County back to form on Parade

First published in Newport County

COUNTY 1 BURTON 1

NEWPORT County produced one of their best performances of the campaign today as their status as a League Two club was confirmed for next season.

Defeats for Bristol Rovers, Northampton and Wycombe have rubber-stamped Newport’s survival and they responded with a splendid display in a contest the majority inside Rodney Parade felt was tainted by the performance of referee Brendan Malone.

His award of a hotly-disputed penalty transformed this contest and left Newport to rue the fact their dominance didn’t equate to three points in a contest few would’ve predicted they’d compete in, let alone largely dominant, the only surprise they were unable to build-on Andy Sandell’s thunderbolt opener.

The Exiles are approaching a period in the campaign where only pride and momentum for next season are at stake and in the opening 45 minutes it was abundantly clear that the Newport were a team playing like they’d been released from shackles.

They were bright, vibrant and positive whereas the visitors, who very much were dealing with a pressure occasion as they tried desperately to remain in touch with the automatic promotion chasers in League Two.

The injured Rene Howe was replaced by the more mobile Robbie Willmott and the return of two long-term absentees, Aaron O’Connor on the bench and goalkeeper Lenny Pidgeley making a first start since January, increased further the feel-good factor at Rodney Parade on an initially sun-kissed afternoon. For the first time in a long time, Newport had beach weather to accompany their sandy surface.

And they started like a side secure in their objectives while Burton were often hesitant and struggled to settle into their normal passing game.

Newport attacked the problematic end of the pitch in the first period and went ahead after just five minutes, full-back Andy Sandell able to get forward smartly and drill home characteristically from fully 25-yards as goalkeeper Dean Lyness was beaten at his near post.

The goal didn’t result in any let-up from Newport who pushed for a second against the high-flyers, Zebroski seeing an effort blocked at the last second and Mike Flynn firing just wide as the Exiles made a mockery of their recent woes.

It took a full 30 minutes for the visitors to become a threat and when they did Newport had a real let-off, Michael Symes able to shoot after Pidgeley spilt the ball, but Darcy Blake made a splendid stop.

Blake was making life exceedingly difficult for the visiting attackers, before he was adjudged to have given away a hotly disputed penalty.

Rodney Parade was awash with anger after the 36th minute incident, Dominic Knowles flinging himself to the ground after minimal, if any contact from Blake. Symes, a former youth striker at Everton alongside Wayne Rooney, calmly sent Pidgeley the wrong way.

However, Newport finished the half strongly, a combination of David Gray and the post denying Zebroski after Willmott’s super corner.

The break did nothing to halt Newport’s impressive charge; they easily could’ve scored four inside the opening five minutes of the second period.

First Zebroski dragged wide, before Lee Minshull saw an even better chance deflected over the crossbar. From the resultant corner, not cleared, Kevin Feely struck the inside of the post and from a sweeping move, Willmott’s shot was tipped onto the bar by Lyness after Christian Jolley’s run and cross.

The positivity inside Rodney Parade continued with Aaron O’Connor introduced for the first time at home all season following his career-threatening injury worries.

The visitors did have time for some late scares of their own, but after such an assured performance, it was Newport who looked the likelier winners, with sub Shaun Jeffers involved in two big moments, first failing to beat Lyness with a free header from six yards before being seemingly hauled down by Callum McFadzean, the referee regrettably not able to keep up with the move and in an awful position to assess the situation.

In injury-time the Exiles again came close, Willmott’s corner met firmly with a Sandell header, but Lyness clawed the ball out somehow.

It allowed the visitors to cling on for a point, but the Exiles will feel desperately unlucky not to have turned domination into three points.

Newport (4-3-3): Pidgeley, Jackson, Sandell, Feely, Blake, Flynn (O’Connor 56), Minshull (Jeffers 76), Porter, Willmott, Jolley (Chapman 62), Zebroski

Subs not used: McLoughlin, Hughes, Holloway

Booked:

Burton Albion (4-4-2): Lyness, McFadzean, Holness, Sharps, Gray, Phillips, Palmer, Bell, Hemmings (MacDonald 60), Symes (Kee 78), Knowles (Harness 72)

Subs not used: Lainton, Edwards, Alexander, Slade

Booked: Gray, MacDonald

Referee: Brendan Malone

Attendance: 2630

Argus star man: Kevin Feely

Comments (16)

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5:39pm Mon 21 Apr 14

sooty001 says...

