Newport County v Grimsby Town

Saturday 25th August 2018   k.o 3:00pm

Sky Bet Football League Two  

 

Report from Mark Vickery at Rodney Parade

 

Newport County 1 (Dolan 40)

Grimsby Town 0 

 

Attendance: 3,288

 

Form:

Newport County        LWWDW     

Notts County              LWLDD

 

 

Dominant performance by County  

 

 

PRE-MATCH THOUGHTS
There were a lot of positives to take into game after Tuesday but expecting Grimsby to sit in and look for the sucker punch so key County are patient today.

CONDITIONS
Long sunny  spells, quite warm with keen breeze. Pitch was in excellent condition.

SUMMING UP OUR PERFORMANCE IN ONE STATEMENT
Asserted game from the offset, defended very well and should have made it more comfortable.

TURNING POINT
The opening goal forced Grimsby out and made County stronger.

THE MATCH
County retained the same starting line up but Keanu Marsh-Brown was injured and missing from the bench so defender Jay Foulston was named substitute. County started well playing into the wind and used the ball effectively with Amond and Harris making some lively runs forward. On 3 minutes, County had a decent chance from a move down the left flank with Butler releasing a good pass in behind which released Amond goalside of Whitmore. He carried his run but checked inside allowing Whitmore to recover and delay his shot which was deflected wide of the left post by Davis. Grimsby played three up front with Woolford right side and Hooper left to support Cook in the middle and looked to test County with some balls to the flank. County soaked up pressure well and created some forceful runs on the right flank with right back Forbes seeing plenty of the ball and prepared to cross early. On 15 minutes, a more cohesive move by Grimsby saw them work the ball right side and Woolford showed flexibility to cut inside and drill an opportunist effort wide of the left post from 25 yards. County continued to penetrate well right side with Forbes testing left back Hendrie with some strong runs. On 22 minutes, County were close when Forbes did well receiving a pass down the right side of the area from Bakinson and carry his run to the byline. From a tight position he produced a decent cross and Harris had the ball taken off his feet after an important intervention by Whitmore. Grimsby had a better spell of possession midway through the half with Woolford the main outlet right side and they worked a couple of hopeful crosses into the area which County marshalled well. County retained the ball well final third and Grimsby were coaxed into several free kicks which dealt with but it was a warning with County building a head of steam. On 30 minutes, a corner from the right side by Dolan caused all sorts of problems and a nervous headed clearance was anticipated well by Demetriou who struck a half volley inches wide of the left post from 12 yards. Then moment later, a bright move on the left flank saw Sheehan do well to link with Butler and his snapshot on the left side of the area was pushed away by McKeown to the edge of the area and Forbes drilled an excellent shot which was blocked well by Famewo. County were effervescent and another decent move on 34 minutes caught Grimsby sleeping when Bakinson found Amond on the right side of the area. He brushed off a challenge from Famewo and his a decent low effort on the turn from 16 yards which was on target but unfortunate that it hit Harris and went safe. On 36 minutes, County were close from a slick move down the middle with Sheehan seeing a gap and he curled an effort from 25 yards just around the right post. On 38 minutes, Grimsby had a free kick in a decent position on the right side of the area but Woolford failed to work keeper Day. On 40 minutes, County punished Grimsby with Forbes doing well to invite a late challenge from Hooper tracking back on the right side. Dolan stepped up expertly a curled an excellent effort into the right corner which left McKeown rooted to the spot. County maintained their grip on the game as half time approached holding the ball well and Harris was on the end of a couple of late challenges which the referee failed to punish.

