Newport County v Morecambe

Saturday 27th October 2018   k.o 3:00pm

Sky Bet Football League Two  


Report from Mark Vickery at Rodney Parade


Newport County 1 (Amond 1)

Morecambe 1 (Ellison 77)


Attendance: 3,206



Newport County        WLWWWDDWLD   

Morecambe               LLWWDLLWLL           



County rue missed chances



Both sides are missing players but key County don’t underestimate Morecambe and battle front to back and let their quality shine through.

Cold, windy with some light rain showers. Pitch in decent condition but very glossy on top.

After explosive start created better chances without really asserting firm grip of the game and got punished.

Amond miss just before the Morecambe equaliser

County made a couple of changes with Tyler Forbes sacrificed to the bench in place of Matt Dolan returning from injury and Antoine Semenyo came back into the side in place of Charlie Cooper who was substitute. County also had Keanu Marsh-Brown back from injury on the bench and started positively employing an attacking 4-3-3 format. They were ahead inside the first minute catching Morecambe with a slick move down the left side involving Butler. Matt provided a menacing low cross from the left side of the area which flashed deep and Willmott retrieved the loose ball. He directed a low powerful effort from 14 yards which the keeper pushed away but Amond was well placed to head home from 6 yards. Morecambe reacted well to the setback using the left flank well and despite playing a five man midfield they were mobile getting forward to support target man Oliver up front. Oates proved to be a nuisance with some strong runs into the left corner to unsettle Pipe but County were alert in dealing with the crosses. County continued to use their left side well especially when Morecambe moves broke down right side. On 7 minutes, Mandeville had his run inside from the right flank abrupted by Dolan and he slipped a good quick pass to pick out the run of Butler. He took a few steps before whipping over a vicious delivery which invited Semenyo to head from 8 yards but Roche made a good instinctive save in the right corner. Morecambe were direct getting the ball forward quickly from the back and O’Brien was booked for a heavy aerial challenge on Leith-Smith. Morecambe were keen to use Oliver in the aerial duals with him prepared to contest across the line and County were forced to make some clearances to avert danger. County continued to pick holes well on the left flank and Butler was supplying some good ammunition which Morecambe managed to scramble away. Oates remained the main threat for the Shrimps with some darting runs left side and Morecambe had their first real chance on 20 minutes. County backed off too much defending their left side allowing Mandeville to carry his run inside and link with Oliver who slipped a pass into Oates near the edge of the box. He struck a low shot from 14 yards but Day was on hand to beat the ball away and Mandeville scooped a shot from 20 yards well over the bar. County created a decent chance on 22 minutes with Matt contesting well in the air and he brought the ball down well attacking right side of the area and his shot from acute angle went into the side netting. Morecambe gained confidence from some of their neat approach play with Wildig and Mandeville quick with their movement and feet. Bennett was forced off with an injury moments later when denying a run by Mandeville who threatened coming across the face of the box. Forbes was introduced and County created some better moves on the right side with Willmott demanding the ball and working left back Conlan. On 27 minutes, he worked a low return pass with Matt and got into a promising position but his low effort from 20 yards lack power to trouble Roche. On 35 minutes, Semenyo was clever turning off a challenge from Wildig and Yarney caught him from behind in a low tackle which presented County with a free kick in a dangerous position. Dolan took it and his low curling effort from 25 yards fizzed inches wide of the right post. The game continued end to end on times as half time approach with County more organised in dealing with the runs forward from midfield by Morecambe. There were options on the break for County and another bright move on 38 minutes on the right side saw Forbes finding Matt. He had space to turn and lashed a shot from 30 yards wide of the left post when perhaps had better options ahead of him. Morecambe persisted gambling with numbers pushed forward from midfield and were fortunate not to be further behind on 42 minutes. When a move broke down in the middle Willmott was quick to link up with Dolan and he pinpointed the run of Butler left flank. From the left corner of the box Butler struck a venomous effort which Roche managed to beat away at the front post. Morecambe kept pressing forcing County deep on times with Oliver winning some good headers and on the stroke of half time Cranston struck a snapshot which went wide of the right post.

