.

It was surely a decisive blow but Newport showed great fight in the second half, they defended on the edge – Pompey had chances to bury the hosts and didn’t take them – and committed to attack despite their arrears.

The introduction of Shaun Jeffers made the Exiles more threatening and they began to get joy for an aerial bombardment, corners, throw-ins and second balls won raised the hopes and the vigour of the Amber Army and with the intensity increased inside the stadium, doubts began to creep in for the visitors.

Eventually, with 15 minutes remaining Ismail Yakubu – who replaced Kevin Feely who had a torrid afternoon – nodded home a Robbie Willmott corner and the decibel level in Rodney Parade reached maybe a season high.

Jeffers came close and Lee Minshull suddenly seemed to be everywhere, but County couldn’t make the breakthrough and when Naylor was caught out of position and Blake couldn’t cover in time, his lunge earned him a second yellow and another seat in the bath was occupied before 4.30pm.

That killed off the Newport revival and Portsmouth held out for a vital victory, but there is little doubt this contest will be remembered, like many a Monty Python sketch, for a moment of madness from Chapman.

Newport: (4-3-3): McLoughlin, Naylor (Sandell 86) Hughes, Blake Feely (Yakubu 54) Minshull, Chapman, Flynn, Zebroski, Crow (Jeffers 56)

Subs not used: Porter, Jolley, Holloway, Howe

Booked: Blake, Zebroski

Sent off: Chapman, Blake

Portsmouth: (4-4-2): Carson, Alfei, Shorey, N’Gala, Whatmough (Bradley 62) Ertl (Agyemang 80), Holmes, Hollands, Wallace, Fogden, Taylor (Jervis 53)

Subs not used: Smith, Devera, Racon, McCabe

Booked: Fogden, Wallace, Taylor

Referee: Steve Bratt

Attendance: 4261

Comments (4)

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5:56pm Sun 30 Mar 14

llandaff says...

This write up is all very well. In short we lost! Badly!

However from a supporter's point of view instead of printing fantasy statements from the manager and players before each match why can't we have some honest open comment from you / them on what is actually going on at our club.
There is something very very wrong. So tell us what it is.
This write up is all very well. In short we lost! Badly! However from a supporter's point of view instead of printing fantasy statements from the manager and players before each match why can't we have some honest open comment from you / them on what is actually going on at our club. There is something very very wrong. So tell us what it is. llandaff
  • Score: 5

6:11pm Sun 30 Mar 14

COUNTYVOICE says...

something has gone badly wrong since the boxing day win at wycombe, 2 wins from 17 games is pretty shocking form , and a stark contrast to the promotion form showed before xmas.

it is true when teams are promoted there is a bit of a promotion bounce, and teams play well above their station, but i think county have been found out after christmas , and there has been no plan b.

i think a major restructure needs to be completed in the summer, as there seems to be too many players not up to league 2 level . who those personnel are only the manager can identify.

we can all be amateur managers , but any decisions are not going to be informed ones as none of us are aware of the full facts.

saturday seemed to be another hefty dose of "bad" luck , two sending offs, and a penalty condeming "fortress" rodney parade to another defeat. and i think edinburgh should use the remaining games to try out all personnel and see who really wants to wear the amber shirt and play with pride.

i dont think there should be a manager change, it remains to be seen how much work TIM HARRIS did behind the scenes as justins right hand man.

first priority needs this summer needs to be getting that flaming pitch sorted out and if its not completed this summer heads should roll. county cannot afford anotther scenario next december as they had now. it is unacceptable.

but lets be grateful for some small crumps of comfort like league 2 survival , no more talk of play off places, and hopefully the return of O CONNOR who will i think fiire up a lonely CHRISTIAN JOLLEY up front.

oh god , just though chesterdield away next weekend , get the bus ready to be parked infront of the goals
something has gone badly wrong since the boxing day win at wycombe, 2 wins from 17 games is pretty shocking form , and a stark contrast to the promotion form showed before xmas. it is true when teams are promoted there is a bit of a promotion bounce, and teams play well above their station, but i think county have been found out after christmas , and there has been no plan b. i think a major restructure needs to be completed in the summer, as there seems to be too many players not up to league 2 level . who those personnel are only the manager can identify. we can all be amateur managers , but any decisions are not going to be informed ones as none of us are aware of the full facts. saturday seemed to be another hefty dose of "bad" luck , two sending offs, and a penalty condeming "fortress" rodney parade to another defeat. and i think edinburgh should use the remaining games to try out all personnel and see who really wants to wear the amber shirt and play with pride. i dont think there should be a manager change, it remains to be seen how much work TIM HARRIS did behind the scenes as justins right hand man. first priority needs this summer needs to be getting that flaming pitch sorted out and if its not completed this summer heads should roll. county cannot afford anotther scenario next december as they had now. it is unacceptable. but lets be grateful for some small crumps of comfort like league 2 survival , no more talk of play off places, and hopefully the return of O CONNOR who will i think fiire up a lonely CHRISTIAN JOLLEY up front. oh god , just though chesterdield away next weekend , get the bus ready to be parked infront of the goals COUNTYVOICE
  • Score: 4

6:27pm Sun 30 Mar 14

Harps62 says...

Not sure about the write up above.
An Aerial Bombardment is the last thing we needed as it not done us any good all season
Jeffers did nothing apart from miss a sitter
And to add insult to injury they feature a photo of Who Ate all the pies Crowe
One thing is spot on and that's Ricky Holmes terrorised Naylor And Feely all afternoon.
County committed to attack when you're 2 down at home is not rocket science at all.
Forgot mention the penalty was pathetic as he had plenty of time to hoof it out for a throw or the very worst a corner
Not sure about the write up above. An Aerial Bombardment is the last thing we needed as it not done us any good all season Jeffers did nothing apart from miss a sitter And to add insult to injury they feature a photo of Who Ate all the pies Crowe One thing is spot on and that's Ricky Holmes terrorised Naylor And Feely all afternoon. County committed to attack when you're 2 down at home is not rocket science at all. Forgot mention the penalty was pathetic as he had plenty of time to hoof it out for a throw or the very worst a corner Harps62
  • Score: 3

7:07pm Sun 30 Mar 14

Thomas O'Malley says...

I like Chapman but that's a cowards tackle, jump off the ground and over the ball. Ok the 2 Pompey players had a chip at him in the build-up but nothing too serious - he was just to tricky for them. County really don't need selfish indiscipline from players.
I like Chapman but that's a cowards tackle, jump off the ground and over the ball. Ok the 2 Pompey players had a chip at him in the build-up but nothing too serious - he was just to tricky for them. County really don't need selfish indiscipline from players. Thomas O'Malley
  • Score: 3

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