Big calls pay off for Justin Edinburgh

Big calls pay off for Justin Edinburgh

GOAL: Chris Zebroski celebrates scoring the opening goal of the gamePicture: JON BEVAN

Newport County v Burton Albion at Rodney Parade. Pictured is Newport County player Ryan Jackson with the ball. (9616488)

Newport County v Burton Albion at Rodney Parade. Pictured is Newport County player Adam Chapman with a shot at goal. (9616516)

Newport County v Burton Albion at Rodney Parade. Pictured is Newport County player Aaron O'Connor on the attack deep in Albion's half. (9616519)

Newport County v Burton Albion at Rodney Parade. Pictured is Newport County player Chris Zebroski winning the header and scoring the opening goal of the first half. (9616537)

First published in Newport County
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WHAT a difference a point makes.

The League Two table still doesn’t make for pretty viewing for Newport County AFC.

And the loss of Rene Howe to a season-ending injury took some of the shine off the day.

But Saturday’s performance, particularly in the first half, and the result against a team almost certain to be among the promotion pack this season were reasons to cheer for manager Justin Edinburgh and his team.

It was desperately needed after a miserable start to the new campaign with three straight defeats in the league and a Capital One Cup first round exit.

In complete contrast, Burton Albion arrived at Rodney Parade with a 100 per cent record and anticipating a cup tie at home to Premier League QPR on Wednesday.

After victories over Oxford United, Dagenham & Redbridge and Exeter City, and Championship Wigan Athletic in the cup, Gary Rowett’s men must have thought that three points were there for the taking.

But, following defeats to Wycombe Wanderers, Morecambe and Mansfield Town, as well as Championship Reading in the cup, Edinburgh made some big calls and they paid off.

Dropping your captain is never easy but the Exiles boss wasn’t afraid to do it last year with David Pipe and he was brave enough to leave Andy Sandell out after a similarly indifferent period.

On both occasions Ryan Jackson was the beneficiary and he more than justified his recall against Burton with a superb display in attack and defence.

Robbie Willmott was shifted to left wing-back and he too was excellent as County put the early-season pacesetters under serious pressure for the first hour of the game.

With Ismail Yakubu also dropping to the bench, Darren Jones took over as captain and he used all his Football League experience to guide youngsters Andrew Hughes and Kevin Feely through a testing afternoon.

County started brightly and looked full of confidence with Adam Chapman and Mark Byrne pulling the strings in midfield and Chris Zebroski making himself a nuisance up front.

But they still required their fair share of luck to get the campaign up and running – something that was missing for the last few weeks.

The opening goal on 37 minutes was a gift. Chris Zebroski’s header was on target but Brewers skipper Ian Sharps should have been able to clear rather than head onto the bar and into his own net.

John Mousinho levelled on 51 minutes after Lenny Pidgeley, Feely and Jones failed to clear a high ball and allowed the midfielder’s scuffed half volley to nestle in the back of the net.

And the visitors could and probably should have snatched all three points near the end.

After a poor Byrne pass, Lucas Akins beat the offside trap, beat Hughes after the defender had chased back admirably, and beat Pidgeley but his neat chip clipped the post and rebounded to safety.

Another defeat would have been very harsh on the hosts, however.

They could have had a second goal themselves in the first half through Lee Minshull.

The former AFC Wimbledon man is not usually noted for his goal of the season contenders but he would surely have been in the running had the 25-yard dipping volley dropped just a few inches lower just before the break.

As it was it cannoned back off the bar and, on reflection, both sides will probably regard this as a good point come the business end of the season.

It wasn’t all positive news for County, of course. It rarely is.

Howe will require surgery after he ruptured a thigh muscle in training on Thursday and is unlikely to play again this season.

His teammates are 22nd in the embryonic League Two table and they know that another defeat at high flying Portsmouth will pile on the pressure once again.

And the pre-match Red Devil parachutists, part of the NATO celebrations, appeared to damage the precious surface with divots and burn marks visible during the game. Thanks for that Barack Obama!

County: Pidgeley, Jackson, Feely, Jones, Hughes, Willmott, Minshull, Chapman, Byrne, O'Connor (Jeffers, 81), Zebroski

Subs not used: Thomas, Yakubu, Sandell, Klukowski, Patten, Jolley

Burton: McLaughlin; Edwards, Sharps, Cansdell-Sherriff, Taft; Akins, Mousinho, Weir, McFadzean (Harness, 79); Beavon, McGurk (MacDonald, 68)

Subs not used: Lyness, Bell, Knowles, Palmer, Slade

Booked: Edwards

Referee: Kevin Johnson

Attendance: 2,872

Comments (8)

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4:09pm Sun 24 Aug 14

Rubble4 says...

