Crawley Town v Newport County

Saturday 20th October 2018  k.o 3:00pm

Sky Bet Football League Two


Report from Mark Vickery at Broadfield Stadium


Crawley Town 4 (Maguire 1, Morias 64 pen, Palmer 72, Nathaniel-George 79)

Newport County 1 (Matt 59)


Attendance: 2,157



Newport County        LWWLWWWDDW   

Crawley Town           LWWWLWLWLL               



County let their guard down



County have several enforced injuries and will need to adjust. Crawley have been strong at home so key they do not allow them any momentum.

Quite, warm sunny and light breeze. Pitch in decent condition.

Poor start allowed too much freedom from front to back despite brief rally after half time

Third goal killed off challenge

County made several changes with Tyler Forbes injured David Pipe deputised at right back with County retaining 433 formation. There were also three enforced changes in midfield with Matt Dolan suffering from a knock in training, Tyreeq Bakinson struggling with a dead leg and Robbie Willmott not recovered from a heavy challenge against Stevenage. County drafted in Charlie Cooper to partner Scott Bennett and Josh Sheehan playing in a more offensive role. County had a chance almost from the kick off when a ball down the middle was seized upon by Matt and he threaded a decent low pass for Semenyo to latch onto who struck a low first time shot which the keeper Morris plucked out of the air. Crawley took the kick quickly and caught County half asleep with Morais directing a pass to the right flank and Young made the most of space with Butler backing off. The cross was cut back and left back Maguire ghosted in past Pipe to slot into the left corner from 12 yards with a shot on the turn. County made efforts to respond with some direct play to use Matt who did well with some keenly contested challenges with Connolly. Crawley continued to probe away controlling the middle of the pitch with Morais coordinating the play and Payne snapping up possession. Crawley were efficient using their right channel playing out from the back and County were given another warning on 12 minutes. Right back Young advanced deep inside the County half and cut inside near the right corner of the box and addressed a low shot which Day held well. County were more effective when they played from deep and created a decent move on 18 minutes when Butler drove down the left flank only to be crudely checked by Camara. The referee failed to warrant the card it deserved but from the resultant free kick by Sheehan to delivery was dangerous and flashed deep just beyond the right post. Crawley continued with the tact of breaking up play quickly with Amond and Semenyo struggling to retain possession and pick up flicks on won by Matt. Crawley created another move from deep on 20 minutes with Young again taking up an advanced position right side with a strong run. He played a similar ball across the edge of the area to the opening goal which Gambin seized upon before directing a low shot from 20 yards which Day parried away well. Morias continued to influence the game with his passing and made the most of the freedom offered by County in the midfield. On 22 minutes, he was quick to support a direct move a lay off by Palmer and his low powerful effort from 25 yards was parried around the right post by Day. County made efforts to work the left flank to counter the raids by Crawley with right back Young seeing a lot of the ball. On 30 minutes, Semenyo lost the ball cheaply on the flank with Francomb picking his pocket and his low pass found Young who provided a good cross right side of the area picking out Gambin in acres of space but his low shot was well saved by Day. On 35 minutes, Young was again causing problems when a deft cross from the right byline was met by Palmer back post but his header was inches wide of the left post with Franks doing just enough to put him off. County were most threatening down the left side and a strong run by Semenyo was crudely abrupted by Camara but still no card forthcoming despite the referee playing the advantage. Crawley had a free kick in a threatening position on 43 minutes on the left side of the box. Morais whipped in a useful delivery to the front post which County managed to get safe. County had a decent chance in first half injury time when a corner from the right side by Cooper flashed deep and Butler set up a snapshot for Franks on the edge of the area but his shot was dragged well wide of the right post.