Yes a good game spoilt by an abysmal overweight referee who could not keep up with play. They seem to send all the dross of officials to Newport to referee games, it must be some sort of punishment for them lol.
Yes a good game spoilt by an abysmal overweight referee who could not keep up with play. They seem to send all the dross of officials to Newport to referee games, it must be some sort of punishment for them lol. sooty001
  • Score: 4

6:02pm Mon 21 Apr 14

keithbob says...

how we get such bad officials is beyond comprehension,it just seems they have a grudge against a welsh side playing in the english football league,and make it so obvious with their biased decisions against us.
how we get such bad officials is beyond comprehension,it just seems they have a grudge against a welsh side playing in the english football league,and make it so obvious with their biased decisions against us. keithbob
  • Score: 5

6:11pm Mon 21 Apr 14

larneman says...

Totally agree with the above. Well done County. Position now secure so we can all relax. I hope we can get bigger crowds next season, and at least we should be having home games this time over xmas.
Totally agree with the above. Well done County. Position now secure so we can all relax. I hope we can get bigger crowds next season, and at least we should be having home games this time over xmas. larneman
  • Score: 3

6:49pm Mon 21 Apr 14

Sonny Side says...

A couple more wins and a a draw or two and we'd have been well in the play-offs.
A couple more wins and a a draw or two and we'd have been well in the play-offs. Sonny Side
  • Score: 3

7:02pm Mon 21 Apr 14

Rodneyboy says...

How this man was ever allowed to referee at this level is beyond me.He was not up with play for any of the important decisions.But well done County for a fine attacking display.shame the finishing wasn't up to the build up play.
How this man was ever allowed to referee at this level is beyond me.He was not up with play for any of the important decisions.But well done County for a fine attacking display.shame the finishing wasn't up to the build up play. Rodneyboy
  • Score: 3

7:19pm Mon 21 Apr 14

llandaff says...

Burton were an absolute disgrace with deliberate collapsing of players every time County outplayed them. If this is how they want to achieve a play off place then it is a sad day for football.
The referee was amateurish, utterly naive and was duped by the downright cheating by the Burton players. Suggest he has a quick visit to Specsavers and then resigns his post as he has no business in the football league if this is his standard. Penalty indeed?!
As for County, what a joy they were to see today and what a strike from Mr Sandell. County were far superior to their ragged opponents and were unlucky to be saddled with such a poor match official. UTC!
Burton were an absolute disgrace with deliberate collapsing of players every time County outplayed them. If this is how they want to achieve a play off place then it is a sad day for football. The referee was amateurish, utterly naive and was duped by the downright cheating by the Burton players. Suggest he has a quick visit to Specsavers and then resigns his post as he has no business in the football league if this is his standard. Penalty indeed?! As for County, what a joy they were to see today and what a strike from Mr Sandell. County were far superior to their ragged opponents and were unlucky to be saddled with such a poor match official. UTC! llandaff
  • Score: 8

7:36pm Mon 21 Apr 14

the dork says...

Sad
Sad the dork
  • Score: -3

7:44pm Mon 21 Apr 14

hazellboy says...

hear we go blame the ref ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ
ZZZZZ
hear we go blame the ref ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ ZZZZZ hazellboy
  • Score: -10

7:51pm Mon 21 Apr 14

llandaff says...

hazellboy wrote:
hear we go blame the ref ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

ZZZZZ
You must have been asleep like he was!
[quote][p][bold]hazellboy[/bold] wrote: hear we go blame the ref ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ ZZZZZ[/p][/quote]You must have been asleep like he was! llandaff
  • Score: 5

8:16pm Mon 21 Apr 14

Adrian Williams says...

hazellboy wrote:
hear we go blame the ref ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

ZZZZZ
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz at you more like.If you'd have offered me a point before the game I'd have taken it but after the game I am disappointed having outplayed one of the better sides in the league, hitting the woodwork a few times and having one cleared off the line. Their pen was embarrassing - their player clearly fell over and the fat dumpy ref gave it - how are officials that incompetent and literally not fit to referee allowed to officiate at this level ? The cheating so and so also blew up early at the end the minute we started a counter attack. Looking forward to next season with optimism - proud of our boys
[quote][p][bold]hazellboy[/bold] wrote: hear we go blame the ref ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ ZZZZZ[/p][/quote]zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz at you more like.If you'd have offered me a point before the game I'd have taken it but after the game I am disappointed having outplayed one of the better sides in the league, hitting the woodwork a few times and having one cleared off the line. Their pen was embarrassing - their player clearly fell over and the fat dumpy ref gave it - how are officials that incompetent and literally not fit to referee allowed to officiate at this level ? The cheating so and so also blew up early at the end the minute we started a counter attack. Looking forward to next season with optimism - proud of our boys Adrian Williams
  • Score: 3

8:44pm Mon 21 Apr 14

netala says...