Jackson deserves his place in the side now Justin.He is pure quality
Jackson deserves his place in the side now Justin.He is pure quality Rubble4
  • Score: 15

7:47pm Sun 24 Aug 14

Dafydd y Garreg Wen says...

'Thanks for that Barack Obama!' Political statements have no place in a sports report! The pitch damage to which you refer, was minimal and was mainly some staining from the smoke canisters. I for one, enjoyed the display, the only downside was the disrespect shown by the RP Ground staff and Tim Thraves towards the band at halftime.
'Thanks for that Barack Obama!' Political statements have no place in a sports report! The pitch damage to which you refer, was minimal and was mainly some staining from the smoke canisters. I for one, enjoyed the display, the only downside was the disrespect shown by the RP Ground staff and Tim Thraves towards the band at halftime. Dafydd y Garreg Wen
  • Score: 8

9:15pm Sun 24 Aug 14

Clever Trevor says...

I thought the red mist was from from JE before the game !!!
Funny how people view a game, from where I was sat it looked as though hughes was chasing back, the burton player was in on goal and had a good start, ok he never tackled him like feeley did in his great tackle but I thought he put him off a bit.
Enjoyed the band and the game, thought tim could have piped down at half time, talking of which, I saw pipey in the Bisley.
I thought the red mist was from from JE before the game !!! Funny how people view a game, from where I was sat it looked as though hughes was chasing back, the burton player was in on goal and had a good start, ok he never tackled him like feeley did in his great tackle but I thought he put him off a bit. Enjoyed the band and the game, thought tim could have piped down at half time, talking of which, I saw pipey in the Bisley. Clever Trevor
  • Score: 6

9:37pm Sun 24 Aug 14

Sing up for the amber boys says...

The only chance that I'd make for next game is Jeffers for O'Connor
The only chance that I'd make for next game is Jeffers for O'Connor Sing up for the amber boys
  • Score: 3

8:11am Mon 25 Aug 14

Sing up for the amber boys says...

(change) sorry. Jeffers has waited a long time for his chance, he looks lively and hasl the thing that defenders hate - pace
(change) sorry. Jeffers has waited a long time for his chance, he looks lively and hasl the thing that defenders hate - pace Sing up for the amber boys
  • Score: 2

9:21am Mon 25 Aug 14

Harps62 says...

Dafydd y Garreg Wen wrote:
'Thanks for that Barack Obama!' Political statements have no place in a sports report! The pitch damage to which you refer, was minimal and was mainly some staining from the smoke canisters. I for one, enjoyed the display, the only downside was the disrespect shown by the RP Ground staff and Tim Thraves towards the band at halftime.
Not very clever putting the sprinklers on the Band.
[quote][p][bold]Dafydd y Garreg Wen[/bold] wrote: 'Thanks for that Barack Obama!' Political statements have no place in a sports report! The pitch damage to which you refer, was minimal and was mainly some staining from the smoke canisters. I for one, enjoyed the display, the only downside was the disrespect shown by the RP Ground staff and Tim Thraves towards the band at halftime.[/p][/quote]Not very clever putting the sprinklers on the Band. Harps62
  • Score: 5

11:03am Mon 25 Aug 14

tootsandtash says...

Shame we only the band and sky divers were great who heck turned the sprinklers on
Shame we only the band and sky divers were great who heck turned the sprinklers on tootsandtash
  • Score: 4

11:26am Mon 25 Aug 14

Thomas O'Malley says...

Clever Trevor wrote:
I thought the red mist was from from JE before the game !!!
Funny how people view a game, from where I was sat it looked as though hughes was chasing back, the burton player was in on goal and had a good start, ok he never tackled him like feeley did in his great tackle but I thought he put him off a bit.
Enjoyed the band and the game, thought tim could have piped down at half time, talking of which, I saw pipey in the Bisley.
Absolutely right about Hughes. The striker had a good lead and Hughes chased back to overtake him - with help from the post and Lenny ultimately saved a goal.
[quote][p][bold]Clever Trevor[/bold] wrote: I thought the red mist was from from JE before the game !!! Funny how people view a game, from where I was sat it looked as though hughes was chasing back, the burton player was in on goal and had a good start, ok he never tackled him like feeley did in his great tackle but I thought he put him off a bit. Enjoyed the band and the game, thought tim could have piped down at half time, talking of which, I saw pipey in the Bisley.[/p][/quote]Absolutely right about Hughes. The striker had a good lead and Hughes chased back to overtake him - with help from the post and Lenny ultimately saved a goal. Thomas O'Malley
  • Score: 2

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