County made another enforced change at half time with O’Brien replaced by Pring who went left midfield with Pipe tucking into central defence. Despite the adjustment, County came out positively offering plenty of tempo and enterprise looking to kill the game off. Morecambe nervously dealt with a couple of crosses right side with Forbes combining well with Willmott. Then on 48 minutes, Forbes made a strong overlapping run and his cross dropped deep and found Matt but landed at his feet and he did well to make the ball stick but his delay getting a shot in allowed Morecambe off the hook. Pring was prominent for a County with some electric runs left side to test Mills who had the measure of with pace. Morecambe defended crosses well to stifle County but there were opportunities from the second ball or clearance but lack of sharpness allowing Morecambe to avert the danger. County were keen to use Matt as outlet and did well fending off challenges despite giving little protection from the referee. On 60 minutes, Matt was booked for late but honest challenge to win the ball back which was probably the first discretion he had made. Morecambe set their stall out to frustrate and pick holes on the break and Cranston went close on 62 minutes striking an opportunist dipping volley from 35 yards just over the bar. Pring continued to cause problems for Morecambe with his strong runs on the left side and Mandeville was forced to come across with a late tackle from behind on 66 minutes. From the resulting free kick Wilmott whipped over a decent delivery which Morecambe panicked on clearing weakly and Semenyo seized the loose ball but volleyed over from 10 yards when he should have hit the target. Semenyo was then close moments later when a tricky mazy run down the left side of the box but his low effort from 10 yards was blocked by Yarney. County then had a series of corners with Morecambe struggling to clear and the third goal on 70 minutes they were inches wide from extending their lead. Wilmott curled in an excellent delivery which went through the crowd inside the six yard box and Forbes anticipated well only to see powerful volley deflected wide of the left post by the shoulder of the keeper. Morecambe made a double substitution moments later to freshen up their game with Oswell replacing Oates and Ellison for Cranston. Morecambe picked up their game a touch with some better moves to the flanks with Oswell offering energy right side. County continued to probe away stretching Morecambe well with some good exchanges and they had a great chance to put the game to bed on 76 minutes. Despite a left sided corner being half cleared, the cross back in by Willmott again caused problems with a loose clearance and Amond looked certain to score from 8 yards but his effort was crucially blocked by Lavelle on the right post. County got caught out with a quick ball from deep moments later with Oswell snapping up play and his cross field ball appeared to be under control by Forbes. However, his unfortunate slip allowed Ellison a free run on goal and he finished expertly slotting past Day from 8 yards. County immediately went on the offensive with a bright move left side and Amond saw his low effort from 20 yards on the left side of the area parried away by Roche in the right corner. County made their final change on 80 minutes with Matt replaced by Harris and Morecambe made a defensive change with Kenyon replacing Mandeville. Morecambe sat back stubbornly in the final stages protecting an important point for them but County continued to persist with run left side and Pring was caught late by Ellison on 86 minutes. County made efforts to pick holes and keep their ticking over in the final minutes but Morecambe remained resolute with Kenyon stifling some of the moves across the face of the goal. In the 5 minutes of injury time, County put in some searching crosses but Roche dealt well clearing effectively.

Day (6) –  quiet game was not overworked, kept concentration well with safe hands making some saves low down and kicked well under pressure.

Pipe (6) –  had some anxious moments in the early stages with Oates offering a good outlet but grew into the game and did well when he went into central defence.

Butler (7) – broke seamlessly from deep first half, set up several decent inviting crosses and unlucky not to score. Played somewhat deeper second half but dealt well with danger.

Demetriou (6) –  didn’t have his own way in the air with Oliver but stuck to the task, when tackles and winning the ball early used it well but marked tightly on set pieces.

O’Brien (5) – competitive in the challenge but struggled to meet the ball on times and after the early booking and knock he was replaced by :

Forbes (7) – penetrated well, made some good headers, positive getting into final third and with improvement on crosses will start to hurt teams. Very unlucky not to score back post

Bennett (6) – got a little bogged down with some of challenges and never really got playing before taking knock after brace challenge before being replaced by:

Pring (7) – pace to burn left side, possibly the quickest player on the pitch and set up some good situations from free kicks. Can improve on delivery but offered willing outlet.

Willmott (7) – provided several set pieces and corners which should really have been buried. Worked hard and did his best to compete but looked less comfortable coming inside.

Dolan (6) –  had spells where he got about pitch and made things happen. Good vision and generally passed well but saw less influence second half sitting quite deep on times

Semenyo (6) –  frustrating game, got a bit excited losing control on times but showed steel to peel off challenges but reluctant to shoot on times. Missed a decent chance to kill game

Matt (7) – did well in the air and got facing forward effectively to make some decent runs and denied with a couple of shots. Linked well but chances with headers were restricted.

Amond (6) –  took early goal well but playing wide right on times was less effective. Did better roaming across face of area and use right foot. Denied with intervention to get brace.



Strengths –
they were compact and resilient and created some good moves final third with pass and moves. Showed spirit and persistence to get equaliser

Weaknesses –  gambled pushing men final third and were in trouble when moves broke down. Conceded several free kicks which they managed to get away with.

Opportunities –  got the ball down first half and play but went increasingly direct second half but late changes gave them a boost after they had looked laboured.
Threats –
 Oliver was decent in the air. Mandeville and Oates were busy out wide with Cranston shots from distance.

O Yates (6) – wasn’t interested in penalising some of the dangerous play and the persistent nudging but decided to book some honest challenges

Barry Roche (Morecambe keeper) – always seems to have good game at Rodney Parade. Made key instinctive saves no more vital than the Forbes shot which he knew little about  


County had the benefit of the early lead and they have not lost this season in any game they have gone ahead in. However, you always need a second goal in any game especially against L2 sides like Morecambe who were never going to lie down. County had several chances to put the game to bed but were thwarted either by the instinctive saves by the keeper or indecisive finishing well inside the area. Matt had a good game today despite not taking advantage of some good crosses especially from the left side and showed a different side to his game to carry the ball with some verve and clever feet in and around the area. County can improve on their quality of balls from the right but Pring did well with some forceful runs left side. County were enterprising down both flanks but their approach play in middle perhaps lacked a little sharpness and bite which Bakinson will give on his return to the side. County were pushed in the aerial duals on times and do now have some defensive concerns with Bennett and O’Brien both forced off so will need to adjust again away next week at a Carlisle. The Cumbrians have been struggling for goals but it will key County focus and tame the enterprise from Devitt and Hope and use the quality they have better to hurt them.