County had more menace about them in the early stages of the second half with some better mobility and appetite to keep the ball. On 47 minutes, County had a great chance when the broke from deep with a move hugging the right channel. Matt did well to provide an early cross into the box which Amond anticipated well with a shot on the turn from 10 yards which the keeper reacted to well with a smart save. County continued to probe away winning their tackles in midfield with Cooper and Bennett seeing more of the ball. On 52 minutes Semenyo slipped a decent pass left side to turn the Crawley defence and Matt got ahead of Payne before being pulled back and he was booked. County sensed some anxiety and with them moving the ball more effectively Crawley were forced into some untidy challenges. On 55 minutes, Connolly was booked for a tackle from behind on Cooper who was penetrating down the middle. From the free kick, Crawley were anxious clearing and Matt had a somewhat rushed header from 10 yards go well wide of the left post when he should have worked the keeper. County persevered and it paid off 59 minutes with a smart move down the left side of the pitch with Bennett finding Semenyo. He did well to caress a good header into the area to pick out Matt who turned away from Connolly who was reluctant to challenge. He carried his run before blasting a powerful shot into the right corner beyond the grasp of Morris. County needed to settle their game down and retain possession but Crawley reasserted their game with some direct play using the aerial prowess of Palmer. On 63 minutes, County gifted a Crawley the lead again when they were forced deep but Demetriou dwelled on a clearance allowing Palmer to steal the ball and Franks was clumsy brushing him with a challenge. The referee awarded a penalty despite minimal contact and Morias slotted home into the roof of the net with Day going the wrong way and was booked for over-celebrating. Crawley had their tails up again with Young coming back into the game on the right side with supporting runs. Butler was booked on 67 minutes for a mistimed tackle on Young as he broke down the right flank with County beginning to loose discipline with decisions going against them. Crawley made a change soon after with Doherty replacing Maguire. County remained a threat on the left side and went close on 70 minutes when Butler drove down the left side to receive a pass from Semenyo. He cut back a decent cross into the area despite being under pressure from Francomb which pinpointed Matt but his header from 8 yards was just over under pressure from Connolly. County made a change soon after with Sheehan replacing Harris who was soon in the action carrying the ball from deep. On 72 minutes, Harris was in promising position with the ball at his feet deep inside the Crawley half but lost possession cheaply allowing Doherty to find the run of Francomb left flank. He was given far too much space by Pipe and despite Bennett trying to cover the cross it was delivered deep to the back post and Palmer ghosted in to head into the left corner. The goal knocked the stuffing out of County and Crawley maintained their momentum with Gambin replaced by Nathaniel-George. County looked able when they made the ball stick final third but always vulnerable on the counter and had another let off on 76 minutes when Amond squandered possession and Payne slipped a good quick pass right side to find Palmer. He made the most of the space but his shot from an acute angle was wide of the left post. Crawley added a fourth on the break on 79 minutes when Nathaniel-George made a piercing run down the middle and despite Pipe tracking the strong run no challenge was forthcoming and he drilled a clever curling shot into the right corner from 20 yards. Crawley made their final change soon after with Bulman replacing Payne in midfield and County replaced Matt with Pring who went left midfield. County had a good situation on 82 minutes near the edge of the area with Semenyo doing well to side step a rash challenge from Connolly but the referee ignored the appeals for a penalty. To add to the frustration, Crawley went immediately direct typifying their decisive edge they had over County and Franks was late with a lunging tackle on Nathaniel-George and got himself a straight red card. Francomb was then booked for a lunging challenge on Pring as he motored down the left flank when it could have been a red. County put Bennett back in defence and conceded territory in the final stages of the game with Crawley enjoying plenty of width and Camara went close with a couple of shots from the edge of the area. In the 6 minutes of injury time, County contained Crawley but they were unable to work the keeper despite some possession and were well beaten on the day.

Day (6)  rushed on some back passes and distribution was erratic. Made some smart saves low down first half to keep County in game but well beaten on third and fourth goal

Pipe (5)  allowed too much freedom and positionally poor on times especially not getting tackle in early. Crosses were restricted and those put in lack bite.

Butler (6) probably the best defender on the day but struggled to cope with Young first half backing off too much. More authoritative after half time initiating some good moves.

Demetriou (5)  anxious and slow making some clearances which proved costly. Coped with aerial threat from Palmer but was overworked and pulled about too much today.

Franks (4) did alright in the aerial duals clearing well and was untroubled first half but after giving away penalty seemed to lose his head and concentration

Bennett (6) influence on the ball was limited, had a better spell after half time when he got the ball and won his challenges but forced too deep for large parts

Cooper (5) game by passed him for large periods. Did alright when he had the ball but was just not reading it or quick enough to react. Offered little influence final third.

Sheehan (6)  worked hard to pick holes and provided some good set pieces but not getting enough shots on goal or penetration inside box. Faded early

Semenyo (6)  did his best to carry and forge space left side and offered little protection from the referee. When he lost the ball, County were in left in trouble on times

Matt (7) quiet first half but got in a few headers inside the box and offered the most threat on the day. Did well with runs in behind and got deserved goal for his efforts.

Amond (5)  lax on times off the ball closing down and unusually flat today struggling to hold the ball under pressure. Restricted to one real chance and got offside several times.



both full backs were prominent attacking and pushing on. Central midfield they were combative and composed passing and lively on the counter

Weaknesses  they conceded several fouls getting away with some of cynical play unpunished, centre back were slow when turned in behind.

Opportunities  they concentrated on coming out from the back quickly with slick low passing. Went more direct second half to use Palmer.
 Palmer was decent in the air and had an eye for a shot. Young and Francomb worked in tandem right side. Gambin edge of the area shots and link play.

C Breakspear (5) lenient first half and should have booked Camara for cynical play. Started flashing his cards about second half but still missed a lot.

Josh Payne did simple things very well, tackled, broke up play with alertness and sprayed some good range of passes low and high.  


County made a bad start to this game and never really recovered despite a better spell after half time when they showed some teeth and it looked like they could turn the game on its head for a short time. County played a very bold attacking 4-3-3 formation which has worked for them on times this season but there was vulnerability today. The midfield may have been weakened but the problems often arose when County were on the attack and lost the ball in good situations. County were poor defending their left channel first half especially when Semenyo was crowded out of the game. The midfield were unable to sustain enough possession and the front three looked laboured with Crawley stifling play quickly and slipping quick low passes direct from the back to Palmer and Gambin who roamed with too much space offered. Can County can play three away from home? Possibly, but they were far too lazy as a unit today allowing Crawley to work ball out wide with Butler and Pipe often left stretched. When County made the ball stick better after half time they looked good but imploded later switching off and lacking discipline. County will need to adjust again in the next match at Bury and may need to consider playing more compact formation with Pring potentially offering balance, strength and pace left midfield. Bury are in good form and will start favourites and County will need to do much better to squash threat in and around the edge of the area with Mayor and Adams offering creativity and wont shy getting in shots from distance.