Ten-man Newport County showed a new battling spirit against Plymouth Argyle on Saturday, but were beaten by the league leaders who profited from two penalties in South Wales.
On the 50th anniversary of the Aberfan disaster, both sides marked the occasion by laying wreaths in the centre circle. A minute’s silence was impeccably observed inside Rodney Parade.
Graham Westley made three changes with Kyle Cameron, Reece Grego-Cox and Jordan Green in for Dan Butler, Marlon Jackson and Jennison Myrie-Williams. Newport lined up in a 4-1-3-2 formation.
Newport vs Plymouth – First Half
After a short spell early on where Plymouth almost scored from a mistake only for Jordan Slew to fire high, Newport started to fight back and began to cause the league’s high-flyers some problems. Newport camped inside the Plymouth half and, in the space of a few minutes, forced a string of corners. The Exiles seemed to have found some confidence and were playing great football in and around the Plymouth penalty area.
However, that all changed in the 36th minute. With all but the Newport defence beaten, Slew had to just tap the ball home before he was fouled by Newport’s goalkeeper Joe Day. Day received a straight red card and County reshuffled the pack.
Former Plymouth goalkeeper James Bittner came on for the unlucky Joss Sheehan, but couldn’t keep out Graham Carey’s penalty.
Newport 0-1 Plymouth
Newport vs Plymouth – Second Half
After the break, everyone expected Newport to be in damage-limitation mode, but in a surprising twist they continued as if it was still 11 versus 11. Target man Jon Parkin fired a warning shot which was saved by Luke McCormick in the Plymouth goal. However, just a few minutes later, Parkin swung his right foot and fired a 30-yard shot past McCormick and into the corner of the net to draw Newport level.
Plymouth were stunned as Rodney Parade erupted in celebration. However, just four minutes later, Plymouth retook the lead when Newport’s Darren Jones was judged to have fouled Graham Carey just inside the Newport box. It looked a soft penalty, but Carey wouldn’t have cared as he slotted home his second of the game.
Rhys Healey came on for an exhausted Parkin, and lead the line late on as Newport fought to draw level once again. But Plymouth managed to secure the three points after breaking from a Newport corner and Slew, unmarked in the middle, fired home from a cross by Carey.
Final Score Newport 1-3 Plymouth
Newport vs Plymouth Team Line-ups
Newport: Day, Barnum-Bobb, Jones, Bennett, Cameron, Tozer, Sheehan (Bittner 37′), Grego-Cox, Rigg, Parkin (Healey 64′), Green (Compton 78′)
Subs not used: Butler, Randall, Myrie-Williams, Wood,
Plymouth: McCormick, Miller, Bulvitis, Bradley, Purrington, Fox (Smith 73′), Songo’o, Tanner (Jervis 64′), Carey, Slew, Spencer (Donaldsonat 85′)
Subs not used: Goodwillie, Osborne, Dorel, Ijaha
Referee: Michael Salisbury
Attendance: 3,460 (1,067 Plymouth)