Grimsby made a change at half time with ex-County midfielder Mitch Rose replacing Harry Clifton in central midfield. County retained the tempo and industry to their game forcing Grimsby deep in the early stages. On 50 minutes, Grimsby captain Welsh lunged in a challenge with Bakinson catching him late and was somewhat fortunate to just receive a yellow card such was the intent. On 52 minutes, County created an excellent move on the right side with Forbes prominent in finding the run of Harris who slipped a pass inside for Bakinson but his effort from 25 yards was wide of the right post and bar. On 54 minutes, Bakinson was again causing problems with a piercing run down the middle and his drive from 30 yards was rising and went over the bar. In purple patch for County, another bright right sided move saw Forbes link to find Harris and he tricked his way into right side of the area past Hendrie and blasted a decent effort just inches right of the post and into the side netting. Grimsby were forced into change to change their tact and Hooper was replaced by Thomas with left back Hendrie switching to right midfield. On 57 minutes, a direct move Grimsby saw Woolford do well to unsettle Bennett in a challenge and Cook picked up the loose ball but was forced wide well by Demetriou and his effort from 14 yards fizzed over the bar. On 62 minutes, Butler was booked after a late challenge on Hendrie with Grimsby forcing some better move on the right flank. With Grimsby playing 3-4-3, they looked increasingly vulnerable at the back when they lost possession. On 65 minutes, County had another decent situation down the right side when Forbes got into a threatening position on the flank. He showed versatility to cut inside and curl a decent effort on this left foot from 25 yards just wide of the left post. County made their first change on 72 minutes with Harris on the end of a couple of knocks and he was replaced by Semenyo. On 75 minutes, County penetrated well down the middle with Dolan slipping a neat pass for Sheehan and drove forward only to see his low shot from 25 yards deflected wide of the left post by Davis. Grimsby made their final change moments later with Vernam. County made a change on 80 minutes to freshen their approach with Dolan replaced by Cooper. County had a couple of corner from their approach play but Grimsby dealt with them pretty well and made efforts to sweep forward in the final stages with better hold up play by Vernam and Cook. On 86 minutes, County introduced their last change with Matt replacing Sheehan and County added to their corner count without testing the keeper. County were happy to hold the ball in corner in the five minutes of injury time running down the clock. Grimsby did have a couple of decent situations from kicks but County held firm with some stout defending. Deep in injury time, Grimsby had Vernam sent off for a high dangerous challenge which caught Forbes late but County took all the plaudits for their consistent performance.

 

Day (7)  Had little to do today but cleared well from passes back and came forward to claim with good handling. Kicked a little long second half but effective on times

Forbes (8) took control to initiate several decent moves and decisive to provide cutting crosses. Was energetic throughout and put left back into the corner with well-timed runs.

Butler (7) was forced back on times by Woolford but marked tightly and put in some brave aerial challenges. Pushed on more second half and remained composed after booking.

Demetriou (8)  won his tackles and was strong with his headers. Broke intelligently to set up some good moves and went close again on several set pieces

Bennett (7) was alert to the runs made by Cook and quelled the threat well to break up and distribute. Was tested in latter stages but made some good clearances to avert danger

Franks (8) stifled threat offered down the left side dominating the aerial duals and releases some measured passes right flank. Cleared effectively and closely marked on set pieces.

Bakinson (8) put in a great shift, alert to loose ball and was confident with ball at feet. Fended off challenges well despite little protection and went close few times from distance   

Dolan (7) picked a number of decent passes with plenty of variety. Competed well in the air and on the floor and provided usual quota of set pieces with precise effort to score.

Sheehan (7)  made several good runs to stretch play and carry threat and passed well. Put in a few quicker shots and moved up gears with his game today before fading late on.

Harris (7)  quieter game and was kicked black and blue but still managed to keep getting up from it. Retained ball well and went close several times with shots in around area.

Amond (7)  did well with his hold up play especially first half and despite being restricted on chances his contribution and awareness to use ball was key.

 

 

SWOT ANALYSIS OPPONENTS
Strengths
they did show some intricacy and intelligent with their passing and centre back were decent facing forward to contest in the air.

Weaknesses  struggled to keep the ball on the park on times and lacked cohesion and conviction. Gave away several fouls a lot were unnecessary

Opportunities they went for three up front but never made the ball stick. Gambled second half putting left back into right midfield and had more of the ball late on.
Threats
 Woolford was willing outlet and eye for goal. Cook made some intelligent runs and Whitehouse decent in the air.

OFFICIALS
N Hair (7) not sure on the red card late on but missed another one earlier. Wanted to make the game flow by ignoring a lot of the cynical antics.


MAN OF THE MATCH
Tyreeq Bakinson covered a lot of ground, won his tackles and shifted ball efficiently carrying a threat with ball at feet. Deserved a goal for his efforts going close on several shots. 

IF YOU WERE MICHAEL FLYNN WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

County had the measure of Grimsby for the majority of this match and the result could easily have been more telling with Grimsby getting in several vital blocks and hanging in the game by a thread. County were enterprising and flexible up front, with Dolan and Bakinson complementing each other well in the middle but it also gave Sheehan and Forbes a licence to push on and make things happen. However, the platform today was a solid mean defensive performance and the team kept their concentration well. It is hard to pick holes in such as dominant performance but other than sticking the ball in the net more County did little wrong. Grimsby sat back today and County will need to get used to sides sitting in at Rodney Parade this season but once they took the lead they became very hard to shift. Next up is Oxford United at home in the League Cup and progress is important as any revenue could help build the team. Oxford got their first win today but have been struggling for cohesion and goals and will pinning the return of Ricky Holmes as they have lacked invention and control in midfield until his return today. County will need tame his threat from set pieces and link play and Ruffles left side and get at their full backs when invited.