Newport County v Wrexham

Tuesday 11th January 2018   k.o 7:45pm

FA Cup 2nd Round replay

 

Report from Mark Vickery at Rodney Parade

 

Newport County 4 (Amond 49, Matt 59, Carrington 65 own goal, Butler 90+1)

Wrexham 0 (Young sent off 12)

 

Attendance: 4,143

 

Form:

Newport County        DLWWWLWdLL

Wrexham                   WDWDWWDLdW  

 

 

County punish 10 man Wrexham

 

 

PRE-MATCH THOUGHTS
Wrexham arguably could have won the first game so can’t see County underestimating them and side looks stronger and balanced with players returning from injury.

CONDITIONS
Quite cool, dry and calm Pitch in good condition and less slippery giving players firmer grip

SUMMING UP OUR PERFORMANCE IN ONE STATEMENT
Positive from the offset, defended well and worked Wrexham slowly into submission after sending off.

TURNING POINT
Wrexham sending off put County firmly in charge.

THE MATCH
County made a few changes from the Swindon game with Mark O’Brien and Andrew Crofts suffering from slight knocks, Matt Dolan and Scott Bennett made welcome return in central midfield. There was also another change with Josh Sheehan sacrificed to the bench in place of Antoine Semenyo as County reverted to a 4-3-3 formation. The early exchanges were fairly even with both sides playing some searching balls forward with County the more patient and Wrexham playing direct. Wrexham worked a couple decent passes left side to pick out the influential Beavon but Franks and Pipe worked well in tandem to squash the threat and clear effectively. County worked a decent move on 8 minutes using the left flank and Butler dinked in a decent cross which Lawlor headed clear but Amond struck a snapshot from outside the area which was well blocked by Pearson. Wrexham persisted with direct balls into Grant and Beavon but County stifled the threat well and were effective coming from deep. On 12 minutes, Bakinson did well in the middle to thread a pass for Dolan and his low shot from 25 yards was saved well by Lainton in left corner. The game remained competitive with both sides determined to meet the ball and Wrexham were dealt a huge blow moments later when Young caught Demetriou low down in reckless tackle raising his studs. In the altercation that followed involving several players, Butler and Pearson were booked for squaring up and keeper Lainton for dissent. The sending off was a handicap for Wrexham but with the bookings Wrexham were treading a tightrope thereafter. Wrexham made efforts to slow the game and play from the back but they struggled to find cohesion on times and found the ball coming back at them. On 20 minutes, County worked a patient move across the pitch, switching play well and Bakinson saw a chink of light down the middle. He had options either side of him but elected to drill a low shot from 25 yards but it lacked bite trouble Lainton. County kept probing away, enjoying plenty of space right side with Pipe getting forward into prominent positions but left back Jennings worked hard to contain him. County were more cutting left flank with Butler making some bursting runs and they were close to getting opening goal on 25 minutes. Butler drove to the byline ghosting past Carrington and his cross come shot was pushed away by Lainton and the ball scrambled to safety. Demetriou had received lengthy treatment after his knock but showed no effects making a penetrating run forward soon after and blasted a great shot from 30 yards narrowly wide of the left post. Wrexham persisted with their left side to get forward with Jennings making some bold supporting runs but when he lost possession Wrexham were in trouble. On 28 minutes, Butler was again causing problems with a forceful run to the byline and his low cross into the six yard box had venom on it and Matt was inches wide of left post. Wrexham were unsettled by the raise in tempo and County had a great chance to score moments later when Semenyo carried a strong run through the middle and blasted just over from 25 yards. The game was scrappy on times with Wrexham happy to sit back and contain County offering little space. County were worked a couple of moves right side through the industry of Pipe but the final delivery was lacking allowing Wrexham off the hook. Wrexham had their first real effort of note on 40 minutes from a move right side with Grant doing well to kill a ball in right corner and set up Rutherford. He jinked inside and struck a decent effort from 25 yards which Day reacted well to tip over the bar. County forced Wrexham a bit deep as half time approached and went close on 43 minutes when Semenyo did well to find the run of Butler into the left corner and his deft cross into the six yard box caused problems for Wrexham. The ball was glanced on and Matt saw his stretching header well marshalled by Lainton. County had a glimmer of a chance in first half injury time when Bennett edged through the middle but he dragged an effort well wide of the left post from 25 yards.