agree about ref. he was sweating long before the half time whistle. been complaining about standard of refs. all season, glad to see I`m not paranoid. sorry to say this but Darcy Blake did nothing or very little, in his defensive role he never jumped to beat a forward ,just bustled them , and not very successfully. he`s not giving the defence any stability. we certainly need a taller central defender. strange move in second half Zebroski and Jeffers wide and Oconner and Willmott in the middle where all the balls ere played it was a con that didn`t work. anyway no need to worry until next season
agree about ref. he was sweating long before the half time whistle. been complaining about standard of refs. all season, glad to see I`m not paranoid. sorry to say this but Darcy Blake did nothing or very little, in his defensive role he never jumped to beat a forward ,just bustled them , and not very successfully. he`s not giving the defence any stability. we certainly need a taller central defender. strange move in second half Zebroski and Jeffers wide and Oconner and Willmott in the middle where all the balls ere played it was a con that didn`t work. anyway no need to worry until next season netala
  • Score: 1

8:45pm Mon 21 Apr 14

asrncafc says...

hazellboy wrote:
hear we go blame the ref ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

ZZZZZ
What a stupid and utterly out-of-place comment on the day when County managed to confirm their League 2 status with two matches still to be played.

,,,, and 'here' not 'hear'
[quote][p][bold]hazellboy[/bold] wrote: hear we go blame the ref ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ ZZZZZ[/p][/quote]What a stupid and utterly out-of-place comment on the day when County managed to confirm their League 2 status with two matches still to be played. ,,,, and 'here' not 'hear' asrncafc
  • Score: 2

9:03pm Mon 21 Apr 14

Adrian Williams says...

netala wrote:
agree about ref. he was sweating long before the half time whistle. been complaining about standard of refs. all season, glad to see I`m not paranoid. sorry to say this but Darcy Blake did nothing or very little, in his defensive role he never jumped to beat a forward ,just bustled them , and not very successfully. he`s not giving the defence any stability. we certainly need a taller central defender. strange move in second half Zebroski and Jeffers wide and Oconner and Willmott in the middle where all the balls ere played it was a con that didn`t work. anyway no need to worry until next season
Strange how people can view the same player differently. Me, I think Blake looks assured and has added stability to our defense. No coincidence that results have improved since him and Feely have come into the team
[quote][p][bold]netala[/bold] wrote: agree about ref. he was sweating long before the half time whistle. been complaining about standard of refs. all season, glad to see I`m not paranoid. sorry to say this but Darcy Blake did nothing or very little, in his defensive role he never jumped to beat a forward ,just bustled them , and not very successfully. he`s not giving the defence any stability. we certainly need a taller central defender. strange move in second half Zebroski and Jeffers wide and Oconner and Willmott in the middle where all the balls ere played it was a con that didn`t work. anyway no need to worry until next season[/p][/quote]Strange how people can view the same player differently. Me, I think Blake looks assured and has added stability to our defense. No coincidence that results have improved since him and Feely have come into the team Adrian Williams
  • Score: 2

9:16pm Mon 21 Apr 14

ohc says...

All my life I've heard County supporters moaning about poor refs

All teams are subject to the same officials over a season

For JE's benefit the way to counter a bad penalty decision is to score goals. As usual with this County side and Manager, we didn't today

Lets move on and get some people in who can make and score goals
All my life I've heard County supporters moaning about poor refs All teams are subject to the same officials over a season For JE's benefit the way to counter a bad penalty decision is to score goals. As usual with this County side and Manager, we didn't today Lets move on and get some people in who can make and score goals ohc
  • Score: -2

9:28pm Mon 21 Apr 14

venga says...

Sharing a pitch with a rugby team is always a no no. This has been a big factor in Exiles loss of form.....rather like playing on a half dried swamp. lets hope the flooding problem can be solved during the summer. JE needs money to buy good players and push for promotion next term.
Sharing a pitch with a rugby team is always a no no. This has been a big factor in Exiles loss of form.....rather like playing on a half dried swamp. lets hope the flooding problem can be solved during the summer. JE needs money to buy good players and push for promotion next term. venga
  • Score: 1

8:16am Tue 22 Apr 14

netala says...

sorry Adrian,but I don`t have a pair of rose coloured glasses, just an ordinary pair of clear glass. I do agree with Feely though. in fairness Blake is not the only problem at the club. with one or two exceptions, all the players must hold their hands up and admit they were partly to blame i.e. getting sent off is not helping the team forward.
sorry Adrian,but I don`t have a pair of rose coloured glasses, just an ordinary pair of clear glass. I do agree with Feely though. in fairness Blake is not the only problem at the club. with one or two exceptions, all the players must hold their hands up and admit they were partly to blame i.e. getting sent off is not helping the team forward. netala
  • Score: 0

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