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Match Report: Walsall 0 Newport County 1

Here is our Match Report from Wednesday afternoon's League Two clash between Walsall and Newport County.
Following their recent one-all draw with Stevenage, the Saddlers were both looking to return to winning ways and climb back up the table with just eight points separating them from a place in the Play-Offs.

Newport County got the match underway, and both sides enjoyed some early spells with the ball in the opening few minutes, with neither really able to test their opposition, though the visitors did win a corner in the fifth minute, which they were unable to make use of as Dominic Telford fired wide.

With just eight minutes on the clock, Josh Gordon became the first player to see yellow, as he was cautioned for a foul on Mickey Demetriou.

The visiting side continued to look the brighter as the game continued, bringing Walsall shot-stopper, Liam Roberts into action eleven minutes in, as the 'keeper was forced to save a Matthew Dolan free-kick aimed towards the bottom left corner.

The Saddlers won their first corner of the match moments later, having worked the ball up to the other end, but the Newport defences ensured nothing would come of it.

The match continued as something of a midfield battle, with neither side really looking likely to open the scoring, though nineteen minutes in, Emmanuel Osadebe did see an effort blocked.

The Saddlers saw another chance missed in the twenty-sixth minute, as Caolan Lavery saw a shot on goal blocked.

Moments later, at the other end, Joss Labadie fired an effort wide, after some good work from Nicky Maynard set him up.

It wasn't long before the Saddlers had once again worked the ball back to the other end, where Cameron Norman was presented with a chance to head the ball goal-wards, but the Newport defences were alert to the danger and able to clear, shortly after Mat Sadler saw a headed effort sail wide.

Probably the best chance of the half came in the thirty-sixth minute; Roberts doing well to save a sliced effort from Liam Shephard.

The visiting side continued to enjoy a brighter spell as the match continued, with Labadie firing narrowly wide from distance two minutes after the Shephard chance.

Newport saw another chance to open the scoring missed in the forty-second minute, as a mistake from Osadebe gifted the ball to Nicky Maynard, who was denied by Roberts.

One additional minute was added to end the first-half, but neither side was able to break the deadlock and the teams headed off for their half-time refreshments with the game still goalless.

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HT
-
WFC
0-0
NCAFC

The teams returned unchanged following the break, and Walsall got the action back underway. Newport began the second-half brightly, drawing a superb save from Roberts just three minutes in, as Labadie played the ball to Dominic Telford, who forced the Walsall shot-stopper into action.

The Saddlers had soon worked the ball back to the other end, with Lavery picking up a loose ball inside the County box before firing narrowly wide of the far post. 
In the fifty-third minute, Frank Vincent became the second player to see yellow, as he picked up a booking for a foul on Labadie.

With fifty-four minutes on the clock, the visiting side were awarded a free-kick in a dangerous position, from which, Dolan won a corner for his side as his effort on goal was deflected behind. The flag-kick ultimately came to nothing.

Shortly after we reached the hour mark, the Saddlers opted to make their first change of the evening, with Emmanuel Osadebe making way in favour of Wes McDonald. Newport also took the opportunity to alter their line-up, with Dominic Telford sitting out the final half hour, as Padraig Amond took his place.

After a quiet ten minutes, County won a corner, which Labadie turned home from close range to open the scoring.

Just one minute after falling behind, the Saddlers opted to make a second change to their line-up, with Frank Vincent being replaced by Stuart Sinclair.

The hosts were presented with an opportunity to level the scores just four minutes after falling behind, but Alfie Bates' seventy-fifth minute corner was turned narrowly wide by Sadler.

Walsall chose to make their third change of the evening in the seventy-ninth minute, as Hayden White was replaced by Derick Osei Yaw.

County then chose to make a further substitution themselves, with Nicky Maynard making way for Ryan Taylor.

The Saddlers looked to restore parity in the eighty-third minute, but after controlling a Gordon delivery well, Max Melbourne failed to test Newport shot-stopper, Nick Townsend, who easily made the save.

Walsall continued to look the brighter of the two sides as we raced towards full-time, with the recently introduced Sinclair going close from outside the box, in the eighty-sixth minute.

The hosts continued to probe, with Gordon seeing an eighty-ninth minute effort sail high and wide, before we entered into six additional minutes.

The Saddlers' search for a late equaliser continued, with Sadler firing narrowly over the crossbar in the ninety-third minute, before Newport opted to make a third change to their team, with Joss Labadie making way for Anthony Hartigan two minutes later.

Ultimately, the Walsall efforts proved to be too little, too late, and with no further action of note, the match was brought to an end with Newport's single goal enough to take all three points from the contest.

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FT
-
WFC
0-1
NCAFC

Labadie (71')
VENUE
Banks's Stadium
REFEREE
Sam Allison

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