Wrexham made efforts to pick up their game early in the second half gaining some territorial possession but the final cross was lacking quality to trouble County. With Wrexham pushing on, County caught them napping with a quick break right side on 49 minutes winning a corner from right side. Butler took the delivery with an inswinging cross which flashed deep and Franks directed a neat header into six yard box which Amond glanced into the net. County made a change on 51 minutes with Bennett coming off early after his recent injury and Willmott made a welcome return after his recent injury. County stepped up their approach play especially on the right flank with Willmott influencing the game but Wrexham had a couple of opportunities to attack in the left corner. On 56 minutes, Pipe was forced back into a recovering tackle back as Wrexham broke left side and he caught Summerfield late to earn himself a booking. Wrexham made a change soon after with Beavon replaced by Holroyd. County continued to pepper Wrexham on right side with Willmott causing problems for left back Jennings. On 59 minutes, County effectively killed the game when Willmott tricked his way to byline after a neat exchange with Amond. He cut back a low dangerous cross into the area which Semenyo did well to leave and Matt caressed the ball into the right corner from 10 yards with a precise finish. County were purring and another bright move on 63 minutes, this time on left side saw Butler cut back a decent deeper cross from the left side of the area which Amond met well but his header went into the side netting. The second goal knocked the stuffing out of Wrexham and County added a somewhat fortuitous third goal on 65 minutes with Willmott again causing problems with jinking run left side of the area finding a low clever pass for Amond and his low cross was deflected into the net by Wrexham right back Carrington. County made an immediate change with Joss Labadie replacing Matt Dolan. County were able to keep the ball with relative ease with Wrexham noticeably tiring and another patient but well worked move on 68 minutes created an opening for Bakinson. He adjusted well near the edge of the area but his shot was tame allowing Lainton to claim low down. Wrexham made another change on 70 minutes with Summerfield replaced by ex-Hartlepool midfielder Nicky Deverdics. Demetriou had taken a couple of late knocks and was replaced on 75 minutes by Pring who went left back with Butler dropping deeper. Wrexham made their final change on 80 minutes with the robust Fondop replacing Grant. Wrexham made efforts to pick up their game forcing a couple of crosses from the corner and Fondop went close glancing a header at the front wide of the right post under pressure from Labadie. Fondop was then booked for an overzealous aerial challenge on Pring who he caught late in face. County maintained the tempo of their game going into the final minutes and were denied when Amond struck a great volley on the turn from 10 yards which smashed against the left post. County added a fourth in the first minute of injury time when the stretched Wrexham well shifting the ball from right to left and Butler drove a perfectly timed effort which arrowed into the right corner from 30 yards with Lainton grasping thin air. Six minutes of injury time were played with little incident and County got a warm applause for their efforts in reaching the FA Cup Third Round for third time in four seasons.

Day (7) –  In truth had little to do but kept concentration well to clear when put under pressure and made an important save to deny Rutherford. Kicked well throughout.

Pipe (7) –  contributed well first half but final delivery on crosses lack quality. Marked tightly, did well in the air and adapted well after the booking.

Butler (8) – busy game, worked up and down the channel well, quick to tackle back and put in some excellent crosses. Competed well in the air and scored a super late goal

Demetriou (8) – dealt well with Grant winning the ball early and had a point to prove after first game. Despite taking several knocks, kept driving side on leading well.

Franks (8) – dominated the aerial duals and gave little change to Beavon from runs left side. Snapped up possession well seeing ball early and gave problems on set pieces.

Bakinson (6) – suffering a little from lack confidence on times to make things happen and did better when he was dynamic. Had a few shots edge of the area but lacked venom.

Bennett (7) – did well controlling game in the middle returning to sharpness after injury. Passed well and shifted ball efficiently going close with a couple of shots.

Dolan (7) –  kept moves ticking over and key cog competing in the middle of the pitch. Passed neatly and despite being restricted on set pieces  he initiated several decent moves

Semenyo (8) – did well providing outlet on either flanks and showed plenty of flexibility playing provider. Had some vicious shots and always a threat when he got in and around area

Matt (7) – didn’t have his own way in the air and was well tracked by Pearson but did good work off the ball to unsettle. Went close a few times front post when got across man quicker

Amond (8) – well marked in the first game but enjoyed benefit of playing with extra striker. Took up good positions back post and finished first goal well and should have had more

 

 

SWOT ANALYSIS OPPONENTS
Strengths –
they were composed first half and had a good shape defending, worked hard off the ball until fading

Weaknesses –  put in several clumsy challenges and frontmen struggled to maintain possession lacking height. Both full backs were pushed back into corners and passed erratically.

Opportunities –  they never really changed tact and it was damage limitation after the sending off. Reliant on bit and pieces from direct play and subs had little effect.
Threats –
 Wright made some strong runs through the middle. Beavon outlet left side, Rutherford eye for goal and pace to carry ball from deep.

OFFICIALS
K Johnson (8) – the last few game he has officiated at Rodney Parade been consistent and got key decisions right punishing cynical play and trying to offer advantage.


MAN OF THE MATCH
Dan Butler – pivotal in the best moves and pushed Wrexham back throughout. Despite being restricted on set pieces saw an eye for a shot in around area taking late chance very well

IF YOU WERE MICHAEL FLYNN WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

County returned to Rodney Parade and were in no mood to offer any charity today. Despite the sending off changing the pattern of the game, County were set up well from the offset. They dealt well with the threat the Wrexham front three offered from the Racecourse match but the key was in how they shaped their own moves going forward and set the tempo. Wrexham sat back and made it difficult as possible but County were professional today keeping their patience and discipline well. In the second half they upped the gears and with more alertness at the front post, the win would have been even more comfortable. Next up County can test their credential against current league leaders MK Dons who will be missing top scorer Aneke. However, they are effective unit under new manager Paul Tisdale playing a neat passing intricate game and key County get right on top of them and don’t ball watch. County will need to stifle runs of Cardiff loanee Rhys Healey and link up play with Agard. It will be key that County shut out the flanks and deny space for former loanee Alex Gilbey who passes accurately and has an eye for shot.